Day three of the Hong Kong T20 Blitz saw more big hits as the tournament continued to defy the grey skies and brighten the day for a lively crowd.
Misbah ul Haq blasted 82 from 42 balls on day two and he went past that score on the third day of the tournament as he was again the mainstay of the Hong Kong Island United innings against Galaxy Gladiators Lantau in game five of the tournament.
The United team were in serious trouble at 62 for four after nine covers and needed their captain to rescue them. Misbah made 84 not out from 50 balls as he took the HKI Untied team to 177 for seven off their 20 overs.
While Misbah was imperious, his innings wasn’t chanceless. When he was on eight he edged Ryan Ten Doeschate through to Sangakkara but the Sri Lankan great could not hang on to a very difficult catch. From there he consolidated and then accelerated. Misbah passed 50 from 39 balls before scoring 34 runs from the next 11 balls he faced as he took his side to a competitive total.
The Pakistan Test Captain’s was not enough, as the Galaxy Gladiators Lantau raced to victory thanks to half centuries from Anshuman Rath and Kumar Sangakkara. The two elegant left-handers shared a stand worth 111 runs in 12.2 overs. 19-year-old Anshuman once again shone as the Hong Kong international made 53 from 47 balls to anchor the chase as Sangakkara blasted his way to 70 from 42 as the Galaxy Gladiators won by eight wickets with an over to spare.
In match six the Hung Hom JD Jaguars took on the Kowloon Cantons. The Cantons won the toss and elected to field first; with a slight drizzle in the air they wanted to be chasing. The Jaguars got off to a poor start and were reduced to 49 for four with both their big hitters Daren Sammy and James Franklin dismissed. They could have been bowled out inside their 20 overs but a man of the match performance with the bat from Johan Botha enabled them to reach 164 for nine from their 20 overs.
Botha made 65 from 37 balls as he shared a stand of 80 with Jonathan Foo who made 34. There have been some massive scores already in the second edition of the T20 Blitz – not least by the Kowloon Cantons who chased down 200 in less than 15 overs on the first day of the tournament. The real danger man for the Cantons was Dwayne Smith who scored 121 from 40 balls in his first innings of the tournament.
Smith could not find the same timing as that marvelous hundred and made just 10 from 14 balls before he holed out. With Smith gone the pressure then on Marlon Samuels who had also scored runs in that first game. Samuels made just 22 before he too was caught in the deep.
A decent innings of 45 from 31 balls from Scotland’s Calum MacLeod kept the Canton’s hopes alive but when he lost his wicket to Franklin the chase fell apart with the JD Jaguars winning by 18 runs.
Saturday’s Day 4 sees three matches taken place, with the first starting at 7.45am! All five teams will be in action with the Cantons playing twice in front of a sell out crowd. If you can’t make the ground the games are being live streamed on the Cricket Hong Kong’s YouTube and Facebook pages.