Captaining your country? Beating your arch-rivals? Individual glory? Left-arm tweaker Kary Chan’s clutch performance in this regional women’s grudge match between Hong Kong and China had it all.
Redolent with geopolitical significance, the Women’s East Asia Cup held its 2019 edition amidst rising regional tensions between the four participants – China, Hong Kong, Japan, and hosts South Korea. The group stage was tense, with the three visitors all trading wins and defeating South Korea, which meant Hong Kong’s Chan-inspired triumph was especially significant, as it ultimately put them into the final.
After calling correctly at the toss, Kary Chan opted to bat on a sluggish surface. Tidy bowling from China kept the Hongkongers pinned down, as they battled to a disappointing 84-5 off their 20. In response, the mainlanders lost wickets early (including two to Chan) before a stabilising partnership between Chan’s opposite number Huang Zhuo and Fengfeng Song put China well ahead. After 16 overs they were 69-6, needing just 16 runs off the last 4 overs. Off-spinner Betty Chan (no relation to Kary) conjured a wicket-maiden to end her spell, then Yee Shan To and Mariko Hill both produced tidy overs; but with Captain Huang still at the crease and 3 wickets in hand, China looked comfortable to score the required 6 from the last over. Opening seamer Mei Wai Siu was available to bowl, but Kary was decisive and backed herself to close out the match.
Her first ball was a gift as it slipped wide. But the repeat got the big wicket as Huang holed out to Hill and put Hong Kong ahead. Kary was then bang on target with the next two balls as she closed out the match on her own, knocking over Wu Juan’s stumps, then pinning Li Haoye LBW to complete her country’s first T20I hat-trick. It was a classic finish, ranking amongst the best-ever victories in Hong Kong cricket, and a personal triumph for Chan against the old enemy that is the stuff of a thousand childhood dreams.
Want even more Emerging Cricket content? Contribute to the Emerging Cricket Patreon cause from as little as $2 a month. Sign up here!