By Ravi Madholall in Toronto
Montreal Tigers and Toronto Nationals have exited the inaugural Global T20 Canada six-team tournament after Winnipeg Hawks surged to an eight-wicket victory over Edmonton Royals on Wednesday at the Maple Leaf ground, King City, Toronto.
The third and fourth-place match between the Royals and Hawks provided a chance for the Tigers who won against top-of-the-table side West Indies ‘B’ in the first match of the second round of the tournament.
Hawks had to lose hugely against Royals but they (Hawks) stamped their authority to ensure bottom-place team Nationals and Tigers will no longer be featuring in the tournament that started late last month and is set to conclude on Sunday at the same facility from 15:00hrs.
In the other fixture, Vancouver Knights thrashed Toronto Nationals by a comprehensive eight-wicket margin to complete this round.
The Qualifiers stage will proceed from Thursday with a double-header as Winnipeg Hawks (third-place) clashing with Edmonton Royals (fourth-place) again at 16:00hrs while preceding this encounter will be the top teams West Indies ‘B’ and Vancouver Knights tackling each other from 11:00hrs.
The net-run-rate before the beginning of the final match in the second round was Hawks (0.444) and Tigers (-0.331) with the latter banking heavily on Royals to overwhelm Hawks in a heavy manner.
However, on Wednesday, it was another sun-drenched day at the sole tournament’s venue, as Winnipeg Hawks’ preference was to field first after skipper and Australian David Warner won the toss.
Royals began shakily losing Luke Ronchie for 15 before Agha Salman and young Canadian batsman Abrassh Khan posted up a steadied 62-run second-wicket stand.
Khan scored a solid 30 having taken by David Miller at short mid-wicket while Salman soon followed bowled by medium-pacer Rayad Emrit for 43 which counted seven boundaries on a relatively fast outfield.
Once that partnership broken just before the ‘Strategic Time Out’, things never got going positively for the Royals team as wickets fell regularly. Both spinners and pacers were operating greatly on a deceptive pitch again for the Hawks.
West Indies fast-bowler Fidel Edwards was on target picking up wickets in his first and second spells to finish with a player-of-the-match figure (4-0-19-4) while left-arm orthodox spinner and Canada player Hiral Patel, who was playing his first match, and medium-pacer Lendl Simmons offered wonderful assistance by claiming two wickets apiece.
When Hawks batted, out-of-form and disgraced Australian batsman David Warner decided to play a long innings and simultaneously get himself confidently ready for the qualifiers segment.
He was very meticulous initially having mixed solid defense with occasional aggression in an attractive 42 from 35 balls laced with six fours and a towering six before he was caught in the deep.
His opening companion Lendl Simmons once again demonstrated his fine form in the tournament and was well-entrenched for a third half-century of the competition but he was struck on his arm and was forced to retire hurt on 38.
By that time he punched four fours and three sixes in his 23-ball occupation at the crease.
Ben McDermott chipped in with 18 while Trinidadian Mark Deyal, who has been in prolific form, slammed an exciting 37 not out which came off 19 deliveries while his compatriot Darren Bravo came out unbeaten on four when victory was achieved with 20 balls remaining.