Russell shines but Knights miss out on title
TORONTO, Canada (CMC):
Recovering West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell snatched a four-wicket haul and narrowly missed out on a half-century before facing and then bowling a nerve-jangling super over as the Winnipeg Hawks edged his Vancouver Knights in a dramatic Global T20 Canada final on Sunday.
Opting out of the recent T20 series against India after a flare-up of his chronic left-knee injury, the 31-year-old Jamaican showed little sign of discomfort in a Herculean performance that nearly got Knights over the line.
Sending down his medium pace, he claimed four for 29 from his complement of four overs as Hawks, sent in at the CAA Centre, reached 192 for eight off their 20 overs.
United Arab Emirates opener Shaiman Anwar slammed 90 from 45 balls with eight fours and seven sixes, posting a frenetic 73 off 36 balls for the first wicket with Australian Chris Lynn (37) before adding a further 81 for the third wicket with South African JP Duminy (33).
Russell removed Lynn in his first over – the sixth of the innings – and returned to prise out Sunny Sohal for one in the eighth over.
He returned to take his last two wickets in the penultimate over when he knocked over Kaleem Sana (5) and Umair Ghani (0) in successive deliveries.
Former West Indies batsman Dwayne Smith lasted just two balls for his one before missing one from speedster Ali Khan (2-30) and having his stumps rattled.
In reply, Knights got a top score of 53 from captain Shoaib Malik, while Russell blasted a sensational unbeaten 46 off just 20 balls to propel the Knights.
Saad Bin Zafar (27), South Africa batsman Rassie van der Dussen (23), and Daniel Sams (21) all chipped in with valuable contributions.
However, Knights still found themselves slumping at 53 for four in the eighth over after West Indies all-rounder and captain Rayad Emrit (2-37) removed both openers cheaply with his new-ball spell.
Shoaib then came to his side’s rescue in an 86-run, fifth-wicket stand with Bin Zafar before Russell arrived to dominate a 53-run, sixth-wicket partnership with Bin Zafar.
Arriving at the crease at the end of the 17th over, Russell was sensational in belting three fours and five sixes to haul Knights back into contention.
He smashed Emrit for two back-to-back sixes in the next over before single-handedly taking 21 runs from the penultimate over from Dutch pacer Paul van Meekeren.
With 17 runs required from the last over, Russell clobbered two sixes off the first three legitimate deliveries from left-arm pacer Kaleem Sana but could only manage two runs off the next three balls to tie the game.
In the super over, Russell hit a six off the first ball from Sana as Knights tallied nine runs but then failed to defend the total with the ball in hand.