About the Match
Hong Kong Island United kick-started their campaign with a thumping win against Jaguars by 33 runs after successfully defending 216; they will now take on Galaxy Gladiators, who have lost both their matches till now against City Kaitak and Jaguars, on 10th March at Mong Kok. The tournament has heated up and being a short series, the teams will be determined to gain more wins quickly. United will be eager to continue with their winning momentum whereas Gladiators need to make a comeback in the upcoming contest. It will surely be an entertainer on Friday and whichever team can use its resources cleverly will be able to overcome the challenges and have the last word.
Misbah-ul-Haq leads the side with his tremendous experience and talent in being a solid middle-order batsman; he posted a brilliant 82 off just 37, remaining unbeaten and steering the innings to 216 runs batting first against Jaguars. Others like Munir Dar, Tanwir Afzal, Ehsan Khan and opener Munsey contributed well to keep the scoreboard ticking while the bowlers went on defend the total successfully with quick breakthroughs.
The bowling squad consists of expert spinners like Saeed Ajmal and Samuel Badree, who delivered to perfection by taking 2 scalps each; they are vital assets for the team and can continue to outwit the opponents here. Local speedster Kyle Christie performed well by taking 2-27 and along with others like Afzal adds depth to the attack.
Spinners Pascoe from Australia and all-rounder Ehsan Khan bring variety to the squad and they can combine well with the seniors to stifle Gladiators here. They have done well by winning the opening match and could prove to be a formidable force to reckon with here.
Batting first against Kaitak, the top-order batsmen Anshuman Rath and Sangakkara did well to keep the runs flowing; Rath led from the front with a 29-ball 42 while Sangakkara scored 21 runs. Doeschate and Kruger then tried to stabilize the innings from the middle but with lack of steady partnerships, they could muster only 155 runs in the end.
Spinner and all-rounder batsman Anshuman Rath returned with 2 scalps while Doeschate and Vala took a wicket each but the others proved to be expensive yet again, and lost the match by 6 wickets. In the first match against Jaguars too, bowlers like Haseeb Amjad and Doeschate had given away too many runs but Rafiq’s 2-31 in 3 overs and Vala’s precision helped them contain the opponents to 145. However, the batting line-up had crumbled under pressure and Rath’s superb 45 off 26 went in vain.
They have lost two consecutive matches and the players’ morale would be down but they do have good resources to bounce back with a win here.
Island United received a major boost with the win in their opening match and they could come out with all their firepower with bat and ball here too. Gladiators haven’t performed well as a team and they will need to pull up their socks here. Going by their all-round performance, we feel that Island United is better equipped to dominate on Friday and win the match.