CWI B Team got out of jail and they won their second game in a row as they beat Edmonton Royals by 3 wickets in the Global Canada T20 match.
After winning the toss and opting to field first, CWIB had an excellent start as they had EDR in all sorts of trouble at 29/3. Farhaan Behardien steadied the ship before a 17-ball blitz from Kevin O Brien where he scored 49 gave the innings some much-needed impetus. EDR were bowled out for 155 as they didn’t even bat out the full 20 overs.
In reply, CWIB were in all sorts of strife before Jamaican all-rounder Fabian Allen took them home single-handedly with 2 overs to spare. He struck an unbeaten 30-ball 75 which helped CWIB climb to the top of the table.
#5 Disastrous powerplay for the Royals
Edmonton Royals, who had a phenomenal powerplay in their first game, where they scored 93 in the first 6, had a forgettable one this time as they lost 3 wickets and could only manage 35 in the first 6 overs.
Unlike the last game, both openers Luke Ronchi and Andre Fletcher, started off cautiously. But they couldn’t last beyond the third over as both of them were dismissed by left-arm spinner Kavem Hodge off consecutive deliveries in almost similar fashion.
Pakistan all-rounder Agha Salman was the next to go in the powerplay as he perished to a very good catch at third man. He tried to upper-cut one off Obed McCoy and Shamar Springer ran towards his right and timed his jump well to take a good catch.
EDR slipped to 29/3 at that moment and a six off the final ball in the powerplay pushed them to 35 at the end of the 6th over.
#4 Kevin O Brien’s blitz
Kevin O'Brien hadn’t quite had the best of times of late with the bat. His highest score was 28 in his last 10 innings which included a couple of List ‘A’ games as well.
However, his striking form returned and it came to EDR’s rescue. Walking out to bat at No. 7 and with the Royals in deep trouble at 67/5, O'Brien struck a decimating 49 in just 17 deliveries to take his team to some sort of respectability. He struck his second ball for six and it meant that his intentions were clear.
He then went after every bowler that was introduced into the attack and hit a brutal 49. He struck 3 fours and 5 sixes in his innings and when he was dismissed, EDR had reached 131 in 16 overs.
#3 Poor finish from the Royals and some good death bowling from CWIB
Kevin O'Brien’s blazing 17-ball 49 had given the Royals some impetus in the middle overs. Between overs 11 and 16, when O'Brien was at the crease, EDR scored 64 runs.
However, the lower order couldn’t quite capitalize and build on that knock and momentum. Farhaan Behardien (29) who walked in at No. 4 failed to get going towards the death. Shahid Afridi (13) and Wayne Parnell (2) couldn’t do much either as EDR could only manage 24 runs in their final 4 overs (3.4 overs). The Royals could get to only 155 and were bowled out in the 20th over.
Left-arm pacer Obed McCoy bowled really well at the death as he took 3 of the last 4 wickets to fall and finished with figures of 4/22. Sherfane Rutherford did well too as he went for just 14 in his last two overs and also picked up the wicket of Wayne Parnell.
#2 CWIB’s top-order falls apart in the first 10 overs
Chasing 156 was not a big ask but they did need some partnerships going. But that didn’t happen as they were reduced to 66/6 in the first 10 overs.
After a couple of good overs at the top, they lost a couple of wickets in the powerplay but were in good stead at 42/2. But after the powerplay, they kept losing wickets as Pakistan spinner Hasan Khan took 3 wickets in his first two overs and Shahid Afridi dismissed Nicholas Pooran (who scored a match-winning fifty in the last game) to leave CWIB in tatters at 66/6.
None of the top 7 batsmen could get past the 20-run mark. Opener Justin Greaves was the highest scorer in the top 7 as he got 19. All the Royals’ bowlers bowled well as they not only kept it tight but also picked up wickets at regular intervals in the first half of the chase.
#1 Fabian Allen single-handedly takes CWIB home
At 66/6, with another 90 needed, the game seemed dead and buried and it did seem that the last 4 wickets were mere formalities. However, Fabian Allen, who walked out to bat at No. 8, had other plans.
Allen has played just 12 first-class games and 6 List ‘A’ games in his short two-year career so far. But the way he struck the ball to all corners of the ground was a treat to everyone present at the Maple Leaf North-West Ground, King City.
He hit his first ball for a four to mid-wicket before fetching 21 runs in the 12th over off EDR’s most successful bowler Hasan Khan. He then hit Shahid Afridi for a four and three back-to-back sixes as he raced to 46 off just 13 deliveries.
He got to fifty off his 18th delivery and was dropped the next ball. CWIB were 132/7 at that stage and that wicket could’ve turned the game. But that proved to be costly as CWIB strolled home from that point.
Fabian Allen finished with a fabulous 30-ball 75 as he got CWIB out of jail to bag their second successive win.