By Ravendra Madholall
Winnipeg Hawks are the 2019 Global T20 champions having dethroning Vancouver Knights in the Super-Over last Sunday at the CAA Centre, Brampton.
After the pulsating contest was tied with both teams chalking up 192 each from the allotted 20-overs, Winnipeg Hawks made nine runs and then restricted the Knights to seven in the decisive over.
The six-team tournament final, which began on July 25, was watched by a capacity 7,500 crowd in glorious sunshine.
Vancouver Knights, who won trophy at the inaugural 2018 season, won the toss and invited Hawks to take first strike. Hawks began their innings in enterprising fashion as their two openers Chris Lynn and player-of-the-match Shaiman Anwar posted a flamboyant 73-run opening stand in just six overs.
The right-handed Anwar hit a robust 45-ball 90 which counted seven towering sixes and eight fours. Lynn who was also belligerent struck three sixes and four fours from 21 balls.
After West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell removed Lynn, the Jamaican then accounted for Sonny Sohal for 1 run. However, Anwar continued to bat with great freedom on a responsive pitch. He and South Africa ace batsman JP Duminy participated in a steady 81-run third-wicket stand before Duminy was bowled by USA fast-bowler Ali Khan.
Barbadian and West Indies batsman Dwayne Smith (01) and skipper Reyad Emrit (06) fell in quick succession as Russell and Ali bowled a good line and length to keep things relatively slow towards the completion of the innings.
Russell, who bowled a decent right-arm medium-pace, snared four wickets for 29 runs from four overs while Ali grabbed two for 24, while right-arm medium-pacer Ryan Pathan took two for 30 off his three-over spell.
Vancouver Knights, without batsmen Chris Gayle who returned West Indies to play against India in one-day series, began their chase precariously.
The consistent Chadwick Walton and his opening partner Tobias Visee failed to make an impression on this occasion when they fell to pacer and Trinidadian Emrit in the second over for 01 and 00 respectively.
Veteran South African batsman He van der Dussen (23) and Daniel Sams (21) linked up and put up a strong fight by sharing a promising 37-run third-wicket stand before both perished to quickie Paul van Meekeren.
At 53-4, Pakistani Shoaib Malik and Canadian all-rounder Saad Bin Zafar consolidated the innings with an impressive 86-run fifth-wicket stand before Malik was run out for a 36-ball 64, which was laced three sixes and six fours.
Russell arrived at the crease and immediately spanked three massive sixes over long-on and two attractive fours to pull things dramatically back for the Knights. The thirty-one-year old Russell once again demonstrated his all-round capability blasting an unbeaten 46 from 21 balls. Needing to get three runs off the final delivery, Zafaar fell short of his crease having attempted a third run.