30 October 2020
Game 5 – PACC vs HKCC at HKCC
HKCC started the tournament in a very promising manner, but now find themselves in a spot of bother following their loss to KCC last weekend. Charlie Wallis -who impressed in the opening game- has been ruled out for an unknown duration due to an injury to his shoulder, and Haroon Arshad has yet to live up to the high expectations that were placed on his death bowling in the pre-tournament build-up, going for 38 runs in 3.1 overs bowled towards the end of the innings. The batting is yet to fire as well – Coetzee’s 131 and Jones’ 46 account for over half the runs scored by HKCC so far.
PACC have also started their season in a promising manner, with their experienced players like Babar Hayat, Tanwir Afzal and Yasim Murtaza taking them over the line comfortably against USRC. A win for the defending champions this weekend would put them firmly in the running for a spot in the final, while leaving HKCC hoping for other results to go their way
Players to watch out for:
Kinchit Shah (HKCC): He has been brilliant with the ball in hand whenever he has come on in both the games he has played. Be it powerplay, middle overs or the death. He has been operating at an economy rate of 4.8 with an average of 12. Given the quality batsman he is, it won’t take much time for him to translate the confidence from his bowling to his batting and get a big score on the board.
Yasim Murtaza (PACC): Man of the match in the first game he played, the all rounder has all the tricks in his basket to make an impact on this game. The only thing that would be a challenge for him is that HKCC has arguably the best group to left-handed batters to counter-attack him.
Martin Versfield (HKCC): AKA “Booster”, the tall medium pacer has a game tailored to suit the conditions we are likely to see this weekend. The pitch at HKCC has shown signs of slowing down as the season wears on, and Martin has had some success bowling hard lengths into the wicket. He could be key in reigning in the PACC’s big hitter, and a lower order cameo could also be on the cards if the top order struggles.
Tanwir Afzal (PACC): The captain of PACC is one of the most experienced fast bowlers in this tournament. He struck twice in his opening over against USRC, and will be relishing the opportunity to bowl to Coetzee this weekend. That new-ball battle could set the tone for the rest of the game. He is also a canny death bowler, and let’s not forgot his big hitting ability – he has won many a game with the bat as well.
Game 6 – DLSW vs KCC at KCC
KCC is sitting comfortably at the top of the points table, and with their next 2 games being on home turf, they look set to be one of the finalists of the tournament. DLSW on the other hand were at the receiving end of a Coetzee special in their first game, though they did not help themselves with some poor catching. They will be raring to make a comeback in this tournament, and a win for them could see several possibilities open up in the final 2 weeks.
While KCC come into this game with 2 wins, their batting will be a slight concern. Outside of Aizaz’s 81, the next highest score by a KCC batsman this tournament is 27 by Chris Carter, with 21 by opening bowler Jason Davidson the third highest. DLSW boast arguably the most impressive bowling attack in this competition, with 5 current or former HK internationals. They will be sensing an opportunity to rip through the KCC lineup, although they will need to hold onto their catches for that to happen.
KCC in the meanwhile experienced a slight injury scare last weekend, when Jason Davidson landed badly on his knee while fielding. They will be hoping he is fit and ready to go this Sunday. Their bowling will also fancy their chances against DLSW’s batting, which seems a bit thin after the top 4.
Players to watch out for:
Ahan Trivedi (KCC) vs Ehsan Khan (DLSW): National Team off-spinner batting against an aspiring off-spinner, 20th century against the 21st century. Ahan Trivedi, who is half the age of Ehsan Khan, is also the joint second highest wicket taker of the tournament. He made history with a hattrick in his first 3 balls of Premier League cricket, but bowling to Ehsan might be his biggest challenge yet. While other batsman have lost their wickets trying to take Ahan on, the more experienced Ehsan Khan might be more willing to show his fellow offie some respect. Ehsan is also one of the best players of the sweep shot in Hong Kong right now, and it will be interesting to see how he uses that his Sunday
Aizaz Khan (KCC): Two games, two Man of The Match awards. The Hong Kong skipper has taking Trent Johnston’s instructions to dominate the competition to heart, and has made an impact with both bat and ball. How DLSW approach him in both facets could go a long way to determining how this game shapes up.
Aftab Hussain (DLSW): In face of the Coetzee onslaught, Aftab conceded just 10 runs off 13 balls, one of which was a boundary when dropped too short and wide early in his spell. The left arm spinner has been exceptionally good at building pressure, and also cleared the fence twice during DLSW’s valiant run chase. He will play a key role in restricting KCC’s batting, and could even pull off another cameo with the bat towards the end of the innings.
- Yaqzaan Rajan and Nitesh Hemlani
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