There were definite early signs of the strength and determination of the new Infidels pack, and the boys showed no mercy when bowling out arch rivals HKCC Wanderers for a meager 98. Young openers Ateeq Rehman and Gurjant Singh laid the foundations taking 3 and 2 wickets respectively and were brilliantly supported by a composed and mature bowling display from young leg spinner Kai Ming Li. He dazzled the HKCC batsmen with his beautifully flighted deliveries, taking 4 wickets in the process. The batsmen chased down the total in just 16 overs and the Infidels wrapped up the match by 7 wickets with Hong Kong’s Babar Hayat top scoring with 30.
These were some real positives going into the next game and with the boys on a high we were determined to make it 2 wins from 2. This wasn’t the case however, and on a bright sunny day down at Kai Tak the Infidels were bowled out for 149 after making a strong start through openers Matt Collins and Anthony Barnet. The result was easily chased by our opponents, Sri Lanka CC, who knocked off the required runs in 30 overs, losing only 4 wickets in the process.
In hindsight, this was a good wakeup call for us to ensure that if we wanted to finish the season on a high, we would have to apply ourselves better for future games. The reaction from the players was exemplary and the Infidels comfortably won their next 5 games. Notable performances included bowling the KCC Templars out for just 105 with Ateeq Rehman taking 5 wickets, and later on beating Pakistan Association in a thrilling match at home. Pakistan Association, choosing to bat first, managed to recover from 81/5 to post a respectable 224/8 after 50 overs. KCC began the chase poorly and we soon found ourselves stranded on 98/5. With Lou Vincent not available for the match and Captain Peter Wooden back in the Pavilion, this game looked dead and buried. However, as with so many times this season, the determination and maturity of our young players came through. Gurjant Singh and Simandeep Singh put together a hundred run partnership, running singles and twos hard and punctuated by boundaries. They took the score to 183 before Gurjant departed for a well played 63. Simandeep Singh then took on the role of anchor, rotating the strike efficiently and with the help of youngsters Mohammad Khan and Alex Lee, saw the Infidels home to 225/8 after 48 overs, with Simandeep Singh not out on 52.
The next two games ended our 5 win streak as the Infidels put in poor performances against HKCC Scorpions and LSW JKN; however, we were able to get our season back on track with a big win in unfavorable weather conditions at PKVR against Millenium CC. Another poor loss, this time at the hands of the KCC Templars, meant that the Infidels had ended the league in 4th place and thus were drawn against the top ranked team, Pakistan Association in the Semi Finals.
As with many occasions during the season, our batting did not support the good work of our bowling unit, and this time was no different. After being set a very modest total of 137 for victory, the Infidels once again faltered and were bowled out for 71, thus ending our season in a disappointing manner.
On the whole, the season was a big improvement on many fronts and for which we can take many positives. Most notably the contributions of our youngsters was encouraging with Ateeq Rehman, Gurjant Singh, Karan Shah, Mohammed Khan, Simandeep Singh, and Ansh Lulla all proving to be effective contributors to the much improved Infidels performances throughout the season.
We will be starting the new season in September without our Captain and KCC’s Head Cricket Coach, Peter Wooden who has taken on the role of Head Coach for Vanuatu. We wish him all the best in his new role and thank him sincerely for his time, efforts and help in promoting and developing KCC Cricket over the past 4 years.
Submitted by Sean Montague & Nigel Shroff