In a thrilling encounter at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas, the Washington Freedom showcased their clinical prowess, triumphing over the Texas Super Kings by a margin of six runs in the fifth match of Major League Cricket. The Freedom set a formidable target of 163/5 in their allotted 20 overs and then stifled the Super Kings’ chase, limiting them to 157/7.
Right from the outset, Marco Jansen set the tone for the Freedom, claiming an early wicket as he clean-bowled Devon Conway in the very first over. The Super Kings’ captain, Faf du Plessis, soon followed his opening partner to the pavilion, falling victim to Saurabh Netravalkar’s precision in the fourth over. With the scoreboard reading 21/2, the Super Kings found themselves in a precarious situation.
The troubles compounded for the Super Kings as Dane Piedt and Akeal Hosein wreaked havoc, dismissing David Miller, Milind Kumar, and Lahiru Milantha in quick succession. At 50/5 in 8.5 overs, the Super Kings were reeling. Mitchell Santner briefly injected some momentum into their innings with two sixes off Piedt’s bowling in the 12th over. However, his stay was cut short in the 14th over when Moises Henriques sent him packing.
But Dwayne Bravo refused to let the Super Kings surrender easily. The dynamic all-rounder took matters into his own hands, launching an assault with a flurry of boundaries and sixes. Bravo’s blistering knock of 56 off just 33 balls revitalized the Super Kings’ hopes, bringing the equation down to 27 runs required from the final over. In a valiant effort, Bravo managed to score 10 runs off the first three deliveries. However, Anrich Nortje delivered a brilliant final over, ultimately securing victory for the Washington Freedom.
Earlier in the day, after winning the toss, the Washington Freedom opted to bat first. Openers Matthew Short and Andries Gous provided a rapid start, accumulating 15 runs off the opening over. Short continued his aggressive stroke play as the Freedom reached a commendable 30/0 by the end of the third over.
Throughout the innings, Short faced the adversity of losing partners at the other end, but his composure remained unshaken. Displaying impeccable timing and skill, he crafted a magnificent innings of 80 runs from 50 deliveries. Short’s exceptional knock comprised of 10 boundaries and three sixes, propelling the Washington Freedom’s total to 135/4 after 16 overs. A brief cameo by Obus Pienaar, who contributed 18 runs off just 11 balls, bolstered the Freedom’s total to a respectable 163/5 at the end of their allotted overs.
Brief Scores: Washington Freedom 163/5 (Matthew Short 80, Moises Henriques 21, Gerald Coetzee 2/26) defeated Texas Super Kings 157/7 (Dwayne Bravo 76*, Mitchell Santner 22, Akeal Hosein 2/25) in a riveting encounter.