The San Francisco Unicorns completed a comprehensive victory with six wickets and 28 balls to spare against the LA Knight Riders in the fourth match of the 2024 Cognizant Major League Cricket. Electing to bowl first at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas, the Unicorns restricted the Knight Riders to 165/6. Debutant Brody Couch (2/24) and Harris Rauf (2/38) took two wickets each.

In response, blistering half-centuries from Finn Allen (63) and Matthew Short (58) orchestrated a swift run chase for the Unicorns. Despite Andre Russell’s (40*) late innings surge, the Knight Riders’ star batsmen, including David Miller (24), Shakib Al Hassan (35), and Jason Roy (26), failed to capitalize on their starts.

Matthew Short
Matthew Short hit 58 in San Francisco Unicorns win against LA Knight Riders. Photo courtesy of MLC/Andy Mead

The Unicorns’ run chase began with an early setback as opener Jake Fraser-McGurk (9) fell, caught behind off Spencer Johnson’s bowling. However, Finn Allen swiftly counter-attacked, smashing Andre Russell for two consecutive sixes in the fifth over, followed by three more off Shakib Al Hassan in the next over. By the end of the powerplay, the Unicorns were firmly in control at 67/1.

Matthew Short switched gears after the powerplay, striking Corne Dry for two more sixes in the seventh over. Finn Allen brought up his half-century in just 23 deliveries, followed soon by Short, who also reached his fifty in 23 balls, with five sixes and three fours. The 116-run partnership between Allen and Short was finally broken by Sunil Narine in the 12th over, but the Unicorns were already cruising, needing only 29 runs in 48 balls.

Despite Allen falling to Spencer Johnson in the 13th over, contributions from Josh Inglis (15), Corey Anderson (11), and Hassan Khan (2) saw the Unicorns reach their target in 15.2 overs. Spencer Johnson was the leading wicket-taker for the Knight Riders with figures of 3/36.

Earlier in the day, the Unicorns’ bowlers restricted the Knight Riders effectively. By the end of the powerplay, the Knight Riders were 42/2, having lost Sunil Narine (6) and Unmukt Chand (0). Opener Jason Roy (26) looked threatening but was cleaned up by Liam Plunkett in the seventh over. Shakib Al Hassan (35) and Nitish Kumar (20) put on a 45-run partnership before being dismissed in consecutive overs by Abrar Ahmed and Brody Couch.

David Miller (24) and Andre Russell (40*) then constructed a 34-run stand, but Miller was dismissed by Harris Rauf in the 17th over just as the Knight Riders looked to accelerate. Russell’s 25-ball cameo, which included three sixes and two fours, concluded with 15 runs off Harris Rauf in the final over.

Brief Scores:
San Francisco Unicorns 166/4 in 15.2 overs
(Finn Allen 63, Matthew Short 58, Spencer Johnson 3/36) beat LA Knight Riders 165/6 in 20 overs (Andre Russell 40*, Shakib Al Hassan 35, Jason Roy 26, Brody Couch 2/24).