GT20 Playoff 1 Report: Vancouver Knights Vs Cricket West Indies B Team

A stunning century from all-rounder Sherfane Rutherford powered Cricket West Indies B Team past a shellshocked Vancouver Knights and into Sunday’sGlobal T20 Canada Final.
 
The result means Vancouver and Winnipeg Hawks will contest Saturday’s third playoff match to determine who will be the opponents for Windies B.
 
Windies B, who had won their opening four matches, had lost their previous two games against Montreal Tigers and Vancouver by six-wickets and 35 runs, respectively.
 
When they won the toss and put Vancouver into bat, the young Windies side looked set to record their third loss as the Chris Gayle-led Vancouver side posted an imposing total of 215 runs.
 
Gayle, for once, played second fiddle in partnership with his fellow Jamaican opening partner Chadwick Walton, who got Vancouver off to a flying start bringing the team's 50 total up in the first five overs. 
 
Walton’s innings were his second half century of the tournament, following his 54 not out that helped eliminate Toronto Nationals on July 10. 
 
Windies B attempted their fight back when they got the wickets of Walton and Australian Ben Dunk (2) in the space of two overs, reducing the Knights to 78/2 in the seventh over.

 Walton was caught by wicket-keeper and Windies B captain Anthony Bramble attempting a pull shot off the bowling of left-arm paceman Obed McCoy, Windies B's leading wicket-taker of tournament with 11 scalps.

Dunk, was bowled out by medium pacer Rutherford chopping on his cut shot, onto his stumps.

Gayle was joined at the wicket by Vancouver’s top scorer for the competition, South African Rassie van der Dussen (23), and the pair consolidated the innings during a 50-run stand taking the score to 128/2 in the 12th over.

During this partnership, Gayle also registered his second half century of Global T20 Canada, following his 63 against the same opponent in game 14.

Aggressive quick-fire cameo innings from Hong Kong captain Babar Hayat (25) and Andre Russell (29) maintained the momentum that Gayle, Walton and van der Dussen set to help Vancouver set their competitive total.

In the field, Vancouver’s new ball pair of New Zealand’s Tim Southee and West Indies Sheldon Cottrell immediately ran through the Windies B top order.

Sharma Springer was the first to depart, in the opening over, brilliantly caught by Steven Jacobs at cover point off Southee’s bowling  Next to go was the key wicket of all-rounder Justin Greaves (1) caught on fine-leg boundary, also by an excellent catch by Australian Fawad Ahmed.

Finally, Brandon King (6) became Southee’s second wicket when he hit a catch to Dunk at mid-on, as Windies B collapsed 11/3 in the second over.

The 19-year-old Rutherford who hails from Guyana, previous tournament scores were; 22, 11, 5, 37, 5, 2. All were done as an opening batsman and in a few of those innings he had showed signs of his hitting power.

Nicholas Pooran (44) joined Rutherford and the left-handed duo counter-attacked magnificently during a whirlwind 130-run fourth wicket partnership. They hit towering sixes to all parts of the small Maple Leaf Cricket Clib venue, which left Chris Gayle and the experienced Vancouver bowling attack not knowing how to get them out.

When all-rounder Russell got Pooran out caught on the mid-wicket boundary, CWI needed 66 from 30 deliveries to win.

Rutherford, however, continued his batting assault as he brought up a memorable and career defining century off 50 deliveries by hitting Cottrell over the long-off boundary in the 16th over.

“It’s a very great feeling, I started the tournament very slow, I wasn’t getting that start,” said Rutherford.  "I was telling myself that before the tournament I have to at least get a big score and help my team and today was a perfect day and it paid off.”

Heading into the final over Windies B needed 13 to win and Rutherford was at the non-strikers end as Captain Anthony Bramble faced Canadian left-arm spinner Saad Bin Zafaar. Bramble would end up facing all the balls in that over and ended the game in style, hitting the final ball for six.
 
Brief Scores: Cricket West Indies B 221/4 in 20 overs (Sherfane Rutherford 134 not out, Nicholas Pooran; Tim Southee 2-39 defeats Vancouver Knights 215/6 in 20 overs (Chadwick Walton 54, Chris Gayle 50; Jeremiah Louis 2-39, Rutherford 2-25) by six wickets.