By Ravendra Madholall
Pakistan opening batsman Mohammad Rizwan struck an impressive, unbeaten 68 to lead Vancouver Knight Riders to a convincing nine-wicket win against Montreal Tigers on Tuesday when action continued in the 2023 Global T20 at Brampton Sports Park.
The diminutive right-handed Rizwan caressed ten fours and a six to help his team reach 103 with 31 balls remaining, in response to the Tigers’ modest 99 all out in the penultimate over.
Rizwan and Corbin Bosch also shared an eventful, unbeaten 82-run second-wicket stand.
Vancouver Knight Riders lost Fakhar Zaman for 4 but once Rizwan and his fellow right-handed Bosch linked up, the innings never lacked momentum on a placid pitch.
Bosch was left not out on 28 with three fours from 29 balls while Rizwan occupied the crease for 54 deliveries.
Jamaican and West Indies dynamic all-rounder Andre Russell was the wicket-taker, having bowled Zaman.
Earlier, Vancouver Knight Riders won the toss and without hesitation elected to bowl.
The decision was vindicated as they picked up wickets at regular intervals, leaving the table-topper Montreal Tigers tottering at 28-4.
They lost skipper Chris Lynn without scoring while Dilpreet Singh and Guyanese batting talent Sherfane Rutherford departed for 14 and 01 respectively.
Opener Muhammad Waseem provided some resistance by scoring a defiant 28.
As wickets continued tumbling, Dipendra Singh Airee scored a fighting 24 while Russell (12) and his fellow West Indian Carlos Brathwaite (08) perished in quick succession.
Left-arm seamer Ruben Trumpelmann, who removed the in-form Rutherford taken by skipper Rassie van der Dussen at mid-on, also accounted for Russell and Brathwaite to finish with 3-8 from his maximum four overs.
Another seamer Junaid Siddique also captured three wickets but conceded 27 runs off 3.3 overs and Bosch with 2-16 from four overs as well to complement a fine all-round show.
The 31-year-old Rizwan was named player-of-the-match for his outstanding batting display.
Meanwhile, in the preceding fixture, Surrey Jaguars surged to a dominant six-wicket triumph over defending champions Brampton Wolves with 11 balls unused.
Brampton Wolves took first strike at the invitation of Surrey Jaguars and only rallied along to an inadequate 128-9 from the allotment of the 20-overs. Jaguars achieved victory in the 19th over, with a solid, unbeaten knock of 59 from experienced Bangladesh batsman Litton Das. He got useful support from captain Iftikar Ahmed who helped formalized things with 38 not out.
For Brampton Wolves, Colin de Grandhomme stroked 34 to be the principal scorer. Ammar Khalid, Ayaan Khan and Matthew Forde grabbed two wickets each for the victorious combination. Das copped the player-of-the-match award.
The competition is set to culminate Sunday with action commencing from noon.
Despite the defeat, the Tigers are still roaring at the top with nine points from seven games while the Riders have moved up to number four with seven points from six encounters. Jaguars are occupying the number 2 spot with eight points in their six outings while Wolves are also on eight points but played seven games. Toronto Nationals and Mississauga Panthers are languishing at 5 and 6 respectively.