England fall at the last
England were runners-up in the Hong Kong Sixes as Pakistan made up for last year’s final heartbreak with a convincing 35-run victory at Kowloon Cricket Club.
Pakistan conceded 46 from the last eight-ball over against Australia a year ago to lose a match they seemed destined to win after posting 132. However, this time they equalled England’s five tournament triumphs.
Batting first in today’s showpiece, they posted a mammoth 154 for five.
Darren Stevens struck early, dismissing Sharjeel Khan, but Abdul Razzaq began the onslaught. Tom Smith snared Umar Akmal for 16 and, after Razzaq had retired, Rory Hamilton-Brown removed Hammad Azam plus Yasir Shah, the latter via a run-out.
Razzaq returned to join forces with Sohail Tanvir, who was run out for 58 from 13 balls, and the man of the match went on to amass 63 not out from 17.
Playing in front of a capacity 4,500 crowd mainly cheering for Pakistan, England made a game of it.
Chris Read and Stevens cracked 11 and 19 respectively before both were caught and bowled by Umar, who also removed Rikki Clarke for 16. Shah then bowled Hamilton-Brown for 12.
Smith and Peter Trego struck 29 from nine and 32 from 10 respectively but both fell to Azam, Trego last out with two deliveries to go.
Hamilton-Brown conceded: “It was a superb batting display. We were up against some world-class players and getting to the final itself was creditable for us.”
Having won Pool B yesterday, England’s passage to the final continued today via a two-wicket last-eight defeat of India with two balls to spare.
Thirties from openers Mayank Agarwal and Dinesh Karthik, who both retired not out, aided a total of 99 for one in which Josh Cobb took the only wicket - Manvinder Bisla caught by Hamilton-Brown for 39.
England’s first pair Stevens and Read fell to Bisla, for 19 and nought respectively. Although Cobb was run out and Raju Bhatkal had Clarke caught and bowled for 18, Hamilton-Brown’s unbeaten 34 from nine balls and 19 not out from Smith earned victory.
In the other quarter-finals, Sri Lanka chased 119 against the Woodworm All-Stars, Hong Kong overhauled Scotland’s 100 and Pakistan knocked off a target of 87 versus Ireland.
Playing Sri Lanka for a place in the final, England posted 101 for two thanks principally to unbeaten innings of 32 from Stevens and 34 from Clarke.
Chathura Peiris removed Read and Hamilton-Brown, the latter for 20, but Stevens and Clarke made hay from 10 and eight balls respectively.
Stevens then cheaply knocked over Kusal Perera and Chamara Kapugedera before Hamilton-Brown had Dilshan Munaweera caught and bowled.
With Thisara Perera retired on 31 not out from eight, Sachith Shanaka’s 19 and Peiris’ 28 - both unbeaten - took Sri Lanka close but they fell seven short.
Pakistan reached the final by defeating Hong Kong as the hosts could make only 84 for three in response to 116 for three.
South Africa earlier finished ninth with a 47-run demolition of Australia and Bangladesh 10th via a thrashing of New Zealand by 76 runs.