Hong Kong T20 Blitz, Final, Review: Hung Hom JD Jaguars clinch victory in a high-scoring thriller
However, it looked like the Gladiators were in control of the chase especially when tournament top-scorer and player of the tournament Sangakkara remained at the crease
Updated - Feb 11, 2018 9:39 pm
An incredible Hong Kong T20 Blitz tournament was brought to an end with an equally incredible final as Hung Hom Jaguars gained revenge for their group-stage loss to Galaxy Gladiators Lantau. Hong Kong stars Nizakat Khan and Kinchit Shah played crucial roles, and Khan was rewarded with the man of the match for his 93 off 42 balls.
The Jaguars brought up a 201 run target that they managed to defend, ensuring victory for themselves by 6 runs. In spite of the incredible efforts of captain and player of the tournament Kumar Sangakkara who scored 76 from 47, the Gladiators fell short.
Throughout the week the Jaguars were able to rely on all of their overseas stars to chip in with valuable contributions during crucial match situations. Khan laid the foundation at the top of the order and although Shah (9) and Riki Wessels (5) fell cheaply, Sammy smashed a quick-fire 21 from 15 deliveries to set up the victory score, before falling late on to the bowling of Hong Kong youngster Arsham Mohammad.
It looked like the Gladiators were in control of the chase especially when tournament top-scorer and player of the tournament Sangakkara remained at the crease. In fact, he had survived an excellent early examination from young Hong Kong paceman Kyle Christie, who eventually went on to scalp 4 wickets.
By the end of the powerplay, Sangakkara was well into his stride and looked set to follow up his two previous innings of 92 and 94* by setting up a victory in the final. As the run-rate started climbing after Botha and Sammy’s miserly bowling, the pressure on Sangakkara increased and he then miscued a Shah delivery into Sammy’s hands.
With Sangakkara back in the dugout, it seemed like the game was done, but the Kiwi pairing of Anton Devcich and James Franklin took matters into their own hands to make sure that the contest was a well-fought one. After Jade Dernbach fell to Sammy for just one, Devcich and Franklin went on the attack in the 18th over, smashing Christie for 21 and leaving Gladiators requiring only 31 from the final two overs.
Ideally, on a ground with short boundaries, 31 might have seemed chaseable from 12 balls. However, those deliveries were due to be bowled by last week’s BBL winner Ben Laughlin and Sammy, whose contribution in the game today was immense.
Laughlin used all of his experience to restrict the Gladiators to just 9 off the 19th over, and after Sammy only conceded two singles from the first three deliveries of the final over, the game and the tournament was effectively done and dusted with the Jaguars emerging as champions.