In a gripping encounter at Grand Prairie Stadium, Dallas, the Seattle Orcas emerged victorious over the San Francisco Unicorns by a margin of 35 runs in the fourth match of Major League Cricket. Heinrich Klaasen’s spectacular innings of 53 off 31 balls played a pivotal role in the Orcas’ triumph.

Heinrich Klaasen
Heinrich Klaasen produced a fine 53 as the Ocras beat the Unicorns convincingly.

After winning the toss, the Seattle Orcas elected to bat first. However, their start wasn’t ideal as explosive opener Quinton de Kock departed early, scoring just 9 runs within the first two overs. Nauman Anwar and Shehan Jayasuriya then joined forces, stabilizing the innings and crossing the 50-run mark during the initial powerplay. Unfortunately, Anwar’s wicket fell right at the end of the powerplay after contributing 30 runs. It was at this juncture that Heinrich Klaasen stepped onto the field and, together with Jayasuriya, crafted a magnificent partnership that propelled the Orcas to the 100-run milestone. Soon after, Jayasuriya lost his wicket for 33 runs, failing to build on his solid start.

Undeterred, Klaasen found his attacking rhythm alongside Shimron Hetmyer, propelling the Orcas beyond the 150-run mark. Klaasen’s vital half-century was eventually curtailed, but Hetmyer (36) and Shubham Ranjane (10) continued the onslaught on the Unicorns’ bowlers in the final overs. The Orcas amassed a formidable total of 177 runs for the loss of 4 wickets in their allotted 20 overs. Liam Plunkett claimed two wickets for the San Francisco Unicorns, while Haris Rauf and Corey Anderson took one wicket each.

In the second innings, the Unicorns’ openers Matthew Wade and Finn Allen provided a solid start, amassing 42 runs within the first three overs. However, Allen (28) lost his wicket, followed shortly by Wade (28). The Unicorns struggled thereafter, losing wickets at regular intervals and finding it challenging to regain their momentum. Marcus Stoinis (15), Aaron Finch (14), and Corey Anderson (12) all departed cheaply, resulting in the Unicorns losing five wickets by the 14th over.

Pakistani all-rounder Shadab Khan launched a late counter-attack, instilling hope in the Unicorns’ camp. Unfortunately, he lacked support from the other end, as Tajinder Singh (1), Chaitanya Bishnoi (1), and Liam Plunkett (2) failed to make significant contributions. Shadab Khan’s valiant effort of 37 runs proved insufficient to carry the Unicorns across the finish line, as he lost his wicket in the 18th over. With the fall of Carmi le Roux for a duck, the Unicorns’ innings came to an end, bowled out for 142 runs with two overs remaining. Cameron Gannon shone for the Orcas with the ball, clinching four wickets, while Andrew Tye and Imad Wasim claimed two wickets each. Harmeet Singh also chipped in with a wicket.

The final scorecard read: Seattle Orcas 177/4 (Heinrich Klaasen 53, Shimron Hetmyer 36*, Liam Plunkett 2/36) defeated San Francisco Unicorns 142 All Out (Shadab Khan 37, Finn Allen 28, Cameron Gannon 4/23) by 35 runs.