Canada’s biggest cricket league, Global T20, has returned for its third season this year, bigger and bolder. The tournament started on July 20 at TD Cricket Arena in Brampton, Ont., and runs until Sunday, Aug. 6.
A total of six teams are competing against each other in a round-robin format, and this year two debutants, Mississauga Panthers and Surrey Jaguars, have joined the existing four teams: Toronto Nationals, Vancouver Knights, Brampton Wolves and Montreal Tigers.
The Tigers have showcased their exceptional skills and tenacity in the GT20, winning back-to-back matches against the Jaguars and Panthers. These two thrilling victories have solidified the team’s position in the tournament and have set the stage for the upcoming matches.
In their first encounter against Surrey Jaguars on July 21, the Tigers performed brilliantly with the ball. After winning the toss and electing to field, the Tigers’ bowlers took control by taking six wickets and restricting the Jaguars to 136. All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan demonstrated his prowess with the ball by taking three crucial wickets for just 18 runs in his four overs.
Following their convincing win against the Jaguars by five wickets, the Tigers carried their winning momentum into their subsequent encounter against the Panthers on July 23. In this match, the spotlight shifted to Tigers’ Kaleem Sana, who delivered a match-winning performance with the ball.
“We have done well in both bowling and batting and luckily won the toss twice,” Sana said post-match to the Toronto Observer. “We just have to maintain this momentum in the coming matches.”
The Panthers found themselves in trouble from the outset as Sana unleashed a fiery spell, taking three crucial wickets while conceding a mere eight runs in his four overs. Their top-order batsman Chris Lynn laid a solid foundation of 64 runs off 45 balls with 9 fours and 1 six, and then the middle-order ensured there were no hiccups to chase the runs.
Sana discussed how taking the most crucial wicket was instrumental in turning the game in their favour and ultimately leading them to victory.
“Getting Navneet Dhaliwal out at 46 was a game-changer for us,” Sana said post-match. “He was well settled on the crease and getting close to a half-century, so sending him off helped us.”
Sana’s economical bowling and Lynn’s fine form with the bat were pivotal in restricting the Panthers to 140 and contributed to the team’s win by seven wickets. With their consistent and impactful performances in both matches, Canadian fast bowler Kaleem Sana and Bangladesh All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan have further solidified their position as key players for the Tigers.
The win against Panthers demonstrated the team’s ability to adapt their strategy according to the opposition and showcased the depth of talent within the squad.