Ben McDermott’s unbeaten half-century and David Warner’s first fifty-plus score in competitive cricket in four months set up Winnipeg Hawks’ seven-wicket win in the high-scoring Eliminator game against Edmonton Royals at the Maple Leaf North-West Ground, King City on Thursday (July 12). Needing 184 for victory, Hawks got over the line with a delivery to spare to set up a date with Vancouver Knights for the Qualifier 2 game of the Global T20 Canada on Saturday.
A 76-run opening stand between Lendl Simmons and Warner, that came in only eight overs, set the tone for the chase. The West Indian raced away to 33 before being dismissed by Kevin O’Brien but a brisk 55-run partnership between Warner and McDermott kept Hawks on track.
The wicket of Warner in the 14th over came at an opportune time for Royals, who would have looked to put their opposition under more pressure. They managed to keep things quiet at one end, with Mark Deyal scoring only 12 off 16 balls, but McDermott ensured that the boundaries came at regular intervals as he brought down the equation to 17 off three overs. Hawks stuttered a bit in the last few overs but prevailed in the end.
Earlier, asked to bat first, Royals got off to a fiery start thanks to Luke Ronchi and Andre Fletcher, who needed less than five overs to bring up a half-century stand for the opening wicket. The departure of Ronchi didn’t have a bearing on the scoring rate as Agha Salman’s blitz (44 off 18), which included two sixes and two fours off Hiral Patel in the 10th over, helped Royals past 100 at the half-way stage of the innings.
At 113 for 1 after 10 overs, Royals were looking good for a 200-plus total but regular wickets hampered their progress in the second half. Rayad Emrit managed to pick up a four-wicket haul, as Royals could add only 70 in their last 10 overs.
Brief scores: Edmonton Royals 183/9 in 20 overs (Agha Salman 44, Andre Fletcher 41; Rayad Emrit 4-28) lost to Winnipeg Hawks 185/3 in 19.5 overs (Ben McDermott 65*, David Warner 55; Agha Salman 1-18) by 7 wickets.
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