Jaguars march into Blitz Finale in Style by Tim Cutler
The JD Jaguars made good on the form shown early on in the tournament by booking their date with the Gladiators in Sunday’s final with a convincing win over Hong Kong Island United who remain winless after three of their four group matches.
Kyle Christie continued his good form bowling with great pace which proved too good for United, taking 4/18 from four overs, whilst Nadeem Ahmed was as close to unplayable as one could be from the Victoria Harbour end. His four overs went for 28 and netted him three United wickets. His last wicket came on the final ball of his spell with Darren Sammy taking a candidate for catch of the tournament, taking the ball one handed above his head diving backwards.
Christie bagged the Player-of-the-Match award for his brilliant spell which shifted the match towards his team’s eventual but rather easy victory.
After being sent into bat skipper Kinchit Shah played the T20 equivalent of a sheet anchor scoring 65 from 51. Johan Botha joined him at 2-50 and when Shah fell in the 18th over the pair had put on 109 in just over ten overs. Botha finished on 86 from his 43 balls, the Jaguars setting an imposing 188 for victory on a pitch that was starting to play up a touch.
Once Tanvir Afzal fell for a duck the score was seven for 100 on the last ball of the ten over and any real hope was gone, with United limping to 130 all out in the last over over.
Ahsan Abbasi was the only batter to show any fight getting himself to 42 from 38 deliveries and some red ink.
Hong Kong Island United face City Kaitak in the last group match in what is now effectively a dead rubber with the Jaguars and Gladiators guaranteed finals places.
Both will be playing for pride however with both teams falling well short of the expectations of the fans and team management, I expect quite a bit of feeling in this one.
Cantons for me still have the more balance squad however I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few selections surprises – which may sway things.
2018 HKT20 Blitz Matchday 6 Schedule:
10am – HKI United vs Kowloon Cantons
2pm – THE FINAL Galaxy Gladiators Lantau vs Hung Hom JD Jaguars
Game 10 – likely teams and fantasy in bold
|HKI United||Kowloon Cantons|
|Luke Ronchi (NZ)||Dwayne Smith (WI)|
|Kamran Akmal (Pak)||Babar Hayat (c)|
|Ryan Ten Doeschate (NED)||Waqas Khan|
|Hussain Talat (Pak)||Samit Patel (Eng) (f-vc)|
|Yasim Murtaza||Ashar Zaidi (Eng)|
|Tanwir Afzal||Simandeep Singh|
|Ahsan Abbasi||Wahab Riaz (Pak)|
|Zeeshan Ali||Adeel Shafique|
|Ehsan Khan||Paul van Meekeren (Ned)|
|Suhaib Ahmad||Ehsan Nawaz|
|Mohammad Irfan (Pak)||Bobby Chan (Dragon)|
The main battle in this dead rubber group match will be the difference in the bowling units for both the teams. Big-hitters, Luke Ronchi & Dwayne Smith have had a poor tournament by their standards and would be looking to finish on a high. Elsewhere, Samit Patel & Ryan ten Doeschate will be looking to provide good fantasy points with both bat and ball.