SA romp to Hong Kong Sixes title

29 October 2012

South Africa won the Hong Kong Sixes tournament for the second time in four years on Sunday after a 37-run victory over defending champions Pakistan in the final. In a hard-hitting contest, captain Colin Ingram led the way with an astonishing innings.

He struck an unbeaten 34 off only six deliveries to help South Africa to 142 for 2 in their five eight-ball overs, and he was not alone in clearing the boundaries of the small ground.

Opening batsman David Miller made it look easy with a knock of 33 not out from only nine balls, with one four and four sixes, one maximum less than Ingram, while Robbie Frylinck smashed 31 from just seven deliveries and Dillon Du Preez weighed in with 31 off 11.

Seventeen sixes

Ultimately, South Africa finished with 17 sixes in their innings of 142. That left Pakistan requiring 28.4 runs per eight-ball over, or 3.55 runs per ball!

Early on, the Pakistanis were up to the required run rate, but having to maintain such a pace took its toll and they lost wickets where South Africa, by contrast, had seen three batsmen retire.

Openers Umar Akmal and Kamran Akmal led the way with 37 off 11 balls and 51 off 15 respectively, but Ingram claimed three wickets to put the skids under their batting effort. He removed Awais Zia for five, Hammad Azam for one and Yasir Shah for 10.

Kamran Akmal as the last man standing in the Sixes form of the game finally fell to Frylinck, caught by Ingram, and South Africa claimed a convincing victory.

“I had wobbly knees for the ball seemed to take ages to come down, but thankfully it was a clean catch,” Ingram said of the catch that ended the match.

‘Awesome event’

After receiving the winners’ $40 000 cheque (approximately R347 000), he said: “It has been an awesome event. The guys really enjoyed themselves and each other’s company and we just stuck to what we had done all week, which was to bowl tightly and field well, and our batting clicked as well.

Cricket South Africa’s acting CEO Jacques Faul paid tribute to the Sixes winning team in a statement, saying: “Full marks to coach Vinnie Barnes, captain Colin Ingram and the rest of the players for an excellent achievement that saw them win all their matches on the final day, including beating Pakistan twice.

“This tournament grows in prestige all the time and Asia is a very important area in which to grow the Protea brand. It fully justifies our decision to send the strongest possible team to Hong Kong and I would like to thank our franchises for their support in this regard.

“The Pakistan team that we played in the final included experienced internationals in Kamran and Umar Akmal, as well as Junaid Khan.

“It was really pleasing to see our boys play the final so well and they were in command throughout,” Faul concluded.

Australia won the Plate competition, defeating the Netherlands, who had shocked England in the semi-finals.

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