Ffity-one sixes were struck on the first day of the first edition of Hong Kong T20 Blitz. The five-team tournament kicked off in style with Hung Hom Jaguars and Cowloon Cantons triumphing over Galaxy Gladiators Lantau and City Kaiak respectively.
Put into bat during the first match of the five-day tournament, Jaguars posted a mammoth 145 in a rain-curtailed contest which they won by 27 runs. Fresh of the Man-of-the-Final performance in the recently concluded Pakistan Super League at the Qaddafi Stadium, Lahore, Darren Sammy stormed his way to 52 at a strike-rate of 274, striking two 4s and six 6s.
New Zealand’s James Franklin struck a 27-ball 58 from the other end as the two batsmen scored 102 runs in 36 balls.
Lantau captain Anshuman Rath was the only batsman to make a notable contribution with a 26-ball 45. Left-arm medium Ashley Caddy picked up a hattrick, completed on the penultimate ball of the match, as he outshone his teammates with 3 for 17 in two overs.
Kaitak lost blasting Tillakaratne Dilshan in the first over of the match. But his opening partner Kyle Coetzer held the fort with a breezy 87 from 57 balls. He hit 6 sixes and five 4s. Chris Jordan, who was a part of Peshawar Zalmi’s successful PSL campaign which ended on Sunday, smacked 75 runs at a strike rate shadow above 200. Like Coetzer, Jordan cleared the ropes on six occasions in his 37-ball stand.
But it was Dwayne Smith who stole the limelight. He scored the first century of the tournament in 31 balls and ended up with an unbeaten 121 from 40 balls. He hit 13 sixes, quarter of the day’s total, and seven 4s. His West Indian mate, Marlon Samuels struck 59 in 33 balls at two drop. Both of them put up a 142-run stand which saw Cantons chase 200 in 14.3 overs.