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Gayle's Vancouver Knights win inaugural Canada T20 title


KING CITY, Ont. — Saad Bin Zafar has hit an unbeaten 79 to help the Chris Gayle-led Vancouver Knights clinch the inaugural Global T20 Canada cricket title Sunday with a seven-wicket win over West Indies B.

Vancouver reached 148-3 with 15 balls to spare in reply to West Indies B's 145 all out in 17.4 overs.

Zafar plundered eight boundaries and three sixes in his match-winning 48-ball innings. Zafer and Rassie van der Dussen joined with Vancouver in trouble at 22-3, and with Gayle already back in the pavilion for just 2 runs.

"This was surreal. It was a bit intimidating to play under Gayle because I'm a big fan and 10 years ago I took a picture with him," said Zafar. "But he's been a supportive captain. He trusted me and gave me responsibility and I'm glaCRI-Global I could live up to it"

Zafar and van der Dussen advanced Vancouver to 100-3 in 13.1 overs with the run-rate down to one-a-ball, and shared an overall fourth-wicket stand of 126.

"Saad's job was to consolidate the innings for us, but he actually brought it home," said Gayle. "Everyone played a role for us in this tournament and I'm very happy with Saad's performance in the final."

Van der Dussen hit the winning boundary to finish 44 not out off 41 balls.

Zafar hit 14 runs — a six and two fours — off the last three balls of the 11th over by Sherfane Rutherford — and a further two boundaries against Derval Green (2-20) in the next over as the run chase began to look comfortable.

Earlier, West Indies B struggled with the bat after losing the toss in the last game of the six-team competition. Allrounder Fabian Allen provided the only serious resistance with a 23-ball 41, including three fours and three sixes.

Jamaica-born Sheldon Cottrell took 4-29 for Vancouver and leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed 3-24.

"Happy to be on the winning side, but I can't take away anything from West Indies B," said Gayle. "They've beaten everyone in the tournament and they made it to the final. I do want to commend my players for pulling this off. Our batting and bowling has been excellent throughout."

The tournament in Canada bought together some of the most exciting players in the T20 format, the quickest version of international cricket. The drawcards included Australians Steve Smith and David Warner, who are serving 12-month bans from international cricket imposed by their national association for their involvement in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March.

 

The Associated Press

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