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CHK Joint-U Tapeball Cricket Sixes 2022-23 (Season 4) - Review

CHK Joint-U Tapeball Cricket Sixes 2022-23 (Season 4)
Date – 19th November 2022
Venue – Kam Tin CG

The CHK Joint-U Tapeball Cricket Sixes returned for their 4th and biggest ever edition earlier this month. Played at HK’s newest ground – the India Club CG in Kam Tin – this year’s tournament also featured HK’s newest University team – the Hong Kong Metropolitan University! With 8 teams and 10 matches, this was the largest every Joint-U Sixes played – a sign of the sport’s growing popularity amongst tertiary institutions.

The format for this season’s Sixes was four Quarter-Finals, followed by Semi Finals and Finals for the Cup and Plate. The QFs were seeded based on past tournament’s performances and were played out in two brackets across the day, followed by the finals right at the end.

The morning session saw City U, HKMU, PolyU and HKU all compete for the first spot in the Cup and Plate Finals. CityU kick started their campaign for their 3rd consecutive championship against newcomers HKMU, recording an emphatic 50-run victory to proceed to the Cup Semi Finals! Poly U then set up a rematch of last season’s Semi-Final by beating HKU by 26-runs in the second game of the day!

HKU then faced off against HKMU in the first Plate semi-final, in what would be one of the most dramatic matches of the day. HKU skipper Ryan Qureshi lead from the front with 31*, setting HKMU 90 to win in their 5 overs. Gurbhej Singh hammered a quick 30 of his own and returned to bat in the final over at the fall of the 4th wicket, with 16 runs needed for HKMU to record their first ever Joint-U Sixes victory! But HKU’s Rohit Sharma held his nerve for the final over, conceding only 10 runs and securing his side’s spot in the Plate Final!

The first Cup Semi-Final was a bit more anti-climactic, with CityU putting on a clinical display to proceed to their third consecutive Final! PolyU took an early wicket, before Muhammad Ahmad and Shahid Ali Khan both scored 30s, setting PolyU 88 to win. Muhammad Ahmad then delivered a double-wicket maiden to start the 2nd innings, and PolyU never recovered. They were skittled for just 17 runs – an emphatic statement by the defending champions!

After a short break we proceeded to the other side of the bracket, which saw CUHK, HSUHK, Combined Unis and HKUST all vying for the 2nd spot in the Cup and Plate finals. Last season’s runners-up CUHK opted to bowl first against HSUHK and restricted them to just 44, before chasing it down in 2.3 overs! HKUST batted first and struggled to 64/4, but were excellent with the ball and in the field to bowl out Combined Unis for just 33! This set up another semi-final rematch for the Cup, while pitting HSUHK against Combined Unis in the Plate semi-final!

HSUHK would go on to make history in the 2nd Plate semi-final, beating Combined Unis to register their first ever Joint-U Sixes victory! They secured two run-outs in the opening over after being sent in to bowl first, but were set a challenging 74 to win. Shoaib Rana (17*) and Hassan Ahmed (18 off 6) got them off to a rapid start, with 41 off the first 2 overs, after which captain Faraz chipped in with a valuable 13 as well to get them closer to the score. Ata ur Rehman hit a scoop shot back over his head for the winning runs in the final over, sparking celebrations in the HSUHK camp, who have had to wait till their 3rd ever tournament to experience victory! This win also put them in with a chance for their first ever trophy, as they would go on to face HKU in the Plate Final.

The second Cup Semi-Final was another tense hard fought match. HKUST were sent in to bat first at the toss, and Yehan Ranasinghe’s 34* was the backbone of their final score of 76. CUHK skipper Desidhu Jayaweera was involved with 2 run-outs, and got his side off to a strong start in the chase with 17 off just 6 balls, but was runout on the 9th ball of the innings with the score at 29! HKUST struck again the very next ball, but CUHK stayed on top of asking rate, needing 15 to win off the final over. But Shreyas Manchanda managed to deliver a cool over under pressure for HKUST, conceding just 6 runs and securing his side’s first ever appearance at a Joint-U Sixes Final!

After a long day of entertaining cricket, we were down to the Finals. HSUHK won the toss and opted to field first against HKU in the Plate Final. Faraz and Shoaib Rana took a few early wickets, and HSUHK bowled and fielded excellently to have HKU struggling at 42/4 after 4 overs! Sachin Mittal offered a catch chance to mid-off on the first ball of the final over, which was unfortunately missed and went for four runs! Mittal would then go on to hit four more sixes on his way to 34*, in a final over that cost HSUHK 36 runs! Set an imposing 79 to win, HSUHK lost Hassan Ahmed in the first over – Mittal now doing the damage with the ball – and Faraz in the 2nd over, but Ata Ur Rehman and Shoaib Rana fought back by scoring 25 runs from the 4th! This meant they need 21 to win in the last 6 balls. But Kazi Sunanas – bowling his first over of the day – conceded only 4 runs, helping HKU to win the Plate Championships!

Finally, onto the Cup Final, where CityU won the toss and opted to bat first against HKUST. Skipper Manu Mishra set the tone for his young side up front with a pacy first over, after which Tanish Chheda and Jayad Dongre dismantled the CityU top order, reducing them to 18/3 in 2.1 overs! But CityU demonstrated the depth in their team, and Shahid Ali Khan (25 off 12) and Mohammad Saif Ullah (22 off 9) added 63 runs in the last 17 balls to lift CityU to 81/3 by the end of the innings! A stunning recovery, and the HKUST run chase just never got going in response. Mohammad Ahmad conceded only 3 runs in his opening over, and after that wickets tumbled at regular intervals as HKUST struggled to keep up with the asking rate. They ended on 54/5 – a 27-run win for CityU, and their third consecutive victory at the Joint-U Tapeball Cricket Sixes!

CityU’s dominant display aside, this tournament demonstrated the growth of cricket across Universities in Hong Kong! In 4 editions of the Joint-U Sixes we have had 5 different teams qualify for the Finals, and of the 8 participating Unis, all but one -HKMU, in their first season- have won a game in the tournament! Thank you to all those involved, and we look forward to another exciting tournament next season!

Full Scorecards and Results can be found here:

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