About the Match
Both Kowloon Cantons and Hong Kong Island United won their opening matches against Kaitak and Jaguars respectively and will now lock horns in the 7th Match of the tournament at Mong Kok on 11th March. While Cantons chased down 200 runs convincingly, United defended 216 runs successfully in an all-round performance by batsmen and bowlers; both teams will try to keep their campaign going strong to make it to the finals. It needs to be seen which of the power hitters can fire on Saturday to help their team emerge victorious.
Experienced batsmen Dwayne Smith and Marlon Samuels are the strong pillars of the team, and they did a smashing job against City Kaitak in the first match. The duo posted a 142-run partnership for the 3rd wicket and they hold the key to Cantons success with the bat. While Smith went on to register an unbeaten 121 off a meagre 40 balls, Samuels posted a well-made 59, helping his partner at every stage and taking the score to a gigantic 204 in reply to Kaitak’s 199.
Babar Hayat leads the team and along with others like Calum MacLeod, Ahsan Ali and Waqas Khan, they can try to build a solid foundation whether batting first or chasing a target. The bowlers too have done a fine job in containing the opposition; spinner Ashar Zaidi and medium pacers Yasir Arafat and Ehsan Nawaz have been among the wicket-takers and could outwit United batsmen here.
They have a good mix of all-rounder batsmen, who can contribute with the ball and specialist bowlers, bringing in their skills to the table. The Cantons could prove to be a stiff challenge to Island United, who also have started the campaign on a winning note.
Stalwarts like Misbah-ul-Haq and Ian Bell in the batting line-up, and spin specialists Saeed Ajmal and Badree in the bowling department, make this team a front runner in the series. They won the first game against Jaguars after a terrific batting performance thanks to Misbah’s unbeaten 82 off 37 and good contribution by Munir Dar, who scored 42 runs.
With the help of others like Ehsan Khan and Tanwir Afzal, United posted a superior total of 216, which was defended successfully by Badree, Ajmal and speedster Christie. The bowling team also has Australian spinner Dan Pascoe, all-rounders Ehsan Khan and Tanwir Afzal, who can assist in providing breakthroughs and get the big runs on board.
United can pack a punch here against Cantons, provided they strategize well against hard-hitters like Smith and Samuels, who are in tremendous form right now. The spin attack from Ajmal and Badree could prove to be a brutal force against Cantons, and we could see United romp off to another win.
Both teams have done well with bat and ball, and this could be an evenly contested game on Saturday; however, we feel that United equipped with experience and young talent, has an upper hand to come out with flying colours.