(SNO) – Johnson Charles made a quickfire 30 runs off just 12 balls, including four fours and two sixes, and captain Daren Sammy added an unbeaten 22 off 10 (two fours, two sixes) on Thursday night as the Toronto Nationals beat the Vancouver Knights by six wickets in the opening match of the inaugural Global T20 Canada at the Maple Leaf Cricket Club Ground.
Anton Devcich struck a destructive 92 not out as the Nationals chased down a target of 228 to win against the Chris Gayle-led Knights, for whom Evin Lewis struck 96. For Sammy’s Nationals, Canadian spinner Nikhil Dutta held his own with impressive figures of 4-0-26-2.
The Nationals had to overcome a bad start in the chase, when New Zealand’s Tim Southee bowled Hong Kong’s Nizakat Khan in the first over.
Australia’s Steve Smith joined Saint Lucia’s Johnson Charles, and Smith added 61 useful runs. Smith’s 91-run third wicket alliance with Devcich set the platform for victory, with big hitters Kieron Pollard and Daren Sammy to come.
Pollard was dismissed cheaply, but Devcich showed his muscle, notably hitting Russell for three sixes in the 19th over, before Sammy finished things off by hitting Canadian fast bowler Jeremy Gordon for a straight six.