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PLT20 Preview - Opening Weekend!

16 October 2020

It’s been a long wait, but club cricket is finally back in Hong Kong, and what better way to celebrate than heralding the return of the Premier League!

Background

The 2019-20 Premier League T20 was the first time this prestigious tournament was broadcast across our social media platforms, and what a tournament it was. From a tied game between Hong Kong Cricket Club (HKCC) and Diasqua Little Sai Wan (DLSW) in Game 2, to a thrilling last-over ‘final’ between Pakistan Association CC (PACC) and Kowloon Cricket Club (KCC), the action was non-stop. There were plenty of outstanding performances as PACC emerged champions in a game watched by 10,000 people around the world on YouTube alone

The excitement around the PLT20 lead to a bigger audience for our PLOD tournament, which launched with the backdrop of the emergence of COVID-19 and, despite a few technical issues, was watched by 13,000 people worldwide. DLSW emerged victorious in that game, with a century for Ehsan Khan and a hattrick for Mohsin Khan, while KCC picked up a win over USRC on the same day at the Kowloon Cricket Club. However, that bright start was as far as the PLOD got – COVID-19 bringing an end to the tournament and league cricket for the 2019-20 season.

But we are now back, bigger and better than ever! An enhanced coverage of the tournament awaits, along with stringent COVID-19 Match Day guidelines and stronger Anti-Corruption measures to ensure the safety and integrity of all involved!

Click HERE to watch Trent Johnston talk about his expectations for the PLT20!

Opening Weekend Preview


We kick off the season with a repeat of the opening fixtures from the PLOD – HKCC playing host to DLSW DLIT, while KCC play host to USRC.

While the fixtures may be the same, a lot has changed since. HK allrounder Haroon Arshad and former HK fast bowler Tanveer Ahmed have exchanged shirts – with Haroon moving across to HKCC and Tanveer to DLSW. HKCC’s batting has also been heavily bolstered in the off season – both Nizakat Khan and Adit Gorawara have moved across from KCC, while South African first-class cricketer Martin Coetzee is set to make his HKPL debut, after lighting up the local club cricket scene with his big-hitting in the opening weeks. Add to the mix the two Shah brothers, and senior pros like Ryan Buckley, Luke Jones, Adil Mehmood, Martin Versfeld, Rory Caines and Elliot Scrivener, and the HKCC side looks like the team to beat.

Click HERE to watch Trent Johnston preview the HKCC team!

On the other hand, DLSW’s batting has suffered a couple of blows. Not only have they lost Haroon Arshad from their lower-middle order, but wicketkeeper-batsman Shahid Wasif has left them as well, opting to join USRC instead. This also opens up questions on who will take the gloves for the side, with newcomer Ikram Hussain and young-veteran Ibraheem Ishaq the two frontrunners for the position. Their bowling remains as strong as ever, especially with Tanveer Ahmed joining the attack, and a spin attack of Ehsan Khan, Aftab Hussain and Ghazanfer Mohammad has arguably never been matched at this level. Mohsin Khan, Dhananjay Rao and Asad Nawaz Khan have the makings of an exciting pace attack, but with relatively little cricket in the last few months, they will need to hit the ground running quick if DLSW are to pick up a win this opening weekend.

Click HERE to watch Trent Johnston preview the DLSWCC team!


Meanwhile at KCC, the hosts are relatively well settled, despite the loss of Nizakat Khan from their top order. Chris Carter has made himself available for this tournament, and with a lineup that boasts a wealth of experience in the likes of Jamie Atkinson, Aizaz Khan, Daniel Pascoe, Waqas Barkat and Jason Davidson, they will definitely be tough to beat, especially on home turf. One thing to keep an eye on is the role that youngsters are going to play for KCC this season, with five players aged 18 or younger in the squad. Also keep an eye on Rory Cox, who impressed in both his appearances at the HKPL last season, and Ateeq Iqbal, who has been a consistent wicket-taker in top flight HK club cricket for the past few years. Both could potentially be in for a big season this time around.

Click HERE to watch Trent Johnston preview the KCC team!

USRC, on the other hand, are still looking for their first win in a HKPL match. The newest team in the Premier League have made one big-ticket signing in the offseason, with Shahid Wasif likely to bat at the top order. He will also be part of the experienced core that includes former HK international Ali Skhawat and former county cricketer Imran Arif. They will be supported by several consistent club performers (such as Akbar Khan, Awais Mohammad and Shan Raja), and with exciting young talent such as Zakir Hayat, Ehsan Muhammad and Ali Mohammad to call upon as well, they have all the ingredients necessary to pull off their first ever HKPL win this weekend!

Click HERE to watch Trent Johnston preview the USRC team!

Women’s Premier League

It’s not just the Men’s Premier League T20 that kicks off this Sunday, with the first 2020-21 Women’s Premier League match set to start proceedings on Sunday morning at HKCC. This ground-breaking tournament features the best female players in Hong Kong, and there is plenty of exciting battles to look forward to in this 35-over game. The Bauhinia Stars will be lead by current Hong Kong skipper Kary Chan, will look to make a statement with both bat and ball, while former HK skipper Connie Wong will be coming in fresh off a match-winning 50 last weekend for the KCC Maidens. Shanzeen Shahzad is the other batter to watch for the Stars, while the bowling attack features an international-calibre seam attack in Mehreen Yousaf, Maryam Bibi and Alison Siu. They will be ably supported by Ruchita Venkatesh’ offspin and Jen Davies’ glovework behind the stumps, and with plenty of depth in options in all departments, the Stars look a tough side to overcome.

Click HERE to watch our WPL preview video

For the Jade Jets, Mariko Hill is coming into this game fresh off an incredible 121 in a T20 game for the Willow Wielders last weekend, and will join up with skipper Pull To and HK veteran Keenu Gill to form the backbone of the batting lineup. Keenu and Mariko are also two of the quickest bowlers going around, and their pace will complement Jade Jets three spinners (legspinner Akasha Yousaf, offspinner Betty Chan and left-arm spinner Chan Sau Ha) very nicely. Lemon Cheung’s sharp keeping and running between the wickets will also be on display, and Iqra Sahar’s outswingers with the new ball could pose the Bahuinia Stars top order a few problems. A fun side to watch with plenty of talented up and coming players, the Jade Jets are an equally impressive outfit, and this match up should be a fantastic game in of itself.

How To Watch

The WPL game and DLSW vs HKCC will both be live streamed across our social media platforms, except for in India where you can watch the DLSW vs HKCC match live and for free exclusively on the FanCode app! All games will also be live scored on Cricinfo (PLT20 | WPL), CricHQ (PLT20 | WPL) and CricHeroes (PLT20 | WPL)! You will also be able to find live scores on our website!

Schedule

08:30 HKT – WPL Game 1 – Bauhinia Stars vs Jade Jets - HKCC
Click HERE for YouTube Live Stream

14:00 HKT – PLT20 Game 1 – HKCC vs DLSW DLIT - HKCC
Click HERE for YouTube Live Stream

14:00 HKT – PLT20 Game 2 – KCC vs USRC - KCC

- Nitesh Hemlani