The annual farce of the Sevens ticket ballot begins again today as registration opens for the public ticket ballot. The registration period runs from 27 November to 31 January, 2016 with the ballot taking place on the 5 February, 2016 and winners notified that day by email.
There are 9,000 individual tickets on-sale. Since regular tickets are sold as 3-day pass. There’s actually only 3,000 tickets available to the public each day in the 40,000 seater stadium. The rest are whored out to corporate sponsors or as a ‘reward’ for joining (and funding) a local rugby club. You don’t even have to play rugby, a social member as long as you’ve paid the membership fees (For example SCAA Causeway Bay charges $900 annually for a non-playing membership) can apply to buy a full three day ticket at cost price. Or roughly added in with membership fees, about the same as you’d pay a street ‘reseller’ – which is where many of those tickets and those reserved forsale overseas end up. Sadly as the minuscule crowd that turned up for the Olympic qualifiers showed, it’s the event not the rugby that’s the attraction. So if you want a better chance of a sevens ticket, join a rugby club – you’ll support the local game and you never know you might even enjoy the rugby.
Those who ‘win’ in the ballot will need to pay for their tickets by 19 February 2016. The ticket cost is HK$300 for Friday, HK$750 for Saturday and HK$750 for Sunday. In addition an administration fee of HK$50 will be charge for each ticket.
To register http://hksevens.com/tickets/ballot-registration
Mark Chapman bludgeoned a six to complete a consolation win, as he and Babar Hayat put on an unbeaten 127-run partnership to lead Hong Kong to an eight-wicket victory in the final T20I against Oman in Abu Dhabi on Thursday (26 November).
Chasing 150 for victory, both Babar (65*) and Chapman (63*) struck their highest ever T20I scores in a third-wicket partnership that spanned 14 overs. Their stand was the fifth-highest for the third wicket in T20I history, and the highest ever by an Associate side. It is also the highest-ever partnership in Hong Kong’s T20I and ODI history.
Both batsmen were still at the crease when Chapman struck a mighty six to take the side to 155 for the loss of only two wickets in 18.3 overs. The win also proved a consolation victory in the three-match series, after Oman won the first T20I by six wickets and the second by four runs.
Babar’s historic knock is the highest-ever T20I innings by a Hong Kong player, and came off only 45 deliveries, including four fours and three sixes. Chapman’s innings is the second-highest for Hong Kong, and came from 41 balls, including three fours and three sixes.
The side looked like it might be in trouble when it lost opener Kinchit Shah (5) in the second over, and then Anshuman Rath (20) in the fifth over. However, the two hard hitters showed no signs of pressure as they pushed the ball around for singles in between the boundaries.
Earlier, captain Tanwir Afzal won the toss and sent Oman in to bat, and the side quickly set about putting runs on the board. Khawar Ali (18) and Zeeshan Maqsood (23) put on 34 runs at a run rate of 9.71 before Haseeb Amjad struck in the fourth over to dismiss Khawar, caught at long on by Babar Hayat.
New batsman Aaqib Sulehri was helped back to the change rooms on the very next ball, with Haseeb’s delivery striking his foot and forcing him to retire hurt. After Aizaz Khan dismissed Zeeshan Maqsood four overs later, Adnan Ilyas (49) and Aamir Kaleem (46 not out) combined for a 101-run partnership, scoring at well above a run a ball until Haseeb struck on the last ball of the innings with a plumb delivery, knocking out the stumps to dismiss Adnan one run short of his half century, on 49 runs, to see Oman post a total of 149 for the loss of four wickets.
Hong Kong’s Aizaz and Haseeb each claimed two wickets.
Hong Kong captain Tanwir Afzal was thrilled with his side’s clinical performance: “I think our approach today was really good. I am so happy that throughout this long tour, we’ve had some injuries, but we still have had guys who’ve done really well with the ball and in the field. We’ve struggled a bit with the batting, but it worked in this game and hopefully it is a good sign for us looking forward to our next game against Afghanistan.”
The skipper believed that the victory will put his team in a good mindset for the final match of its tour, a one-off T20I against Afghanistan on Saturday. “I think today was a very comfortable win against Oman, I think we really worked hard and we learned a lot from the last two games, and it is good for us, going forward. We have a few changes in the batting order and different roles, so it is a really positive sign that we clicked in this game, and hopefully it will work in the future.”
Hong Kong Head Coach Simon Cook was delighted with the record-breaking partnership: “Babar and Mark came out and were outstanding, it’s as good a run-chase as I’ve seen in T20 cricket, you don’t often get 100-partnerships in T20, and we’ve had one of the best ones here. To get an over-par score and knock it off with nine balls remaining was an outstanding effort. The two guys who got runs today really took ownership of that partnership, and ownership of the game, and they controlled it and really never let Oman into the game from probably the 10th over onwards.”
He believed that his charges would take some valuable lessons from the series loss to prepare for Saturday’s one-off T20I against Afghanistan. “The first two games, I think the word ‘frustrating’ was used, and I would probably use it again today – it is frustrating because if we’d played half as well yesterday as we did today, we would have probably taken this series 3-0. But as it is, we go down 2-1, but having learned a lot of really good lessons.”
“The win will fill the guys with a lot of confidence, certainly with a run-chase as emphatic as that. The Afghan bowlers will provide a challenging test for our guys, and also with the ball as well. So there is still a lot of work to do, but a lot of confidence can be taken from this run chase and how it was constructed, and how it was finished off in such a clinical fashion.”
The Hong Kong Women’s Sevens squad departed today for Tokyo, Japan where they will play in this weekend’s second leg of Asia Rugby’s Olympic qualification tournament. At the end of which one women’s team from Asia will automatically qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro after the completion of the tournament on 29 November.
After winning this year’s opening Asia Rugby Women’s Sevens Series tournament in Qingdao China, what once looked like a goal for 2020 is now a real – albeit slim – possibility for the 2016 after Hong Kong finished third in the opening leg of the two-stage qualifier at the Hong Kong Stadium on 7-8 November.
The women’s seven finished that tournament with a four win and two loss record – with losses coming against the eventual finalists Japan and Kazakhstan – but dispatched pre-tournament favourites China twice, including a 12-7 win in the third place play-off.
The result leaves Hong Kong needing an outright win in Tokyo, but also dependent upon the two finalists from the first leg not reaching this weekend’s cup match.Should either opponent reach the final in Tokyo they will have done enough to book their ticket to Rio on overall points across the series.
If Hong Kong win in Tokyo and Japan and Kazakhstan fail to reach the final, tie-breakers will come into effect. First up will be the head-to-head results between the two tied teams across the two Olympic qualifier events. If three teams are tied at the end of play on Sunday, point differentials across the series will be the deciding factor.
Hong Kong must win and win well this weekend. The hometown heroes have the advantage of heading to Japan with an unchanged side including flying winner Aggie Poon Pak Yan, who has been the revelation of the series.
Poon again proved that she is the deadliest finisher in Asian women’s rugby, leading all players with eight tries in Hong Kong earlier this month. Those totals bring her remarkable season tally to 25 tries and 24 conversions over the qualifier and two Asian sevens events so far in 2015, for a combined 173 points.
Hong Kong will need Poon to be on song once again as the team looks to make an all-out push for a historic Olympic berth. Squad veterans in captain Christy Cheng Ka Chi, vice captain Natasha Olson-Thorne and Candy Cheng Tsz Ting will also need to peak at the opportune moment to give Hong Kong any chance of success.
The Tokyo qualifier will again see six teams competing in a single pool, round-robin competition. Hong Kong will face Japan, Kazakhstan, China, Sri Lanka and Guam. Hong Kong will open in Tokyo against Guam, whom they blanked 29-0 earlier this month but it is the last two matches on day one that will determine Hong Kong’s chances as they face Kazakhstan and Japan in the closing ties on Saturday. Both sides beat Hong Kong in the first qualifier, with Japan handing the hosts a 36-0 whitewash to end day one at the HK Stadium – that match coming on the heels of Hong Kong’s highly physical 5-0 victory over China.
Coach Anna Richards commented on the squad’s performance from the opening leg, saying, “We were up-and-down unfortunately, but we still have a mathematical chance. It will be a tough one and we must now win it all this weekend.”
In Tokyo, Hong Kong will need to take matters into their own hands and hand Japan and Kazakhstan early losses to prevent them from reaching the final. Hong Kong’s opening pool match on day two is against China in a potential trap game after Hong Kong gained the upper hand on China in recent tournaments.
China, perhaps the most disappointing performer after many expected them to be Asia’s representatives in Rio, will kick off the second leg against Japan in the first match in Tokyo, a tie that could help upset the formbook and set the stage for a weekend of hoped for surprises.
After looking imperious in the opening leg, Japan will enter the tournament as the heavy favourites particularly as they enjoy a rare opportunity to play in front of their home fans. Japan’s women’s sevens have never played an Asia Rugby tournament at home.
Led by the inspirational Chiharu Nakamura, Japan will be intent on joining their men’s counterparts, who secured the Olympic berth earlier this month after coming back from a 10-point first half deficit to beat Hong Kong 24-10 in the final, next year in Rio.
Hong Kong Squad for Olympic Qualifier – Japan Leg
Cheng Ka Chi Christy (Captain), Natasha Olson-Thorne (vice Captain), Amelie Seure, Cheng Tsz Ting, Chong Ka Yan, Kwong Sau Yan, Lai Pou Fan, Lindsay Varty, Nam Ka Man, Poon Pak Yan Aggie, Sham Wai Sum, Stephanie Cuvelier.
Organised by the The Texas Beef Council, The US Meat Export Federation and the Agriculture Trade Office of the US Consulate General in Hong Kong the 20th Anniversary Great American BBQ took place on the 24 November on the lawn of Disneyland’s Hong Kong Hotel. BBQ maestro Timothy Broderick and Rudolf Muller’s Disney team organised a feast of Texas beef smoked, grilled, roasted… A great night enjoyed by all.
Click on any photo to access the full gallery.
Sunday, 22nd November 2015
HKCC Scorpions v HKCC Optimists
The first HKCC derby of the Sunday Championship for 2015-16 saw HKCC Scorpions thrash HKCC Optimists by 160 runs. Excellent batting by the Scorpions top order saw them reach 2/305 off their 50 overs with Charlie Bright smashing an unbeaten 124 while David Varley (42), Raag Kapur (34) and James Redmayne (78*) all made useful contributions. Partnerships in the innings were impressive too with 103 runs for the first wicket; 90 runs for the second and an unbroken stand of 112 runs for the third.
If batting seemed easy, Matt Rafter dispelled any thoughts of a run chase as he grabbed four early wickets to leave the Optimists batting in tatters at 6/25. David Jacquier (30) and James Dillon (50) provided a little resistance but all it did was delay the inevitable as Scorpions ran out winners by 160 runs. Giacomo Lamplough picked up two late wickets to go with his two early strikes and finished with 4/18 from 6.4 overs. Rafter finished with figures of 4/25 from his eight over spell.
At HKCC: HKCC Scorpions 2/305 from 50 overs beat HKCC Optimists 145 from 29.4 overs by 160 runs.
HKCC Wanderers v KCC Infidels
At Kowloon Cricket Club, HKCC Wanderers enjoyed a big win over KCC Infidels on the back of a stunning bowling performance by Tim Cutler.
Infidels would have been happy to restrict the visitors to 9/217 from their 50 overs after they elected to bat first. Infidels had the better of the early exchanges but Harry Bailey (36) and Craig (49) got the Wanderers innings back on track after they had stumbled to 4/61. Wanderers were grateful for some useful knocks by the tail-enders to get them over the 200 mark.
A 50-run opening partnership between Ravi Sujanani and Sunny Bhimsaria set Infidels on the right path and at 1/79, they looked to be cruising. However, the return of Tim Cutler to the bowling crease turned the match on its head as Infidels were quickly reduced to 5/83. Bhimsaria aside, the Infidels’ batsmen appeared clueless against the spinning ball and their innings was wrapped up in 30 overs for 129. Culter’s impressive figures read 8/35 from ten overs, including three maidens, while Bhimsaria finished unbeaten on 70.
At KCC: HKCC Wanderers 9/217 from 50 overs beat KCC Infidels 129 from 30 overs by 88 runs.
DLSWCC JKN v DLSWCC Knights
At Mission Road, the derby match between DLSWCC JKN and DLSWCC Knights finished with JKN winning comfortably and earning a bonus point in the process. JKN batted first after winning the toss and they reached 225 in 41 overs with skipper Moner Ahmed top-scoring with 94 and Ehsan Khan hitting 33. With the ball, Knight’s skipper Niaz Ali picked up 3/45 while Aftad Ahmed claimed 3/32.
In reply, the Knights were quickly reduced to 4/12 with JKN’s opening bowlers Jangzeb Khan and Karandeep Singh making two early strikes each. Niaz Ali hit 66 but he couldn’t find enough support from the lower order batsmen and their innings finished on 178.
At Mission Road: DLSWCC JKN 225 from 41 overs beat DLSWCC Knights 178 from 50 overs by 47 runs.
Saturday Championship Division 1
CCC Jing Sun v HKCC Nomads
At Hong Kong Cricket Club, CCC Jing Sun beat hosts and defending championship HKCC Nomads by four wickets.
Batting first after winning the toss, Nomads were in all sorts of trouble at 6/49 after Elliot Andrews (3/46) and Matt Rafter (3/14) destroyed the top order, with three wickets each. Some middle order resistance by Andrew Swan (40) and Sagar Chandra (33*) got them to an eventual total of 137 but the tail was knocked over by Jonathan Brunello who claimed 3/27. Andrews then top-scored with 34 as CCC Jing Sun chased down the runs in the 31st over. He received good support from Stuart Henwood who finished on 31 not out.
At HKCC: HKCC Nomads 137 from 29.1 overs lost to CCC Jing Sun 6/138 from 30.4 overs by four wickets.
KCC Crusaders v Pakistan Association
At Kowloon Cricket Club, KCC Crusaders and Pakistan Association fought a close battle than went done to the wire. Crusaders found themselves batting first after Pakistan Association won the toss and they lost wickets at regular intervals to be 3/49 and then 4/80. An unbeaten 74 from Dylan Dearing got Crusaders to 6/181 from their 35 overs.
Facing only 34 overs to chase down the total after being docked one over for slow bowling, the Pakistan Association innings followed much the same pattern as Crusaders’. Hamed Khan hit 32 but Pakistan Association found themselves in some trouble at 5/74. However, a fine unbeaten 72 from Akbar Khan, with valuable contributions from the lower order batsmen, got them home off the penultimate ball of the game.
At KCC: KCC Crusaders 6/181 from 35 overs lost to Pakistan Association 8/182 from 33.5 overs by two wickets.
Saturday Championship Division 2
DLSWCC Spartans v Kai Tak CC
DLSWCC Spartans made short work of Kai Tak CC in a Division 2 match at Mission Road. Spartans batted first and made 165 from their 35 overs with Haroon Arshad (44) and Hiren Patel (35) making the major contributions while Kai Tak skipper Mohsin Naqvi picked up 3/26 in his seven over spell.
A hat-trick by Mohsin Khan in his first over knocked the stuffing out of the Kai Tak batting line-up and their innings capitulated for just 48. Khan grabbed 7/29 and Karandeep Singh claimed 3/12 as Kai Tak were bundled out in less than 14 overs.
At MR: DLSWCC Spartans 165 from 35 overs beat Kai Tak 48 from 13.4 overs by 117 runs.
SCC Lancers v Pioneers CC
At PKVR Park, SCC Lancers enjoyed a bonus point victory over Pioneers CC. Batting first after winning the toss, SCC Lancers blasted their way to a total of 5/277 off their 35 overs with Krishnakumar Kalathil (77) and Tanmay Bijur (93) combining for a second wicket partnership of 157 runs. Uday Shetty also pitched in with a quickfire 43 at the end. Pioneers’ skipper James Chan top-scored with 52 as Pioneers were restricted to 7/132 in their reply.
At PKVR Park: SCC Lancers 5/277 from 35 overs beat Pioneers CC 7/132 from 35 overs.
Lamma CC v CCC Hung See
At PTC, Lamma CC beat CCC Hung See by six wickets. After being sent in to bat, CCC Hung See reached 8/138 from their 35 overs with Anthony Marrin top scoring with 48. Royce McDonald was the pick of the Lamma bowlers, as he claimed 5/28 in a damaging spell.
Lamma’s reply was led by Adrian Sargent with an unbeaten 48 and they did just enough to earn themselves a bonus point by the narrowest of margins.
At PTC: CCC Hung See 8/138 from 35 overs lost to Lamma CC 4/140 from 28.4 overs by six wickets.
Tai Po Dragons 0-20 Valley Black
@ King’s Park, Kick-off: 16:30
CWB Phoenix 5-10 HKFC Ice
@ King’s Park, Kick-off: 18:00
USRC Tigers 70-0 Kowloon
@ King’s Park, Kick-off: 19:30
HK Scottish 5-10 Valley Red
@ Shek Kip Mei, Kick-off: 16:30
Revolution SRC 7-12 City
@ Shek Kip Mei, Kick-off: 18:00
Police Sirens v HKFC Fire – postponed
@ Police Boundary Street, Kick-off: 18:00
USRC Tigers 5-48 HKCC
@ Kings Park, Kick-off: 18:00
HKCC Ladies: Joan Yip, Wawa Li, Jo Harvey, Izzy Rivers, Nobuko Oda, Carolyn Champion, Zoe Wong, Lynda Nazer, Ashley Brooks, Tinley Wong, Brenda Chan, Emma Chung, Tissia Polycarpe, Serene Yee, Diana Li
Substitutes: Mhairi McLaughlin, Charlotte Berry, Hoi Yi Li, Elane Lau, Angie Ng, Kassie Chapel, Margaret Chan.
Try: Ashley Brooks
CWB Pheasants 22-0 Tai Po Dragons
@ King’s Park, Kick-off: 19:30
Revolution SRC 19-17 Tin Shui Wai
@ King’s Park, Kick-off: 16:30
HK Scottish 0-17 University Unicorns
@ King’s Park, Kick-off: 17:15
City 25-17 DB Pirates
@ Tin Shui Wai, Kick-off: 18:00