Our Prediction: Kowloon Cantons to win, N/A Bet on Kowloon Cantons to win for Real Money
The last day of the Hong Kong T20 Blitz is here and the lineup for the finals has been set. The teams competing in this match, though, will be playing just for pride because they have already been eliminated. Hong Kong Island United will be taking on the Kowloon Cantons in the final group game of the tournament before the final is played out. The compressed nature of the tournament means that they will be sharing the stage with the finalists but everyone knows that they are just the appetizer before the main course.
Sitting in last place on the league table and the only team without a single win this season is the Hong Kong Island United team. There are many reasons behind the poor performance of this team including the lack of energy on the field, the poor quality of local players, but the chief reason has to be the absolutely dismal performance of their overseas players.
Kamran Akmal, Luke Ronchi, Mohammad Irfan, and David Wiese have failed to do the job for which they were recruited. To be fair, the bowlers were always going to struggle given the lack of runs they always had to compensate for. All the other teams had at least a few players that could be counted upon to come out and score some runs but that just did not happen for the Hong Kong Island United.
Zeeshan Ali and Ahsan Abbasi are two local players that can possibly go on to play a larger role for Hong Kong cricket down the line but there are really no other positives to be taken for the team from this tournament.
We are hopeful that Ronchi and Wiese can put on a show in the last game but having nothing to play for can sap the motivation from the team very quickly. It is going to be difficult for the Hong Kong United team to be able to end the season on a positive note.
The defending champions of the tournament did not live up to the hype and will have to do some introspection ahead of next year’s tournament. Their team looked strong on paper but a couple of overseas players never really got going.
Dwayne Smith had a poor tournament and Samit Patel only played one good inning with the bat. The skipper Babar Hayat was good with the bat but he did not have the support from the other players to help make a difference to the result.
Wahab Riaz also started the tournament very well but seemed to regress with every match. Still, he has the pace which can make a huge difference in a competition like this. We think he could end up with a lot of wickets against one of the weakest batting lineups of the league.
There are a few very experienced T20 players in this league and they know that every performance is important in making sure they get picked next season as well. We are certain that some of them will take this opportunity in a low pressure, nothing to lose match to come out and really make an impact.
Look for some runs from Dwayne Smith and Samit Patel in particular.
There is no doubt that the Kowloon Cantons are the stronger side, however, they have underperformed in this tournament. There were numerous instances when the Cantons could have propelled themselves into winning positions but lost momentum and ended up losing.
The Cantons will want to avoid such mistakes and end on a winning note.
The pitch has flattened out nicely and has not slowed up as much as was expected. We think that the opportunity for batsmen to really get stuck into the bowlers remains. The bowlers who are quick in the air, as well as those that are able to use their variations effectively, will be the most difficult to score off. We think a big score is likely if the Kowloon Cantons bat first.
The Kowloon Cantons are definitely the stronger team of the two and will be the favorites going in. We think their batting is in better form and their bowlers have the skill set needed to win this game.
Back the Kowloon Cantons to win.
Winner: Kowloon Cantons, N/A @ Bet on Kowloon Cantons now