Babar Hayat presented with the Hong Kong T20 Blitz Trophy © Hong Kong Cricket
Babar Hayat presented with the Hong Kong T20 Blitz Trophy © Hong Kong Cricket

Hong Kong and Kowloon Cantons skipper Babar Hayat was in excellent form throughout the Hong Kong T20 Blitz 2017. He amassed 188 runs in five innings at 37.6. The runs came at  a strike rate of 156.66, which included a couple of fifties. He led the team from the front in the final, scoring 70 off just 46 deliveries and put on 149 for the first wicket with Dwayne Smith, which helped the Cantons put on 222 for 3 – the highest team total of the Blitz. Speaking about the victory in the final, Hayat said, “No words for this. Again getting a championship, it’s always good.”

Hayat also revealed the chat he and his opening partner Smith had in the middle. “I was just going for my shots. Dwayne Smith was telling me that, ‘I’ll take your role and you take my role, just keep the way you’re going. Then, I just kept playing my shots,” said Hayat.  ALSO READ: Kowloon Cantons beat City Kaitak by 25 runs; retain Hong Kong T20 Blitz title

Hayat was also confident his bowers could defend 222. “I know my bowlers, they’ll bowl well. They bowled according to the field and then we defended. 220 is not an easy total to chase down in final,” said the skipper.

There was however a brief period when City Kaitak were in the chase. Kaitak openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kyle Coetzer out on 65 off just 29 deliveries for the opening wicket. Coetzer hit as many as 7 sixes in his innings of 63 off 36. Hayat however says that all his side needed was a wicket to get back in the game.  Babar said, “In [first] 6 overs, only two fielders are allowed outside [the 30 yard circle]. So, you can make as many runs as you can. I knew if we get one wicket, we’ll be in the game. Once he got out we were confident of winning. But they got a lot of players, like (Nicholas) Pooran. But when we got Pooran out, we knew we were definitely going to win this game.”

“It’s a pleasing thing for me to win the trophy for the first time as captain. It’s pleasing for me and the players as well,” he further added.

While talking about playing with the likes of Dwayne Smith and Marlon Samuels, Hayat said, “It’s always good to be playing with players with experience. When you go to them and ask them what to do, they chip and tell me, ‘do this and do that’. So, it’s a good experience.”