Nizakat Khan Scores Blistering Century

nizakat-khan

Nizakat Khan has continued his red hot run of form from Hong Kong’s tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland with a blistering century in the Premier league.

Playing for Hong Kong Cricket Club, Nizakat smashed 116 off 60 balls with his century coming off just 52 deliveries. His innings included an incredible 13 sixes. The innings comes after Nizakat scored 69, 123, 62, 43 and 40 in matches against Ireland and Scotland, with the right hander now feeling confident in his own game.

“I still feel that I’m in the form of my life, had a great tour for Hong Kong. I missed out in the first Premier League game but I knew my day would come and today was my day.” said Khan “I was in an aggressive mood, I wanted to be positive from the first ball and told myself anything in my zone I would put away. I wasn’t looking for fours, I was looking for sixes and they kept coming.”

Khan continued “I hit a few out of the ground, my favourite shot is to hit straight and managing to hit one over the sight screen felt good. I’m sorry that we lost so many balls today! But seriously, I am just trying to stick to my routines in training, working on my fitness and my weaknesses. I just want to be on the winning team so today was great.”

Nizakat’s whirlwind innings proved the backbone of a dominant 192-run win for HKCC against Pakistan Association Club.

HKCC posted 336-6 with Mark Wright (65) and Scott Mckechnie (56) also scoring half-centuries.

In response, PACC did reach 117-3 at one stage thanks to Bilal Muhammad’s 71, but the visitors collapsed to be all out for 144. Giacomo Lamplough ran through the tail and picked up 4-16.

In Sunday’s other match, Kowloon Cricket Club scored an easy win over the newly formed Cricket Hong Kong Independents XI.

Spinner Dan Pascoe’s 4-26 helped dimiss CHK XI for 139, Haseeb Amjad top scored with 36.

The CHK XI total was made more disappointing by the ease in which KCC picked off the runs. Kinchit Shah (53), Jamie Atkinson (40*) and Aizaz Khan (38*) helped the home side surpass the score in just the 22nd over.

Match Scores

Hong Kong CC v Pakistan Association CC: www.crichq.com/#matches/431090/1st_innings
Kowloon CC v Cricket HK XI: www.crichq.com/#matches/431093/1st_innings

Other domestic scores: www.crichq.com/#organisations/821/competitions/current

Additional reporting and image: HK Cricket Association

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Women’s Rugby Shines on Super Saturday

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The 2016-17 season of the Women’s Premiership kicked off with a Super Saturday showcase at King’s Park with six of the seven Premiership teams in action, including Premiership debutants City Sparkle, last year’s League and Grand Champions Valley Black and the runners-up in both competitions Gai Wu Falcons.

Last year’s top two were convincing form with muscular bonus point wins on the opening weekend. In the season’s opening match Valley dispatched CWB Phoenix 45-7 in an impressive eight try performance even though three of its top players were absent representing Hong Kong in the Asian Sevens series.

The absence of Valley’s large contingent of Hong Kong representatives, combined with a number of retirements in the off-season, has catalysed a youth movement in the Valley with numerous players called up from last year’s second side Valley Red.

“I’m really pleased with our performance today,” said Sam Feausi, the long-time Valley star, who is serving as assistant coach for the team this season. “We showed good structure despite having a few girls missing. We had seven or eight players from last year’s second team in the first side today and it’s good to see the young girls stepping up.”

Their ability to transition to Premiership level will play a decisive factor in Valley’s ability to defend its two-season long unbeaten streak once the top sides face each other.

“We are confident, but this season is going to be much more competitive. Everybody is pretty strong. All of the teams are missing their sevens girls but the results are still really convincing,” Feausi added.

Gai Wu Falcons soared to their biggest opening day victory in the day’s second match dispatching Kowloon 56-0 despite lacking four of their stars including Hong Kong captain Christy Cheng Ka-chi who were also on international sevens duty.

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In the final match of the day, USRC Tigers withstood a fierce early charge from City Sparkle before overpowering the Premiership debutants 45 – 3.

Tigers coach Liu Kwok-leung said City’s intensity troubled his side early on: “They put us under a lot of pressure and it took us a while to get settled in and switched on. Their defensive line speed is good and stopped us from organising. They have good potential to compete this season.

“But eventually we settled a bit and I was pleased that we kept our structure and performed what we have been training,” Kwok added.

City coach Fung Kai-hang said, “Tigers are one of the top teams and they played well. We have set some goals for the league this season. There are games we target to win, games we target to compete in and games that we can use as a learning curve.

“This was our first Premiership match and the girls really felt the difference in intensity. It’s more confrontational and the speed and strength of the game is much better at this level, but we learned a lot today.

“We need to keep working on our set piece and the contact area. We play Football Club next and they have a big pack and will be similar to Tigers. But the girls are really positive. We gave up a lot of tries tonight but they kept working hard and going forward,” said Fung

For the full weekend’s results click here

Additional reporting and image: HKRU

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Hong Kong Take on Sydney Sixers

Babar Hayat - T20 v Ireland 2016

Hong Kong will play inaugural Big Bash League champions Sydney Sixers on the 16 December at C.ex Coffs International Stadium in Coffs Harbour as part of their 10-day tour to Australia in December. The fixture means Hong Kong will now play two matches against Big Bash League teams, following last week’s announcement of a fixture against Sydney Thunder.

HK Cricket Association CEO Tim Cutler said about the game “The opportunity to play in the country, and experience country NSW life is a great opportunity for the guys and will be a great character building experience,” said Cutler. “Australia only probably got a taste of what Hong Kong has to offer with Ming Li being the Sixers community rookie last year…so this is another great chance for Australians, and especially country Australians, to see what talent there is in Hong Kong.”

The game will see many of the Sixers’ stars have their final hit out before the start of the KFC T20 Big Bash League on 20 December. “The guys are fortunate enough to be heading to Coffs Harbour which will be four days before our first BBL match,” said Sixers and Australian spinner Steve O’Keefe. “It’s vitally important that we hit the ground running and we’re at top speed at that time of year, but not only that it’s important that we get out there and showcase our skills to the local people of Coffs Harbour.

Sixers General Manager Dominic Remond commented “It is a great opportunity for our fans to experience Big Bash. It is an added bonus that our friends from the Hong Kong Cricket Association are sending their National team to play.”

Hong Kong v Sydney Sixers
Date: 6pm, 16 December 2016
Venue: C.ex Coffs International Stadium, Coffs Harbour
Tickets: Free

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Women’s Rugby Results – 24 September, 2016

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Premiership

Valley Black 45-7 CWB Phoenix
@ King’s Park, Kick-off: 15:00

Gai Wu 56-0 Kowloon
@ King’s Park, Kick-off: 16:30

City Sparkle 3-45 USRC Tigers
@ King’s Park, Kick-off: 18:00

Photo: Valley Black

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Asia Sevens Series Korea: Day 1 Results – 24 September, 2016

Hong Kong’s men and women had a good first first day in the second leg of the Asia Sevens Series in Korea with both teams making it through to the Cup semi-final.

All the semi-finals and finals are being live streamed Asia Rugby‘s YouTube channel AsiaRugbyLive

Hong Kong’s women won their first two matches convincingly against Uzbekistan (51-0) and Singapore (24-0) but lost a closely fought final match of the day encounter against Japan 24-12. This though was a vastly improved performance against a team that thrashed them in Hong Kong a couple of weeks ago. Hong Kong finished second in Pool C and will play China, who easily won Pool D, in the second Cup semi-final on Sunday.

Asia Womens Rugby 7s 2016 - Korea

The men also finished second in their pool, after cruising to easy wins over Taiwan (47-5) and Japan (57-0), Hong Kong lost a thrilling match against hosts Korea 28-21 and will also play China in their cup semi-final. While Japan are looking to blood new young university age players, it does devalue the competition and dis-respect the other competitors that their side is not even competitive.

Asia Rugby 7s 2016 - Korea

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Gentleman’s Night @ Jack Wills – 23 September, 2016

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A Gentleman’s night at Jack Wills in Causeway Bay to celebrate the launch of Jack Wills Tailoring. A night of Scottish single malts, English cider and classic pub games.
Click on any photo for the full gallery

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Hong Kong Look for Second Win in Asian Rugby Sevens Series

Tom-McQueen

Hong Kong’s men’s Sevens team will look to continue their winning ways in the second leg of the Asia Rugby Sevens Series in Korea this weekend, after a convincing cup win in the first leg held in Hong Kong earlier this month. Coach Gareth Baber has named a largely unchanged squad with forward Mark Wright coming in for James Cunningham in the only change to the side.

“JC [Cunningham] picked up an injury in the first leg and was out of training for a couple of weeks so we felt he wasn’t just right for this leg. Fortunately we were able to call Mark up. Mark is really combative and likes the contact area. He’s hugely experienced having been in numerous Asian Games and qualifiers and he has huge respect amongst the guys and provides good leadership on the pitch. That experience will be important considering we are away in a very tough pool,” said Baber.

Hong Kong are in the ‘pool of death’ sitting atop group A with hosts South Korea – who will test Hong Kong’s mettle playing in front of their home crowd – Japan and Chinese Taipei. Sri Lanka tops pool B ahead of China, Malaysia and Singapore.

“It’s a tough pool. With the way the seedings work from the first tournament Japan ended up with us and Korea. It will be challenging but for us to get the most we can from this competition we want to play as many tough games as possible. Win or lose we want to be challenged,” Baber said.

Baber knows the team will have targets on their backs after claiming the season’s first silverware: “If we show the same form as we did in Hong Kong, we will be fine. Having won we have laid down the challenge for other teams in terms of our levels and from my experience of the Series the other teams will respond to that.”

Japan have strengthened thier side, after crashing to the plate competition in Hong Kong, bringing rangy back Jamie Henry into the side as well as a new group of untested youngsters as they look to build depth for the 2020 Olympics.

“We have to keep our momentum going from the opening leg. Yes we won but it was only the first tournament and we were at home. It was a good start but we need to keep our heads about us and make sure we do enough to stay a step ahead of everyone else,” Baber concluded.

The men’s Series results will determine the Asian teams participating in the Hong Kong Sevens’ World Rugby Sevens Series qualifiers in 2017, with the top two teams advancing to the 12-team qualifier next April. More importantly this year’s Asian champion will also earn an invite to the World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Singapore.

Hong Kong Men’s Seven Squad for Korea Sevens:
Max Woodward (Captain), Mark Wright, Michael Coverdale, Christopher Maize, Lee Jones, Cado Lee Ka-To, Ben Rimene, Alex Mcqueen, Tom Mcqueen, Rowan Varty, Ryan Meacheam, Salom Yiu Kam-Shing.

AR7s Korea 2016

Additional reporting and image: HKRU

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Hong Kong Women Head to Korea

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After finishing third in the opening Hong Kong leg of the Asia Women’s Sevens Series coach Anna Richards is looking for significant improvement in Korea, but a challenging pool could complicate matters. Hong Kong are drawn in Pool C with Japan, Singapore and Uzbekistan. China top Pool D ahead of Thailand, South Korea and Guam.

For the second leg of the three leg series Richards has stuck with the core of the squad who played in the home leg earlier this month, making just two changes as Melody Li Nim-yan and prodigious finisher Aggie Poon Pak-yan make way for Amelie Seure who will reinforce the forwards and utility back Lindsay Varty.

Poon is out with an injury picked up in the opening tournament with a likely return for the series finale in Sri Lanka next month. Li makes way for Amelie Seure as Richards rotates from the wider squad.

“I need to make sure that we are looking at all of the players and with Aggie out injured Lindsay provides some good backline depth for us. We brought in Amelie to help counter some of the size differential that we saw against some of the bigger teams in Hong Kong. Amelie is a good ball-carrier and we want to see what she can bring this weekend,” said Richards.

“Our goal is to reach the final and give ourselves a shot to win. It will be tough because Japan and China again demonstrated that they are quality sides.” continued Richards who believes that wining the Korean leg is within reach as long as her charges can hold their nerve. “We need to cut down the errors from the first tournament and to make sure that we stay calm and focussed in the pressure games against Japan and China.”

“I thought we played quite well at times in the opening leg. We set up some opportunities against China but we didn’t capitalise on them and we just let in too many easy tries against Japan,” said Richards who continued that Captain Christy Cheng Ka-chi and vice captain Natasha Olson-Thorne have a big role to play in keeping the squad’s composure in the pressure games.

“It’s across the squad really. It’s everyone’s responsibility but we do rely on Christy and Tash to help keep the players in the frame in those pressure matches,” Richards concluded.

Hong Kong Women’s Seven for Korea Sevens (24-25 September):
Cheng Ka-Chi, Christy (captain); Natasha Olson-Thorne (vice Captain); Nam Ka-Man; Candy Cheng Tsz-Ting; Amelie Seure; Sham Wai-Sum; Colleen Tjosvold; Kwong Sau-Yan; Lindsay Varty; Chong Ka-Yan, Adrienne Garvey, Yuen Lok-Yee.

AWR7s Korea 2016

Additional reporting and image: HKRU

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