By Ravi Madholall in Toronto
Famously known for his shrewd off-spin, West Indian Sunil Narine continued to make a huge impression with the bat having slammed a blistering 59 on Friday to spur Montreal Tigers to a 24-run win over Winnipeg Hawks, who won the toss and elected to field.
It was the second match of the 2019 Global T20 taking place at the lone tournament venue, CCA Centre in Brampton, Toronto.
The left-handed Trinidadian Narine opened the batting and immediately went about his admirable aggression on a lightning-fast outfield.
Montreal Tigers were able to notch up a challenging 135-3 from the reduced 12-overs while the Hawks only replied with 111-5 when the overs ran out.
Narine’s compatriot Dwayne Bravo bowled the other opener Kyle Coetzer for 11 in the fourth over but Narine found a willing ally New Zealander Anton Devcich who also portrayed great belligerence. They stitched together a steady 65-run second-wicket stand with Narine belting five sixes and four fours from his 30-ball exhibition. Anton, another left-hander, gave the relatively large crowd additional entertainment to cheer on consistently by hoisting three sixes and hitting two exquisite fours. Bravo was the only bowler delivered with any sort of accuracy, however maintaining an excellent line and length to finish with 1-16 from three overs while the Tigers lost their two other batsmen via the run-out route.
Fully cognizant of the healthy asking rate of 11.25 runs per over, Winnipeg Hawks expected Barbadian hard-hitting batsman Dwayne Smith and Pakistani Umar Akmal to provide a good start but the former was bowled by fast-bowler Sean Abbott for 9. However, Akmal and South African veteran batsman JP Duminy repaired the early damage with a promising 52-run second wicket partnership but once they were separated, wickets fell quite rapidly to diminish their efforts.
Akmal departed for a 30-ball 40 which included four sixes and three fours having caught by wicket-keeper Mathew Cross to medium-pacer Mohammad Naveed.
Duminy played few exciting shots in his enterprising 30 which counted three sixes and two boundaries. Apart from Naveed’s 2-26 from his maximum three overs, there was a wicket each for Fawad Ahmed, Abbott and Nikhil Dutta.
The actions are scheduled to resume on Saturday with a double-header. At 12:30hrs, Edmonton Royals will trade punches with Toronto Nationals while debutant Brampton Wolves and Montreal Tigers will do battle just after the completion of that game.
The other participating Franchise is Vancouver Knights who pulled off an emphatic eight-wicket victory to commence their defense against Toronto Nationals Thursday. The second tournament is slated to conclude on August 11 with lucrative monetary prizes at stake.