24 September 2019
Kowloon Cricket Club (200/2 in 20 overs, Aizaz Khan 100*, Raag Kapur 2/27) beat Hong Kong Cricket Club (157/9 in 20 overs, Raag Kapur 48, Waqas Barkat 2/18) by 43 runs
Hong Kong team captain Aizaz Khan hit the first century of the 2019 Premier League T20 competition, as KCC put in a near-flawless performance to beat HKCC by 43-runs this Sunday at HKCC. Powered by Aizaz's ton and 44 from Nizakat Khan, they scored an even 200 in their 20 overs, before the bowlers stuck to their task to keep the hosts to just 157/9, giving KCC their third win in as many games.
Both sides made a couple of changes from their matches last weekend. HKCC were without captain Isaac Poole, so opener Benjamin Zanol took over the captaincy for this game. They also left out Tom Ingram and Reid Mawdsley, bringing in quick bowler Adil Mehmood, batsman Toby Raper and spin bowling allrounder Elliot Scrivener. As for KCC, batsman Harsh Khatri and spin-bowling allrounder (and formed HK Women's Head Coach) Richard Waite came into the XI, in the place of quick bowler Suhaib Ahmed and batting-allrounder Devang Bulsara.
After winning the toss, Ben Zanol chose to field first, with Tanveer Ahmed opening the bowling alongside Elliot Scrivener, who took over new-ball-spinner duties from the absent Isaac Poole. The two of them didn't do much wrong, bowling 13 dot balls in the first 4 overs, and inducing plenty of plays and misses from Nizakat Khan. But the Kat only needs to connect with a few, and he managed to hit 3 fours and a six to take KCC to 25 for no loss. Adil Mehmood was introduced into the attack, and was taken for consecutive boundaries by Aizaz Khan - one hit over mid-on, the other flicked to fine leg. He nearly had his revenge in the same over, with Aizaz skying the ball to long-off, only for the catch to be put down. Aizaz dropped on 14. A tidy over by Scrivener followed, and after the powerplay, KCC were 42/0.
With the platform set, KCC began to go on the charge. Both batsmen hit a six apiece off Kinchit Shah in the 7th to bring up their third successive 50-run partnership, and scored another 16 runs off Kinchit in the 9th. Raag Kapur bowled well to give just 3 runs away in the 8th, and was rewarded with the big wicket of Nizakat Khan, LBW first ball of the 10th for 44 off just 27 balls. Jamie Atkinson took no time to get going, picking up a boundary off the final ball, and after 10 overs KCC were 81/1.
Adil Mehmood returned to bowl the 11th over, and once again got Aizaz Khan skying one, this time to the man at deep midwicket. And yet again, the catch was put down. Aizaz dropped for a second time on 29. Things just weren't going HKCC's way, and this was further exemplified in the next over, when a wide ball from Raag Kapur was fumbled by the keeper before hitting the helmet placed behind him - leading to an extra 5 penalty runs to KCC. Aizaz Khan picked up another boundary towards the end of the over, and after 12 overs KCC were 101/1 and looking set for a massive score.
At this stage, Aizaz was on 36 off 38 balls, and hadn't really begun to accelerate. He started to pick up the pace in the following two overs, hitting a six each off Kinchit and Scrivener, and brought his 50 up (off 46 balls) in the 14th over. Two more sixes came in the 15th over, on each to Aizaz and Atkinson, before Raag Kapur struck back for HKCC, dismissing Atkinson for 20 in the 16th, caught by Scrivener at long-on. But Aizaz picked up another six the ball after, and at the end of 16 overs KCC were 145/2, Aizaz on 66*.
Simandeep Singh joint Aizaz in the middle, and together they gave the innings a strong finish. Simandeep took two boundaries of Adil in the 17th over, both Aizaz and Simandeep found the fence off Tanveer in the 18th, and Aizaz lofted a nice six off Adil in the 19th. To add insult to injury, he was dropped at long-on the ball after - the third time he was dropped in the deep off Adil's bowling in the innings. He was on 83 this time, and ended the over 84*, while Adil finished with figures of 0/39 in his 4 overs.
Entering the final over, KCC needed 17 runs to get to 200, with Aizaz needing 16 for his century. A boundary first ball brought both those targets into reach, and a six and a four off the penultimate two deliveries made it reality. Aizaz squeezed out a single off the final delivery to bring up his 100 of just 66 balls, the bedrock of KCC's 200/2. His final 50 runs had taken just 20 deliveries, as KCC ransacked 55 runs off the final 4 overs. An outstanding batting effort, while HKCC would be ruing the missed chances in the field.
The HKCC run chase got off to the worst possible start, with David Jacquier -the wicketkeeper being promoted up to open the batting- nicking Jay Davidson behind first ball. Aizaz Khan, showing no signs of fatigue after his fantastic innings, clean bowled Ben Zanol in the second over, and the hosts were quickly 10/2 and struggling. Kinchit Shah and Raag Kapur put up a fight, with a 79-run partnership off just 51 balls. At 80/2 after 9 overs, HKCC were threatening to pull off something spectacular.
But it wasn't to be. Kinchit Shah was targeting Dan Pascoe's left arm spin, and went for one shot too many, getting stumped right after hitting a six in the 10th over. Raag Kapur, who had looked very good on his way to 48, drove one back down the ground to Ateeq Iqbal, who took a fantastic one-handed catch in his follow through. At 90/4 in 11 overs, HKCC were actually 3 runs ahead of where KCC were at this stage, but had lost their top order and had two new batsmen in at the crease. The next 4 overs yielded only 20 runs and another wicket, and with 91 runs needed in the remaining 5 overs, the result seemed a formality. Ryan Buckley and Toby Raper played some nice shots, but HKCC fell well short, ending on 157/9. Another clinical effort by KCC, who finish with 3 wins in 3 games, and now must beat PACC at home next Sunday to become the PLT20 Champions.
This match was streamed live across our Social Media platforms, so incase you missed it, you can check out the replays on our YouTube and Facebook pages. Full scorecards can also be found at the links above.
Man of The Match: Aizaz Khan
- Nitesh Hemlani