After a thrilling opening weekend the action continues, with two great games lined up in the #PLT20 tournament! Read on to learn more about the upcoming matches:
WPL Game 2 Preview – Bauhinia Stars vs Jade Jets
The Jade Jets romped home to a massive 72 run victory in the first WPL game last month. Skipper Pull To led the way, scoring 50 and taking 5 catches, with the Bauhinia Stars batters struggling to get going in the chase.
Over the season so far several players from both squads have shown form in the domestic T20 League. From the Jade Jets, Mariko Hill has topped the batting, with 246 runs in 5 innings in the Women’s T20 League, including 121 not out for the HKCC Willow Wielders in the lead up to WPL match one. She’s followed by compatriot Jet, Keenu Gill, with 119 runs in 5 innings and a highest score of 46 not out. Shanzeen Shahzad of the Bauhinia Stars is their leading batter, and the only other woman to cross 100 runs so far, with 111 runs and a highest score of 53 not out for the DLSW Wasps. With the ball, Keenu Gill tops the charts, having taken 8 wickets for the KCC Maidens at an average of just 7.5 and an economy of 3.0. Ruchita Venkatesh marked a successful return to bowling after an ACL injury, taking a 5-wicket haul for the HKCC Willow Wielders in her first spell of the season, also putting her just behind Keenu on wickets with 6, which is also matched Rida Haider (KCC Maidens) and Rajvir Kaur (DLSW Wasps) – both of whom are Jade Jets.
There have also been some notable performances by WPL players when representing the CHK Women’s Performance Squad in the U15 Boy’s T20 League. Shanzeen Shahzad of the Bauhinia Stars is the leading run scorer, having hit 128 runs in 4 innings with a high score of 75 not out. Stars skipper Kary Chan has hit 81 runs in 3 innings at a SR of 102.53, and Stars opening batter Emma Lai has 80 runs in 4 innings as well. With the ball, Iqra Sahar of the Jets has had the greatest impact, taking 8 wickets in 4 games at an average of 4.75 and an economy of 3.45, including a spell of 6 wickets for just 2 runs. Other performers with the ball being Alison Siu and Kary Chan of the Stars with 5 wickets each at averages of 5.8 and 6.2, and economies of 4.14 and 3.00 respectively.
With a number of players in form in the domestic leagues it is likely to come down to who can transfer that form into the WPL match two. The Bauhinia Stars will need to come back strongly, particularly with the bat, if they are to level the series, and Kary has spoken about adapting some of their bowling and fielding tactics to better counter the Jet’s batters. Jade Jet’s captain Pull To, on the other hand, has spoken about continuing the good work from the last game, with an emphasis on building partnerships and further tightening up their bowling and fielding.
Game 3 – KCC vs HKCC at HKCC
Co-written with Yaqzaan Rajan
Both teams have started off the tournament by winning their opening games. KCC sits at the top of the table due to their superior Net Run Rate as they beat USRC courtesy a brilliant all-round performance by Aizaz Khan, the national team captain who also bagged the man of the match award for his four-fer combined with being the joint 2nd highest individual run scorer.
HKCC also wasted no time to get onto the winning path as the new additions to their team seemed to have gelled together well with the mainstays of HKCC. Martin Coetzee stole the show with his 131 not out on his Premier league debut while Charlie Wallis, who has been serving HKCC for quite some time, bowled very well whenever he was brought on and was undoubtedly the pick of the bowlers.
Players to watch out for:
Kinchit Shah (HKCC): Kinchit is used as a wicket taking option by his team and past records suggest that he is not afraid to bowl at any stage of the innings be it the powerplay or the death overs. Not to forget, he bats in the Top 3 and looked good for his 23 off 18 balls in the first match too.
Rory Cox (KCC): The southpaw’s 16 off 10 balls vs USRC is his lowest score out of 4 innings at Premier League level so far. He has been promoted up to number 3 this season, and it will be interesting to see how he goes for the remainder of this tournament.
Luke Jones (HKCC): The former MCC player was having a very decent outing with 2 wickets for 16 runs before Ehsan Khan decided to blast him for 30 runs in his third over. Given that his batting skills cannot be ignored either and the home ground advantage, Luke might be a handy player in this match.
Dan Pascoe (KCC): The Oxford PhD, CityU professor and former first-class cricketer has been a phenomenal performer in HK Club Cricket for KCC for quite some time now. His left-arm spin has fetched him 26 wickets in 18 PLT20 games, with an economy of just 5.31. His 3 overs against USRC cost him just 10 runs and yielded him the wicket of the dangerous Awais Mohammad Snr. Definitely one to keep an eye on when he comes up against the HKCC batting.
16 year old offspinner Ahan Trivedi had a spectacular PLT20 debut, taking 2 wickets in the only 2 balls he bowled against USRC! Never has a bowler taken 2 wickets in their first 2 balls on Premier League debut. Not only has Ahan made his history, but he enters this game with a chance to make that into a hattrick the first ball he bowls. Another fun fact is that he has already dismissed Martin Coetzee once this season – in a Sunday Elite League game between KCC Infidels and HKCC Scorpions. It will be interesting to see if his captain will give him the ball early this time around.
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