As it happened: Hong Kong T20 Blitz – Day Five
Kowloon Cantons beat City Kaitak by 25 runs in the final
Watch: Kowloon Cantons v City Kaitak
5:05pm: Convincing victory for Kowloon Cantons. Their 222 for three was too much for City Kaitak, who managed to give Cantons a victory by 25 runs after being bowled out for 197 in 19.4 overs. That’s their second title in a row after sharing last year’s crown with defunct Woodworm Warriors. Great moment for Babar Hayat, the Cantons and Hong Kong captain, who has not looked out of place among some great international talent and scored 76 in the final. Fittingly, Hayat bowled the final over, knowing Kaitak can’t win from there and takes the last wicket. City Kaitak’s chase started well but they had to take risks and wickets fell regularly.
Crowd rushes on to the field and the players make haste towards the dressing rooms.
Overall, it’s been a fantastic tournament. After rain washed out most of last year’s inaugural edition, we only lost 18 overs this time and that was in the first match. It hasn’t been sunny but the atmosphere has been great and the weekend was packed. Hong Kong needs a proper cricket stadium if this tournament is to grow. Three million viewers from abroad proves that this kind of event can really showcase Hong Kong to the globe. Cricket Hong Kong’s Tim Cutler and Max Abbott are justifiably proud of their efforts. Only a small team put together this tournament but they have made a huge impact. Teams were professional and the fact that at least one of the finalists were not decided until the last day meant interest was sustained over five days.
Babar Hayat (Kowloon Cantons captain and man of the match): “It’s just amazing to be here as a winner and being man of the match. It’s been great playing with such good players from overseas and locally and I have learned a lot from them. To win this is a dream come tru.”
Kyle Coetzer (City Kaitak): “We knew we had to hit but we were unable to get their in the end, they played really well and deserved to win. It’s been a great tournament and really been great to have associate member players here as well. It’s only going to grow and grow.”
Until next year: That’s all from Mission Road for this year. It’s been a fantastic tournament, and absolute success and no major weather disruptions. Thanks for tuning in.
4:46pm: Cricket Hong Kong’s CEO Tim Cutler has announced 3 million-plus online viewers over five days of the Hong Kong T20 Blitz.
4:39pm: We say goodbye for Pramod Ananth, from India’s cricketcountry.com today. He returns to Bangalore on Monday. Pramod knows his cricket, even though he doesn’t know Phil Rudd, and has a lot to say about this tournament. “I really enjoyed it. In only two years they’ve got some big names. I think it has all the potential to grow into an important stop on the international T20 calendar.”
4:38pm: Five wickets down for City Kaitak. Chris Jordan coming out now. Really the last-chance pair, alongside Gareth Harte, for Kaitak to do something.
4:30pm: Big blow for City Kaitak. Coetzer caught on boundary for 63 of 36 balls. Run rate is still good but they need to keep hitting. Too many dot balls.
4:13pm: T20 is all about batting and rarely do bowling figures come into it. But That was a great over from Marlon Samuels, conceding just three after Coetzer had early hit a flurry of sixes. Ashar Zaidi also bowling tight lines for two wickets. Johan Botha’s maiden over against none other than Dwayne Smith earlier in the tournament is still the pick of the bowling this tournament. Kaitak have been stymied but it’s still game on. 50 for Coetzer off 25 balls.
4pm: Kyle Coetzer has been the silent hero of this tournament, the Scotland international proving ever reliable with the bat. Him and Dilshan are really doing their bit now. It was the start they needed to chase this score. That’s four sixes in a row from Coetzer and the chase is truly on. 57 for no wicket from four overs. He scored 87 against Kowloon Cantons in their group match and 58 against Hung Hom JD Jaguars. Player of the tournament doesn’t look beyond him if Kaitak win this.
3:53pm: Our view from the media tent. We were supposed to be kicked out because this marquee was apparently sold. But we were told the buyer decided they wanted to sit elsewhere. Maybe because of the camera crews blocking the view.
3:35pm: Kowloon Cantons finish on 222 for three wickets. Marlon Samuels hit 32 and Ashar Zaidi 24. Captain Babar Hayat hit a team-high 76. That’s the highest score of the tournament so far and will take some effort from the City Kaitak batsmen. Dwayne Smith, who hit 68, said after his first innings of 121 that par is 220 plus here. Kaitak can take heart from that but Dilshan and crowd really need to go after the bowling. Just one more innings to go in the 2017 Hong Kong T20 Blitz.
3:07: Dwayne Smith gone, for 68 off 43 balls. Rather subdued for him. Finally, says City Kaitak but Cantons are still cruising at 162 for two off 14.5 overs. They could declare in a couple of overs and it may still be a challenge to chase. But Kaitak have Dilshan and Chris Jordan.
2:55pm: The marquees for City Kaitak and Kowloon Cantons are packed with fans. It’s all blue and yellow here at Mission Road. Although Cantons have much to cheer given the way their openers are scoring, it is the City Kaitak fans who are making more noise. They have drums and stuff. Cantons just have whistles. Makes for a lot of colour and good rivalry. Oops, Cantons’ Babar Hayat just out for a fine 76 runs. That’s the first wicket for City Kaitaik. But here comes Marlon Samuels.
2:51: Half-century for Dwayne Smith off 33 balls. Cantons really humming here.
2:33pm: A quick poll by Home of T20 has Kowloon Cantons favourites to win the match. More than 90 per cent said they favour the Cantons. Despites being two editions old, folks are starting to bond with certain teams. This is crucial for the tournament’s success. Teams need fans to genuinely support them, and for that to happens, franchises need to make long-term commitments to the tournament. These are the years where rivalries are developed and hearts become attached to players and teams. There’s a good atmosphere is great here at Mission Road. 50 up for Babar Hayat of 27 balls and 90 per cent of the crowd are loving it.
2:17pm: There’s inevitable talk that the HK T20 Blitz has the potential to follow in the footsteps of the Hong Kong Sevens in terms of worldwide fame. If the internet viewing figures are anything go by, then the tournament is truly on course to establish itself in the global T20 circuit. While the Indian Premier League will remain the world’s most popular tournament the five-day Blitz managed to attract more than 1 million online viewers on Thursday. Cricket Hong Kong is likely to release official figures after the tournament. Certainly, their YouTube and Facebook feeds are helping to take the message around the world.
2pm: Soon after Chris Jordan says City Kaitak need to watch out for Kowloon Cantons’ overseas players, Chris Jordan doesn’t watch out for KC’s overseas players. Second ball of the match, big-hitting Dwayne Smith is dropped by Jordan at the long-on boundary. May regret that.
1:48pm: Kowloon Cantons have won the toss and will bat against City Kaitak in the final.
1:18pm: A relatively easy 50-run win for City Kaitak, who play Kowloon Cantons in the final at 2pm. HKI can only blame themselves because it was a reachable target. In the end they were all out for 105 in 15 overs chasing Kaitak’s 155. HKI needed to get their in just over 17 overs but in the end they were never close. Kaitak were beaten by Cantons in the round-robin stages so they will learn from that. Here’s hoping for a good final.
Chris Jordan (City Kaitak, man of the match): When batting first in a crunch game it’s good to have a score on the board, no matter what that score is. At the end of the day, the scoreboard pressure can be a factor and you saw that happen because we bowled them out quite cheaply in the end.
“Kowloon Cantons are the only team to beat us and we are hurting a bit and hopefully we can make right the things we did wrong in that match. They have high quality overseas players and on their day they can hurt you and we have to keep them as quiet as possible. Whatever we do we have to do it well.”
On playing two matches in a row: “We can back up. We played on the wicket, we know the wicket and we know what works. In the end, it is about execution on the field. We are unbeaten in three matches and hopefully we can continue our good form.”
On the decision to recall Misbah: “The umpire saw fit to turn the decision around and I’m always of the opinion that as long as it is the right decision, it doesn’t matter.”
Tanwir Afzal (HKI United): “Obviously we are disappointed. It was reachable target but we were not able to bat through. There was pressure to get the runs early and that was also a factor. But as a local player we learned a lot from playing with top stars.”
12:52pm: That’s Misbah out for sure now. Caught near the long off boundary by Chris Jordan of captain Aizaz Khan’s bowling. Waiting HKI’s official tweet.
12:38pm: Well, we know HKI’s official view on the Misbah “out-not out” matter. Totally balanced as well.
That was clearly not out, confirmed by replays, Pooran removed the bails without the ball in his hand, let's get on with it pic.twitter.com/ClBk1NPhsF
— HKI United (@HKI_United) March 12, 2017
12:32pm: Chaotic scenes out there in the middle (always wanted to write that line). Misbah was out, run out, he stood his ground, umpire gave out, Misbah finally walked, halfway to the pavilion he was called back. Much discussion on the pitch and Misbah is still batting. Apparently the keeper didn’t have the ball in glove when knocking over the stumps but still waiting for the official word. Scare for HKI but they still need to up the run-rate.
12:22pm: This is Aparna Kapur Shankar, one of the co-owners of the Kowloon Cantons and their hard-working communications chief, with the DTC Hong Kong T20 Blitz trophy. The Cantons were joint winners along with Woodworm Warriors last year. Warriors don’t exist anymore so Aparna and crew are happy to call themselves defending champions. She and her fellow owners are hoping they can hang on to the trophy at the end of the day.
12:04: Misbah now batting for HKI. And good timing too because his team need runs at a faster rate than they are compiling them at the moment. They need to reach their target within under 15 overs we reckon in order to reach the final and deny City Kaitak. Just like that, Misbah hits a six.
11:49am: It’s truly a family day out at the Hong Kong T20 Blitz. The general admission area, with more than 900 people either sitting on the stands or milling around, allows a good view of the action and has space for some of the kids to play their own little games of cricket. With the event’s popularity expected to rise, it’s likely that more room would be made available for public ticket sales, though there may be legal restrictions because of safety reasons. All in all, a good day out for cricket fans.
11:35am: That’s 155 all out for City Kaitak. Not a safe score with Misbah-ul-Haq around with HKI United looking for a big win to reach the final. Maybe the captain will promote himself up the order. They need to reach the target in a hurry to boost their run-rate.
11am: Maybe slightly late to announce this but those who want to get tickets at the door at Mission Road, you can’t. Tickets are only available online through ticketflap. In fact, organisers made an extra 50 available today and they sold out within minutes. “I’m getting loads of enquiries,” said Cricket Hong Kong’s Max Abbott. At 11am, the general admission grandstands are pretty much full. Including marquee attendance, there is about 2,000 people at Mission Road today. Clearly, more people will come if the capacity increase. Cue call for bigger ground.
10:27am: We seemed to have solved the great AC/DC-Phil Rudd controversy that hung over the first day’s play on Wednesday and almost overshadowed Dwayne Smith’s century. You may recall that we heard a version of Highway to Hell in which former drummer Rudd appears to be performing drum rolls. As every one of you knows, convincing Phil to do drum rolls is like asking George Best to pass the ball. Simply not in their repertoire. But we realised that there is some sort of delay in on of the speakers at the ground making it sound as if Phil had gone hyper. So there we have it. Issue solved on the final day. With peace of mind restored, we can enjoy the cricket now.
10:22am: Bit of a late start but we blame Pramod Ananth from India’s cricketcountry.com for going to the wrong marquee here at Mission Road. Hong Kong United won the toss and chose to field and after 20 minutes City Kaitak are already three wickets down. HKI need a big win to get to the final and they’ve gone about it the right way.
There was rain earlier this morning but like the past four days its overcast and looks like it’ll bucket down any moment but is holding back until the end of the day.