Lamichhane returns with best figure but Nationals crash outWinnipeg set up second Qualifier clash with Brampton Wolves.
Sandeep Lamichhane returned with the best figure so far in the Global Twenty20 Canada but the Nepali leg-spinner could not avert his team’s defeat against Winnipeg Hawks in the Eliminator match at the CAA Centre in Brampton on Thursday.
In a high-scoring thriller, Toronto Nationals amassed 238-5 thanks to a scintillating century from South African international Heinrich Klaasen and equally brilliant half century from Rodrigo Thomas. JP Duminy overshadowed his South African compatriot Klaasen’s knock scoring a fiery 85 to seal a remarkable victory for Winnipeg.
Winnipeg were 201-5 when rain suspended the reminder of the game. Winnipeg won the match by two runs under Duckworth Lewis method and set the second Qualifier match against Brampton Wolves, who lost the first Qualifier clash against Vancouver Knights by 77 runs. The winners of the second Qualifier match on Saturday will play Vancouver for the title on Sunday.
Chasing a mammoth total, Winnipeg were in deep trouble after opener Shaiman Anwar (5) and Umar Akmal (1)—who fell to Lamichhane in the third over—lost their wickets cheaply. Duminy walked in at 27-2 and almost single-handedly steered his team to victory, aided partly by rain intervention. The 19-year-old Nepali spinner returned to dismiss Sunny Sohal (36) in the 13th over but Duminy remained firm at the other end. When rain suspended the game, Duminy was batting on 85. He hit eight fours and five sixes in his blistering 41-ball innings. Skipper Rayad Emrit also clobbered 15-ball 32 with three sixes and two fours.
Except for Lamichanne, Winnipeg batsmen spared none of the Nationals bowlers. Lamichhane returned with 2-34 from four overs, his 8.5 economy rate was by far the best of the Nationals bowlers. The globe-trotting Nepali spinner, who has played in the lucrative Indian Premier League and Australian Big Bash among other franchise cricket, returns home with five wickets from four matches.
Earlier, brutal knocks from Klaasen and Thomas helped the Nationals post 238-5 in 20 overs. Klaasen remained unbeaten on 106 while Thomas contributed 73. Klaasen slammed 11 fours and five sixes in his 49-ball knock, while Thomas struck seven boundaries and five sixes in his 40-ball 73. Mohammed Irfan and Kaleem Sana took two wickets each for Winnipeg. Winnipeg ignored the Nepali paceman Sompal Kami for the match.