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CHK Premier League T20 2019-20 - Match 5 Review - HKCC vs PACC - 15th September 2019 at HKCC

16 September 2019

Pakistan Association Cricket Club (131/3 in 14.1 overs, Yasim Murtaza 70*, Ehsan Nawaz 45) beat Hong Kong Cricket Club (128/6 in 20 overs, Luke Jones 45, Nasrullah Rana 3/24) by 28 runs

Cricinfo Scorecard | CricHQ Scorecard

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Two contrasting innings unfolded this past Sunday at HKCC, with PACC blasting their way to a second consecutive victory, and in the process handing HKCC their first defeat in over a year and a half of Premier League T20 cricket. Having been sent in to bat first, the hosts struggled to 128/6 in their 20 overs – 22 of those runs coming in the final over, courtesy of 3 sixes by Luke Jones. In response, Yasim Murtaza and Ehsan Nawaz hammered 12 sixes and 6 fours between them, together scoring 115 runs off the 64 deliveries they faced, as PACC cantered home with over a quarter of the innings to spare.

This outrageous display of big hitting came after Tanwir Afzal had won the toss and elected to field first, with overcast skies and a bit of rain in the morning perhaps influencing his decision. PACC opted for one change in the XI that beat USRC, with Manjinder Singh being replaced by young quick bowler Hassan Khan Mohammad. HKCC were without Anshuman Rath, despite all the rumours, and were also without the services of Jhata Subramanyan, their Player of The Match from the game against DLSWCC last weekend. Tom Ingram and Reid Mawdsley came into the XI for Jhata and Charlie Wallis, with David Jacquier taking on the gloves from of Rory Caines.

Tanwir and Nasrullah Rana did not get off to the best of starts with the new ball, conceding 3 no-balls and a wide in the first two overs. One of those no-balls was a high fulltoss dispatched for six, and two of the free-hits were dispatched for boundaries, as HKCC raced to 20/0. Nasrullah made the breakthrough on the final ball of the 2nd over though, with Raag Kapur caught well in the deep by Hamed Khan for a duck. Benjamin Zanol hit another brisk 20 before being caught well at long-off by Nasrullah off Tanvir’s second over, and after 2.3 overs HKCC were 25/2.

And that’s when PACC tightened up. Despite a few more wides and no-balls, they conceded just 19 runs in the next 5 and a half overs. Mohammad Ishtiaq was introduced into the attack, and continued from where he left off against USRC, bowling extremely economically to the two left-handers. The pressure told on Kinchit Shah, who top-edged Nasruallah to backward point trying to force the pace. The HK national squad vice-captain was dismissed for just 8 off 20, and HKCC were 46/3. This quickly became 54/4 as Nasrullah struck again in his next over to dismiss the younger Shah brother - Ninad flicking uppishly to midwicket where Yasim Murtaza took a sharp catch. Two big wickets, and PACC were well ahead.

Ryan Buckley joined Luke Jones in the middle, and began to play another excellent cameo to pull HKCC out of trouble. He decided to target the two left arm spinners – Anas Khan and Yasim Murtaza – and hit one six each in the 13th, 14th and 15th over of the innings. HKCC had now recovered to 87/4, and were looking at a score somewhere in the range of 130. But they couldn’t quite get the finish they wanted, as the next four overs -bowled by Murtaza and Hassan Khan Mohammad- went for just 19 runs, and produced the wickets of Buckley (for 29 off 22) and David Jacquier. The ball wasn’t quite coming onto the bat, and the PACC bowlers were excellent in bowling to their fields, which meant that the HKCC run-rate sat below 6 RPO for majority of their innings.

But Luke Jones was still out there. He had walked out to the crease in the 3rd over and, despite a few struggles, was still there at the start of the 19th, batting on 24 off 44 deliveries. Anas Khan was tossed the ball, bowling left arm orthodox to the southpaw with the short leg-side boundary. Luke Jones took full advantage of this, hitting three sixes into the netting to end the innings strong for his side. 22 runs came off the over, as Luke finished on 45 off 49 balls, and HKCC on 128/6 in their 20. About par for the conditions one would imagine, especially given the strength in the HKCC bowling attack.

Ehsan Nawaz -sporting a niggle that was preventing him from bowling in these games- walked out to open the batting with Tanwir Afzal. Determined to make amends for his first ball duck against USRC, he deposited his brother Tanveer Ahmed out of the ground fourth ball of the innings for six – no small feat with the high netting at the ground. He struck two more massive sixes off Isaac Poole’s next over, and PACC were up and flying at 19/0 in the first two. But HKCC clawed it back – Ahmed getting Afzal caught behind for just 3, before the big man Babar Hayat was trapped LBW by Poole for a two ball duck. Murtaza wasted no time getting off the mark – hitting two clean boundaries off Poole’s bowling – and after 4 overs PACC were 29/2. Just two runs ahead of where HKCC were at this stage, and with two of their most dangerous batsmen back in the pavilion. The match seemed evenly poised.

And then the chaos started. Nawaz and Murtaza went on an incredible hitting spree – taking 15 runs off the 5th over, another 15 off the 6th over, and an incredible 25 off the 7th – Yasim Murtaza hitting Luke Jones’ legbreaks for four sixes in five balls, each one larger than the last. After 7 overs the score read an incredible 84/2, and PACC were well and truly ahead.

Ehsan Nawaz fell short of what would have been a well-deserved fifty when, in the 10th over, he holed out to Raag Kapur. He had hit 6 sixes in his 27-ball 45, repeatedly peppering the sturdy glass windows of the Boundary Bar, and had laid the platform for a fantastic victory. Yasim Murtaza kept on going, and with Daniyal Bukhari -who hit two nice reverse-sweeps for four in his brief cameo- took PACC over the line with 7 wickets and nearly 6 whole overs to spare. The winning runs, fittingly, being yet another six into the swimming pools.

Yasim finished on 70* off just 37 deliveries, with 4 fours and 6 sixes, after having bowled his four overs for just 15 runs and a wicket earlier in the day. An outstanding all-round performance, both from Murtaza and PACC, who now rocket to the top of the table and seem like favourites to win the tournament. In case you missed the match, a full replay can be found on our YouTube page!

Man of The Match: Yasim Murtaza

- Nitesh Hemlani