Tour Report: Hong Kong CC in Shanghai

Shanghai CC and Hong Kong CC following the Bokhara Bell Interport Match on September 14, 2013. Hong Kong won by 3 wickets.
Shanghai CC and Hong Kong CC following the Bokhara Bell Interport Match on September 14, 2013. Hong Kong won by 3 wickets.

Match 1: The Bokhara Bell Trophy, Shanghai CC vs Hong Kong CC, 40 Over Match
Date: 14 September 2013
Venue: SRFC Far
Toss: Hong Kong, who chose to field
Result: Hong Kong won by 3 wickets (1 delivery to spare)

Hong Kong Cricket Club were scheduled to arrive in Shanghai for welcome drinks, but a terrible rainstorm flooded parts of the city and caused widespread disruptions to trains, busses, taxis, and even planes. The Hong Kong team eventually arrived in the early hours of Saturday morning, and on the same day had to play for the Bokhara Bell Trophy.

The Hong Kong captain, Matt Lyons, won the toss and elected to field, due to the threat of further weather disruptions. The Shanghai openers, Ben Lyons (53) and Peter Worth (7) made a cautious start to the match, with Mark Wright (7.3-1-31-2) and Elliot Andrews (6-0-31-0) making scoring difficult. Wright eventually had Worth caught, and Shanghai was 27/1 after 9 overs. The Hong Kong bowlers kept the pressure on, as Harry Bailey (4-0-15-2) picked up the wickets of Alex Brown (2) and Jon Newton (0), and Iain Coulson (8-0-19-0) strangled the run rate to leave the score at 150/6 after 32 overs. Then the Shanghai batsmen went on attack as Sharaik Kamal (17), Sanjay Anugula (41), Sajid Anwar (8), Razaq Mahmood (15) provided some quick runs in a series of short partnerships. Toby Brown (6-0-46-1) was expensive, but Buddha McGettigan (5-0-28-3) managed to pick up three quick wickets with some fine swing bowling to wrest back some momentum. Then Waqar Khattak (14) and Ankit Kawatra (15 not out) put together an eighth wicket partnership of 39 to push Shanghai over 200, and the innings ended at 204 all out when Tim O’Connell (1) was run out by some smart fielding from Tom Menogue.

Anugula (8-0-46-0) and Mahmood (8-0-30-3) opened the bowling for Shanghai. Mahmood soon removed Matt Ashton (1) in his first over, but Lyons (30) and J. Rafter (18) built a solid second wicket partnership. Wright (77) came to the crease when Mahmood bowled Rafter, and played an aggressive innings that included seven 4s and three 6s. Khattak (8-0-41-2) picked up the wicket of Lyons, and James Higgins (8-3-24-1) bowled a miserly spell that included the wicket of Brown (5). Kamal (4.5-0-26-1) had Bob Bettridge (7) caught behind by Worth, and Wright and Bailey (19 not out) needed a run a ball from the last 10 overs. Hong Kong managed to keep in touch with the required scoring rate despite Khattak having Wright well caught by O’Connell in the deep, and Mahmood claiming the wicket of Rich De Gruchy (14). Bailey and J. Alexander (2 not out) kept their cool to take Hong Kong past the Shanghai total in the final over, with 1 delivery to spare. So Hong Kong retained the Bokhara Bell Trophy with a three wicket win in an exciting hard fought match, and Mark Wright from Hong Kong was awarded man of the match for his big innings and two wickets.

Match 2: Shanghai Pirates vs Hong Kong, T20 Match
Date: 15 September 2013
Venue: SRFC Near
Toss: Hong Kong, who chose to bat
Result: Hong Kong won by 49 runs

The following day it was time for the Pirates to play Hong Kong in the social T20 match. The Hong Kong team had been celebrating late into the morning, and so the toss was taken at the hotel using the room card. The Hong Kong captain for the day, Harry Bailey, won the toss and elected to bat first.

Bernie Hughes (2-0-7-0), playing in his last cricket match in Shanghai, opened the bowling and in the very first over created enough pressure for Tom Menogue (0) to be run out without facing a ball. Sandeep Abhichandani (4-0-15-0) produced a fiery spell from the other end that kept pressure on the batsmen. Matt Ashton (7), J. Rafter (17), Toby Brown (17), and Rich De Gruchy (2) took a tentative approach, and Sameer Jolly (4-0-58-1) and Amogh Kaysap (4-0-50-1) picked up wickets. Bhaskar Vadlamani (4-0-28-2) produced a fine spell of flighted spin bowling, and Travis Weir took two very fine catches. The key turning point in the match was when Vadlamani spun one past Mark Wright (104 not out) on the charge, but Alex Cummings missed the regulation stumping. From that point, Wright accelerated to score his hundred in 37 deliveries, and he was well supported by Elliot Andrews (28 not out). In one momentous over, Wright hit Jolly for 32 runs (2x4s, 4x6s), including a huge 6 into the military barracks over the square leg fence. The score skyrocketed from 53/5 in the 12th over to 182/5 at the end of the innings.

The Pirates reply didn’t start well, with first Cummings (0) and then Jasim Baig (0) falling quickly. De Gruchy (4-0-15-3) produced a fine opening spell that claimed three wickets in all, as Mike Hall (8) was bowled missing a full toss. Buddha McGettigan (2-0-21-0) and Iain Coulson (4-0-28-0) both proved expensive as a partnership developed between opener Santosh Yadav (26) and Andrew Dartnell (45). However, Ashton (4-0-31-2), Bailey (4-0-30-1) and Elliot (2-0-8-2) picked up a string of wickets at the end as the asking rate became too much for the Pirates. Abhichandani (15), Vadlamani (5 retired), Weir (0) and Mark Henwood (0) all came and went, leaving the final pair of Hughes (2 not out) and Kaysap (11 not out) to bat out the last over. The Pirates scraping together a final total of 133/9 from their 20 overs, giving the Hong Kong side a comprehensive win by 49 runs.

After the match the Hong Kong and Shanghai players had a quick lunch and awards ceremony, before the Hong Kong team made their way to the airport. Both Shanghai teams played well, but unfortunately couldn’t come away with the result, so we look forward to the tour to Hong Kong next year for a chance to reclaim the Bokhara Bell Trophy. Special thanks must be made to Bob Bettridge and John L’Epagniol for all their hard work organizing these important fixtures, as well as everyone who participated over the weekend.