Toronto: Winnipeg Hawks got their Global T20 Canada campaign off to a convincing start with a comfortable 46-run victory over Montreal Tigers at Maple Leaf Cricket Club in the second day of competition.
Similar to the opening game on Thursday, where Toronto Nationals skipper Daren Sammy won the toss and chose to field, Montreal Tigers captain and Sri Lanka legend Lasith Malinga did the same in blazing hot conditions.
Malinga immediately set the tone for his side by claiming the big wicket of David Warner (1), bowling the star Australian with a delivery that seemingly kept low and beat him for pace.
West Indian and Australian batting pair of Lendl Simmons and Ben McDermott immediately steadied Winnipeg Hawks innings with a quick-fire 69 run second-wicket partnership.
However just when Simmons (36) was looking to step his innings up to another gear, New Zealander George Worker bowling left-arm spin dismissed him bowled as he attempted a slog to the mid-wicket boundary.
Another period of batting consolidation occurred between wicket-keeper batsman Ben McDermott and Darren Bravo in an aggressive 76-run third-wicket partnership, with Bravo particularly finding his big hitting range, striking five sixes compared to McDermott’s lone six.
With five overs to go the score was 151-2. Both Darren Bravo and McDermott had scored their half centuries and at this stage Winnipeg Hawks now had the perfect platform to launch for a 200 score.
Initially it seemed like Montreal could prevent this as they dismissed both Bravo and McDermott in the space of two overs via Malinga and medium pacer Kevon Cooper’s bowling.
Malinga, who finished with superb fingers of 4-0-19-2, produced a vintage yorker delivery to send Bravo back to the pavilion.
Unlike game one where the 200-plus total was chased down with ease, Montreal never put together enough partnerships as they lost wickets at regular intervals, after key big hitting West Indian opener Dwayne Smith perished in the first over without scoring.
Winnipeg’s all-round team bowling performance was led by Captain Dwayne Bravo, United States fast-bowler Ali Khan and Canadian leg-spinner Junaid Siddiqui.
Play continues Saturday with the first doubleheader, featuring Toronto Nationals against Edmonton Royals in the first match followed by the Tigers taking on Cricket West Indies B Team.