By Ravi Madholall in Toronto
West Indies “B” team continued their dominance in the inaugural Global T20 Canada tournament after inflicting a commanding nine-wicket win over Winnipeg Hawks at Maple Leaf ground, King City, Toronto, Thursday.
In a sizzling hot summer-day heat, Guyanese and skipper Anthony Bramble called correctly at the toss and invited Hawks to take first strike and they advanced to a competitive 151-8 off 20-overs.
The Caribbean boys were spectacularly led by Barbadian first-class opener Justin Greaves with an unbeaten 89 as they replied with 155-1 in 17.5 overs.
The 26-year-old Greaves found the boundary on 13 occasions and cleared it twice during his 58-ball innings while the right-handed also shared a handsome unbroken 130-run stand with Brandon King who contributed 44 runs.
West Indies “B” came into the six-team tournament as ‘Underdogs’ alluding to the fact there is a plethora of T20 stars representing various competing sides.
But they are proving effective in all aspects of their game.
They now have three victories from as many matches and still two more games before the completion of the preliminary round on Sunday while the next segment is slated to start Tuesday at the same facility.
They are also leading the points table with six points while Hawks slipped to four points (Second) having suffered two defeats from four outings.
Player-of-the-match Greaves opened the innings with Shane Rutherford but the left-handed Guyana player Rutherford was adjudged leg-before to axed West Indies fast-bowler Fidel Edwards. He headed back to the pavilion after scoring only five with the score on 30.
But once Greaves and the other right-hander King linked up there was no more fuss in the innings as the two batted with consummate ease on a good surface.
Greaves in particular showed great inclination to be aggressive having found the gaps to perfection on a relatively fast outfield.
Earlier, Australian David Warner (06), who took over the captaincy from Dwayne Bravo, again failed to make an impression with bat as he spooned a catch to wide mid-on for Greaves to take a running and tumbling catch off medium-pacer Derval Green. Bravo is in England plying his trade for Middlesex in the Vitality T20 competition.
Lendl Simmons, who partnered Warner, and number 3 batsman Ben McDermott put on 43 runs but once they were separated quickly for 45 and 32 respectively, Hawks confronted a middle-order collapse losing Darren Bravo for four and David Miller for 10.
Bramble used his bowlers well despite having a combination of spin and pace operated from both ends on a regular basis. He eventually called on eight bowlers and they did not disappoint in front of small but vocal crowd.
Mark Dyal supported Simmons and McDermott with a steady 24 not out as left-arm pacer Obed McCoy snatched three wickets for 39 runs from four overs. McCoy, the St. Lucian-born has taken his wicket-tally to 11 to be the top bowler.
At the presentation ceremony just after the game, Greaves stated that he was delighted to make a big contribution for his team today (Thursday) and will continue to work hard to score runs consistently.
The competition, which commenced last Thursday and is expected to conclude on July 15, will continue on Friday with one fixture. Vancouver Knights will engage Edmonton Royals from 11:00hrs.