Vancouver Knights’ finals dream crushed at GT20

Tigers outshine Knights twice

BRAMPTON, Ont - Aug. 5 - Vancouver Knights' Nawab Singh congratulating his fellow Canadian player Kaleem Sana of the Montreal Tigers after their win. The Tigers beat the Knights by one wicket during Qualifier 2 of GT20 Season 3 at the TD Cricket Arena. (Kashish Dhawan photo) 

BRAMPTON, Ont: Qualifier 1 of the playoffs at Global T20 Season 3 was filled with a power pact performance from the Surrey Jaguars and Vancouver Knights. Debutants Jaguars stormed into the finals as they defeated the Knights by 38 runs on Aug. 4. The Knights, despite being the most successful team of GT20, faced a hard time this year to secure a spot in the finale.

The Knights held the second spot in the points table with nine points, so they got another opportunity to pave their path to the finals. Their journey to the championship depended on their performance in Qualifier 2, where a victory would secure their place in the coveted title match. This set the stage for a nail-biting clash between the Montreal Tigers and the Knights for the third time this season.

The face-off was like a roller-coaster ride, with momentum swaying unpredictably between the two fiercely competitive teams. The Tigers’ exceptional display with the bat and ball helped them reach the finals as they beat the Knights by one wicket.

BRAMPTON, Ont – Aug 5 – Vancouver Knights celebrating after taking the wicket of Dilpreet Singh Bajwa. The Tigers beat the Knights by one wicket during Qualifier 2 of GT20 Season 3 at the TD Cricket Arena. (Kashish Dhawan photo)

The Knights were close to victory as the Tigers had already lost nine wickets by the end of the 18th over, but one wrong call of sending bowler Rayyan Pathan for the last over with Sherfane Rutherford at strike cost them their ticket to the finale.

Knights Captain Rassie van der Dussen discussed the decision to send Pathan in the last over.

“Rutherford has performed quite well against Allen as they have played together and against each other in the past,” he said during the post-match. “It was a collective and calculated decision. We took a gamble and planned to get Rutherford out by the 20th over, but it didn’t work out.”

Despite an early setback with the dismissal of Vriitya Aravind in the first innings, the Knights managed to get a steady start, with Mohammad Rizwan and Corbin Bosch taking control of the game. The powerplay concluded with the Knights at 35, losing one wicket. Another successful partnership between Rizwan and Bosch added 57 runs for the team. However, the momentum shifted quickly when the Knights lost four wickets in just as many deliveries.

The innings went from 90/1 to 90/5 as Bosch triggered the collapse with Afridi’s bowling and a catch by Muhammed Waseem. The following two deliveries of the over led to Afridi’s hat-trick as he dismissed Rassie Van Der Dussen and Najibullah Zadran on duck. Following this, Fabian Allen was Abbas Afridi’s fifth victim of the day. All-rounder Harsh Thaker provided the Knights with crucial 17 runs in the death overs and his team finished at an above-par score of 137/6.

During their innings, the Tigers faced an early hiccup with dismissals during the powerplay. However, Dipendra Singh Airee and Rutherford’s strong partnership of 43 runs off 46 balls brought stability to the innings. Big-hitter Rutherford again played a pivotal role and remained unbeaten with a crucial 48 runs to his name. His last-over heroics, smashing three consecutive sixes, led the team to the finals.

“The key for me was to keep batting, keep taking it in deep because the more I am batting, the more confident it starts to get,” Rutherford said during the post-conference. “I knew they were short of a bowler and would not bring Allen.”

The Montreal Tigers’ triumph set the stage for an epic grand finale against the formidable Surrey Jaguars, promising fans another clash. The Tigers’ journey to the finals embodies their ability to transcend challenges and deliver extraordinary performances precisely when they matter the most.

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Posted: Aug 7 2023 5:08 pm
Filed under: Cricket Sports