Hong Kong T20 Blitz 2017, Final Review: Babar Hayat leads Kowloon Cantons to title win against City Kaitak
Updated - Mar 12, 2017 10:37 pm
The first edition of the Hong Kong T20 Blitz saw joint winners with rain playing spoilsport on the day of the finals. This year, with the tournament boasting of bigger names and promising more entertainment, came to a fitting end as the favourites Kowloon Cantons emerged victorious in the finals. They beat City Kaitak, the underdogs of the tournament, in a run fest at the Mission Road Ground. The stage was set for the all-important final after 4 days of exciting T20 action.
On the day of the finals, it was Kowloon skipper Babar Hayat who led his team from the front and was well supported by the in-form batter Dwayne Smith. They posted a sizeable 222/3 in their 20 overs and the target looked like a par score for the big occasion. However, Kaitak batsman Kyle Coetzer had other plans. Powered by Coetzer’s quick 63 and Ryan Buckley’s blitz 34 kept Kaitak fans interested. A flurry of wickets towards the end saw Kaitak fall short by 25 runs and Hong Kong T20 Blitz finally got a winner – Kowloon Cantons – after two successful editions.
Earlier in the day, the Cantons had won the toss and opted to bat first. Openers Dwayne Smith and Babar Hayat started the onslaught right from the very first over. A thunderous 149 run opening stand that came off just 77 deliveries had set the tone for the Cantons. Hayat was the first man to be dismissed in the 13th over as Nadeem Ahmed managed to get through his defenses.
Hayat scored 76 off just 40 balls with 9 fours and 4 sixes before getting dismissed. A couple of overs later, Smith, who had scored a power packed 31-ball century a couple of days ago, was dismissed on 68 that came off 43 balls with 4 fours and 5 sixes. Towards the end, a 21-ball 32 from Marlon Samuels and a 16-ball unbeaten 24 from Ashar Zaidi propelled the Cantons to 222/3 in their stipulated 20 overs.
The run chase for City Kaitak started with Kyle Coetzer and Tillakaratne Dilshan starting off on a high. Dilshan looked good for his 11-ball 22 before Ashar Zaidi sent him packing in the 5th over. Waqas Barkat (2) became Zaidi’s second wicket soon. Nicholas Pooran and Coetzer then added some key runs to keep Kaitak in the hunt.
Coetzer struck a powerful 63 off mere 36 deliveries with a solitary four and 7 towering maximums. Tanveer Ahmed dismissed him in the 11th over soon after the team’s score had breached the 100-run mark. Pooran perished on 28 that came off 15 deliveries and his dismissal saw the start of the cavalcade of the batsman.
Wickets kept tumbling and despite a quick 34 off 22 balls from Ryan Buckley towards the end, the City Kaitak could only manage 197 in 19.4 overs before getting bundled out. Kowloon Cantons won the Hong Kong T20 Blitz 2017 by 25 runs.
Kowloon Cantons 222/3 in 20 overs (Babar Hayat 76, Dwayne Smith 68, Nadeem Ahmed 2/35)
City Kaitak 197 in 19.4 overs (Kyle Coetzer 63, Ashar Zaidi 3/34)