Saturday, July 14, 2018

Maple Leaf Cricket Club, King City, Ontario, Canada

Playoff 3: Vancouver Knights vs. Winnipeg Hawks, 3:00 p.m. North America Eastern Standard Time

Summary Result: Vancouver Knights 152/5 in 13 overs (Chadwick Walton 45, Andre Russell 36, Ben Dunk 29; Ali Khan 2-47) defeated Winnipeg Hawks (84/5 in 8.3 overs (Lendl Simmons 35; Fawad Ahmed 2-22) by 13 runs in the Duckworth/Lewis method.

By Colin Benjamin

KING CITY, Ont. – The final of the inaugural edition of Global T20 Canada is set.

Vancouver Knights advanced to face Cricket West Indies B Team for the championship on Sunday, after they defeated Winnipeg Hawks by 13 runs via the Duckworth/Lewis method, in the rain-affected playoff three encounter.

The Duckworth-Lewis method is a mathematical formulation used to decide the winner of matches impacted by rain.  Umpires declared Vancouver the winner as Winnipeg fell below the Duckworth/Lewis par score at the time of97 runs at the end of 8.3 overs.

It will be the third meeting between the teams in the span of a week.  Vancouver won convincingly over the youthful Caribbeans on July 8 in round 1 round-robin play and four days later Windies B exacted revenge taking the playoff one match to earn an automatic berth in the final.

“Obviously, it’s well documented that they’re a very very very dangerous and talented bunch of young lads, but again we’ll plan accordingly and hopefully if we execute our skills then I can think we can beat anybody so were not too worried about them,” said Knights coach Donovan Miller. “We’re just going to concentrate on us and hopefully tomorrow if the weather stays away we can be victorious again.”

With light rain and threatening skies, the match was reduced to 13 overs a side and started at 5:15 p.m.local time, two-and-a-quarter hours later than the scheduled 3:00 pm. start.  

After being put to bat by Winnipeg, Vancouver got out to a flying start out of the blocks with Chadwick Walton and Captain Chris Gayle, racing to 31/0 in just two overs.

However, Gayle (8) would be dismissed soon after this electric start leg-before wicket to Rayad Emrit, via an excellent yorker delivery.

Australian Ben Dunk joined Walton at the wicket. When he was (21) and the team score was 58/1, he was dropped by South African David Miller at long-off, from Lendl Simmons’ bowling.

Winnipeg’s bowler would stage a mini fight, clinching three wickets as Vancouver slipped 80/1 in the seventh over to 102/4 in over number nine.

The wickets to fall during this period was Dunk (29), caught by wicket-keeper Ben McDermott, to American fast-bowler Ali Khan. Second to go, was Walton (45) also caught behind by McDermott with the score on 99.

Finally, Vancouver’s leading run scorer, South African Rassie van der Dussen (211 runs, average 42.2) perished for a paltry two runs.

However, Vancouver’s trio of late-order batters – West Indies star Andre Russell, Hong Kong Captain Babar Hayat and New Zealand’s Tim Southee – would ensure the Knights finished the innings with a flourish scoring 52 runs in the final three overs, including six mammoth sixes.

Winnipeg’s reply started in great anti-climactic fashion as Australian David Warner was out first ball, adding to a difficult tournament in which he recorded single-digit run totals in six of eight matches. He hit a catch to van der Dussen, the deep backward square leg boundary fielder, off Southee’s bowling.

Then, in the second over Trinidad and Tobago batsman Mark Deyal (6) also hit a lofted catch to Steven Jacobs at short mid-wicket, off left-arm quick Sheldon Cottrell, leaving Winnipeg precariously placed on 9/2 in two overs.

Simmons, the tournament-leading run scorer (321 runs, average 40.1), threatened to take the game to Vancouver, hitting three sixes and three boundaries in a 20-ball cameo for 35 runs.

During his knock, when he was on 34, Hayat dropped him on the mid-wicket fence from the bowling of Guyana off-spin bowler Steven Jacobs.

This dropped chance would not cost Vancouver, as Simmons would only add one more run, before he was stumped by Australian leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed.

Ahmed would also get his countryman McDermott (9) out, caught by Russell on mid-wicket fence, leaving Winnipeg in a shaky position in 63/4 in the seventh over.

The left-handed pair of South African David Miller and West Indian Darren Bravo gave Vancouver a minor scare hitting four sixes in the space of two overs.

Miller (17) would soon be out caught by Gayle at deep cover off Russell, before the umpires took the teams off for bad light and called an end to the game for the Duckworth/Lewis scenario.

“My challenge to the guys today was to continue playing the good cricket we have been playing,” said Miller. “We have been far the better team in this tournament and we deserve to be in tomorrow’s final.”