Rassie Van Der Dussen
Rassie Van Der Dussen top scored with an unbeaten 65. Photo courtesy of https://gt20.ca/

By Ravi Madholall in Toronto
Vancouver Knights began their defense in auspicious manner after defeating Toronto Nationals by a comprehensive eight-wicket margin on Thursday at the CCA Centre, Brampton, Toronto.

The second edition of the Global T20 once again featuring six franchises and is set to run until August 11 with the championship contest at the same venue.

At the above mentioned day, Vancouver Knights called correctly at the toss and inserted Toronto Nationals to bat first on a responsive pitch under a blue sky.

However, they only managed an insufficient 159-5 from the maximum 20-overs while the Knights cantered home reaching 162-2 with 16 balls remaining.

Opener Chadwick Walton provided rich entertainment in his scintillating, unbeaten 59 including four sixes and four fours from 35 balls while the Jamaican right-handed batsman also shared an exciting, unbroken 126-run third-wicket stand with South African Rassie Van Der Dussen who contributed a respected 65 that contained three sixes and four fours.

After losing their skipper Chris Gayle for only 12 bowled by medium-pacer Mark Montfort, Walton still continued to play quite aggressively and also witnessed the departure of Tobias Visee who made 20 caught off the bowling of quickie Jeremy Gordon. They pair of Walton and Rassie Van Der Dussen linked up at 36-2 in the fifth over but from there on, the innings never lost its facile momentum.

Earlier, the first five overs of the tournament were understandably tense as experienced opening batsman Brendon McCullum and Ricardo Thomas looked watchful. The former New Zealand skipper McCullum did not stay long at the crease having succumbed for 4. The elegant Canadian left-hander Thomas showed some sort of aggression with a few attractive boundaries before he was departed for 41 though, striking three fours and similar number of fours.

Heinrich Khaaled was also in fine form scoring an attacking 41 which tallied three sixes and two fours while hard-hitting West Indian middle-order batsman Keiron Pollard immediately made his flamboyant presence by hitting 30 not out. Skipper and ex-India successful all-rounder Yuvraj Singh scored 14 after batting at number four. Ali Khan, Andile Phehlukwayo, James Rippon, Saad Bin Zafar and Rizwan Cheema claimed a wicket each. At the presentation, Walton was given the player-of-the-match award.

The action continues on Friday with one more match commencing at 16:30hrs at the same facility. Montreal Tigers colliding with Winnipeg Hawks. The Hawks will be led by the famous versatile all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, who represented West Indies in all three formats while George Bailey, the Australian all-rounder is at the helms of the Tigers. The weekend will have double-headers both days.