In the third game of the tournament, Sohail Tanvir-led Edmonton Royals (EDR) who were playing their first game of this tournament won the toss and opted to field first. They started excellently as they nipped out the top 4 Toronto Nationals (TTN) batsmen cheaply and were in command at 33/4.
But a very good rear-guard knock from Nitish Kumar and contributions from Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy along with a flourishing finish from Mohammad Naveed helped TTN to get to 169/7.
Chasing 8.50 runs per over, EDR were off to a phenomenal start as they fetched 93 runs in the powerplay to almost kill the game. Luke Ronchi struck an attractive and attacking 18-ball 47 (he was on 39 off 11 balls at one point). Andre Fletcher then took over after Ronchi’s dismissal as he scored an unbeaten 68 and led EDR to an 8-wicket win.
#5 Canadian skipper Nitish Kumar top scores for TTN with 55
There are quite a few stars around whom headlines can be created in this Global T20 Canada tournament. However, some of the local players and a few unknown players will tend to do well and come in the spotlight.
In this game, Canada’s cricket team skipper Nitish Kumar was the top-scorer as he struck a very good 37-ball 55. He started with a bang as he got off the mark with a six over mid-wicket after facing 3 dot balls. That was just the beginning as he kept going from his end and also shared a good 56-run stand with Kieron Pollard.
In his 37-ball stay at the crease, he hit 4 fours and 3 sixes which helped TTN get back on track.
#4 Toronto top-order implodes in the powerplay
In the last game, Toronto Nationals chased down 228 as the top-order contributed really well. Johnston Charles scored quick-fire cameo while Steve Smith made a well-made 61 and Anton Devcich scored a blazing 44-ball 82.
In a bid to replicate a similar innings, Toronto lost 4 wickets in the powerplay, losing every batsman in the top 4. Nizakat Khan went early as he nicked one from Sohail Tanvir to the keeper. Charles, who struck a decent boundary off tall Mohammed Irfan went for an encore as he found mid-off with his lofted drive.
The last game heroes Smith and Devcich came together and for a brief period it did look like the two were going to bail TTN once again. But the latter mishit one of his slogs to mid-on while Smith pulled one straight to deep square-leg. Devcich made 13 and on the other hand, Smith scored a run-a-ball 10.
TTN were reduced to 33/4 in the 6th over as all the top 4 batsmen were back in the hut.
#3 Mohammad Naveed’s late blitz lifts TTN to 169
Mohammad Naveed has been one of the regular members of the UAE side for the last few years. But his ability with the bat has always been underrated. His strike-rate in both List ‘A’ and T20s has been mighty impressive (in excess of 110).
Naveed walked out to bat at the end of the 17th over in this game (at 136/6) and with Darren Sammy dismissed the next ball, TTN were in danger of not playing out the 20 overs. But Naveed struck a good 13-ball 26 as his cameo lifted TTN to 169.
The UAE pacer his first delivery for a boundary before struggling against Mohammed Irfan in the 19th over. But he made amends in the last over as he struck 3 sixes off the first three deliveries in the final over to give TTN some much needed momentum going into the innings break.
#2 An incredible 93-run powerplay
170 was going to be tricky as it was the third game that was being played on the same track. It seemed to have dried up and it did look a touch slow. But that didn’t affect Luke Ronchi as he went bonkers in the first couple of overs as he struck 9 boundaries (8 fours and 1 six) in the first two overs.
The third over was a very eventful one as Mohammad Naveed bowled a high no-ball (which went for four byes) before castling Ronchi off a free-hit and was also hit for a six. EDR raced off to 59 in the first three overs before Ronchi was dismissed in the 4th over. But Andre Fletcher continued the carnage as he hit Kesrick Williams for 4 fours and 1 six in the span of two overs.
EDR finished the powerplay with 93 as every over barring the 5th went for 12 runs or more.
#1 Andre Fletcher scores an unbeaten 68 as EDR stroll through the chase
After the blazing powerplay where EDR scored 93, the required rate was less than 6 and Andre Fletcher and Agha Salman continued the carnage as they shared a 73-run partnership for the second wicket before the latter was dismissed by Kieron Pollard.
They did slow down a bit after the powerplay but they literally strolled to victory as Fletcher scored an unbeaten knock of 68 in 39 balls. He was a mere spectator when Luke Ronchi was going berserk in the first few overs but once he was back in the hut, the 30-year-old Windies opener took over. He scored 7 fours and 4 sixes in his innings as he helped EDR get off to a winning start in this Global T20 Canada tournament.