Zafar stars as clinical Knights lift Canada T20 title

Saad Bin Zafar’s all-round efforts, Sheldon Cottrell and Fawad Ahmed’s fine bowling performance, and a solid knock from Rassie van der Dussen helped Vancouver Knights lift the maiden Global T20 Canada title following a seven-wicket win over Cricket West Indies B team at the Maple Leaf North-West Ground, King City on Sunday (July 15). Having restricted CWI B to 145, Knights got over the line with 2.3 overs to spare.

Cottrell and Zafar did the early damage after Knights opted to bowl, reducing the Caribbean side to 30 for 3. Having managed only 37 in the first six overs, CWI B lost two more wickets after the powerplay to be reeling at 53 for 5. A 34-run stand for the sixth wicket between Kavem Hodge and Anthony Bramble aided in CWI B’s recovery but it wasn’t allowed to continue as Fawad struck in quick succession and finished with excellent figures of 3 for 24 from his four overs.

That CWI B managed to finish with a total in excess of 140 was due to Fabian Allen’s blitz as he struck a 23-ball 41, including three fours and three sixes. However, once he was dismissed by Zafar, CWI B couldn’t do much in the death, with Cottrell mopping up the tail to finish with 4 for 29, bowling out CWI B in the 18th over.

Knights didn’t have an ideal start to the chase as Chadwick Walton, Chris Gayle and Ben Dunk fell cheaply to leave then at 22 for 3. But Zafar and van der Dussen came up with a crucial partnership to get Knights back on track in the chase.

Zafar played the role of an aggressor, dealing in regular boundaries to bring up a 32-ball fifty. He collected eight fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 48-ball stay for 79 runs. Van der Dussen, who was happy to play second fiddle in the undefeated 126-run stand, hit the winning runs with a four off Allen in the 18th over to remain not out on 44.

Brief scores: CWI B 145 in 17.4 overs (Fabian Allen 41; Sheldon Cottrell 4-29, Fawad Ahmed 3-24) lost to Vancouver Knights 148/3 in 17.3 overs (Saad Bin Zafar 79*, Rassie van der Dussen 44*; Derval Green 2-20) by 7 wickets.

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