Hong Kong Sixes, 2007-08 October 28, 2007

All Stars fumble against champions Sri Lanka

Cricinfo staff

Shane Warne congratulates members of the victorious Sri Lankan team after the final © AFP

A Sri Lanka side without any big names overcame the Shane Warne-led All Stars to win the 2007 edition of the Hong Kong Sixes.

Sri Lanka, captained by Indika de Saram, triumphed for the first time in the tournament - held since 1992. They remained unbeaten through the two days, and were the only team that managed to upset the All Stars in the six-a-side event.

Batting first, Sri Lanka rattled up an imposing 127 for 3 in the final, the tournament's highest, off five eight-ball overs (instead of the usual six-ball overs for the other matches). de Saram starred with an unbeaten 40, the best individual score of the tournament and was well-supported by Kaushalya Weeraratne, who retired after going past 30, in keeping with the tournament rules.

Warne, who conceded only seven runs in the fifth over of the semi-final against Pakistan, came in for heavy punishment in the final, giving away 30 runs, including a few wides (costing two runs apiece) after Ranga Dias blasted the first three deliveries in the over for 6, 4 and 6.

The All Stars were up against the tide from the first ball of their chase, with Craig McMillan - who was named Player of the Tournament - out for a golden duck. It was the first time that McMillan had been dismissed, but he earned a consolation in winning the Ben Hollioake Trophy for his 148 runs.

Brian Lara's spirited effort of 34 was cut short due to the retirement rule, but Geraint Jones came in and blasted three successive sixes. Jones, the England wicketkeeper during the 2005 Ashes, did exceptionally well with bat, ball and in the field in place of Glenn McGrath, who missed the final two matches due to a dislocated finger.

Jones finished the tournament with a six, but his 36 was not enough to deny Sri Lanka the trophy.

"The Hong Kong Sixes is a great tournament and I think the fans at home will take this as a very good thing," Jeewantha Kulatunga, who scored 28 in the final, said. "This week was so special to play against players like Warne, Lara and McGrath, so I think it was a great honour to play against them and the fans will feel great.

"Cricket is a funny old game. We did not have that much pressure on us, so we did our best and went for the win and that was what we did," he said. "Because it was an eight-ball game, even if you miss one or two, you do not need to panic. You have to keep clam and do your best."

Geraint Jones bowls for the All Stars © AFP

Warne felt his bowlers erred in the final. "The eight-ball overs made a lot of difference in the final," he said. "The part-time bowlers having to bowl a couple of extra deliveries made a difference, but all credit to Sri Lanka. They played extremely well and deserved to win.

"Losing Craig McMillan cost us a fair bit. He had not being out for the whole tournament and then gets out first ball of the final."

The All Stars also pledged their runners-up cheque for US$45,000 for the development of junior cricket in Hong Kong.

Earlier in the day, the All Stars posted easy victories over the two four-time winners - England and Pakistan - in the quarter and semi-finals while Sri Lanka got the better of New Zealand and defending champions South Africa in the knockout games.

New Zealand and Pakistan shared third place, while positions five to eight were taken by South Africa, England, Bangladesh and Australia, on the basis of net run-rate. India and Hong Kong finished a lowly ninth.

However, it was the All Stars that caught the eye of the sold-out stands at the Kowloon Cricket Club. "It is the first time that I have played over here in the Sixes and I have thoroughly enjoyed it," Warne said. "Everyone has been very hospitable and has made us feel very welcome. It has been a really good fun weekend. We did not disgrace ourselves us old fellas, so it was great."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • shamil on November 2, 2007, 18:14 GMT

    well the all stars team did their best to win the hong kong sixes. i thank the srilanka team winning this tournament that was played.so i would to tell the all star team good try and 1 message that is better luck netxt and i hope magrath comes back to aussies so that he can the win for the team(australia).

  • Asad on November 2, 2007, 18:12 GMT

    Sri Lanka, in my opinion were lucky. Their inexperienced team was suited to this form of the game, but after all, you do not expect Warne to be hammered by youngsters for 30 in one over. You may disagree, but this is my view.

  • Granville on October 31, 2007, 18:21 GMT

    Congratulations SRILANKA.... We all at home enjoyed watching you guys. You guys made us proud and happy. When there is so much of serious cricket going on around the world it is also nice to have a breath taking tournament like this where the spectators will be at the edge of their seats. I think we all should put our hands together for the Hong Kong cricket management for taking all the trouble to organise such an awesome tournament. Also it was really nice to see most of the big names like Warnees,Laras,Macgras,Kumbles playing this type of cricket which is bit unusual from their caliber. Once again while I am wishing the SL team for the victory also would like to wish Mahela and the crew for a good fighting injury free tournament as we have had some injuries already Lankan Lions will strive together Lankan Lions will achieve together And ROAR victorious.........

  • Vickum on October 30, 2007, 6:23 GMT

    yes congratulations to Sri Lanka!!!, it's a fantastic tournament & for the first time that an All-stars team took part. I think an All-stars team should take part every year. after all its the stars that draws the crowds to the grounds. from a Sri Lankan perspective one's memory goes back to a tournament when the then young Russel Arnold smashed a six off the last ball off New Zealand fast bowler Simon Doull to clinch the plate championships for the Lankans. this was just before Arnold made his international debut. hopefully this will be a boost for the players in this Lankan team to also achieve greater things

  • MArcus on October 29, 2007, 13:37 GMT

    I do agree with the advent of sixes and twenty20 form of the game, spectators have been able to bask in the excitement that these forms provide, however, I must say that in order for the game to be called cricket, it has abide with ICC rules and regulations. Though it is six-a-side, the eight ball overs and the unfair 30 run rule takes this experiment beyond the boundaries and constitutes an infringement to the field of fair play. For the good of all concerned, I hope the buck stops here.

  • saffeer on October 29, 2007, 12:52 GMT

    i think this is a very good performance from sri lanka

    i like hong kong sixes very much short boundries girls dancing sixes fours small ground every thing is perfect

    and i think every one can enjoy the sixes great joy

    this year lara mcgrath warne they give great entertanment




  • Rizna on October 29, 2007, 8:10 GMT

    Hong Kong Sixes is a great cricketing event. Congratulations to Sri Lanka team. They were unbeaten throughout the game. They became greater names in Cricket world beating and replacing great names in the Cricketing world in their first encounter with them. These are the players Lanka should have even for its One Dayers and 20/20 matches. Players like Jeewantha Kulatunga in purticular was very interesting to watch and it is very unfortunate Lanka is not making use of his talents giving him a place in the National Team. - Rizna

  • Ruwan on October 29, 2007, 7:19 GMT

    Hi, Congradulations Guys.

    It is nice to sri lankan team is hitting all over the park after 13 good years .If you remember arjuna,Sanath, aravida,kalu & team were the runners up in HK sixes in 1994. That was the "begging push " Sri Lankans to win 19996 world cup. Who knows if the minor guys can hv this trophy for the Country Hope Mahela & Guys will have first ever Test win in Australia .

  • dd on October 29, 2007, 6:29 GMT

    All Stars had Warne,Lara,Geraint Jones,Macgrath,Kumble & Heath Streak. Only one Englishmen. So ended up in the final.

  • Sarath on October 29, 2007, 4:58 GMT

    It was amazing tournament which is being played in Hong Kong since 1992. Most of the cricket lovers enjoy instant cricket. True that the game has been highly commercilised and not good for traditional cricket. Being a Sri Lankan I am proud of my team who convincingly beat all stars comprising cricket legends like Shane Warne, Brian Lara and Glen Mcgrath.

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