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MLC: Allen, Short star as San Francisco Unicorns down LA Knight Riders by 6 wickets

IANS | July 08, 2024 02:53 PM

DALLAS: San Francisco Unicorns registered a comprehensive six-wicket win against LA Knight Riders in the fourth match of the 2024 Major League Cricket.

Electing to bowl first at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas, San Francisco Unicorns limited the LA Knight Riders to 165/6, with debutant Broady Couch (2/24) and Harris Rauf (2/38) bagging two wickets each, before blistering half-centuries from Finn Allen (63) and Matthew Short (58) orchestrated a swift run chase for the Unicorns.

Andre Russell’s (40*) late surge proved too little for the LA Knight Riders, whose star batters such as David Miller (24), Shakib Al Hassan (35) and Jason Roy (26) failed to capitalise on their starts.

San Francisco Unicorns’ run chase saw opener Jake Fraser Mcgurk (9) fall early, caught behind on Spencer Johnson’s bowling. However, Finn Allen looked eager to make a quick meal of the target. The right-handed opener smashed Russell for two consecutive sixes in the fifth over, followed by three consecutive sixes of Shakib Al Hassan in the next over, to complete five maximums in just as many deliveries. At the end of the powerplay the Unicorns were firmly in the driver’s seat with a score of 67/1.

Opener Matthew Short switched gears following the powerplay, striking Corne Dry for two more sixes in the seventh over. In the eighth over, Fin Allen brought up his half-century in 23 deliveries, while Matthew Short continued to clear the ropes with ease, bringing up his half-century soon after in 23 balls too, comprising five sixes and three fours.

When the colossal 116-run stand between Allen and Short was finally dented by Sunil Narine in the 12th over, the Unicorns were cruising to their target, needing only 29 runs in 48 balls. While Finn Allen became Spencer Johnson’s second wicket of the night in the 13th over, Josh Inglis (15), Corey Anderson (11), and Hassan Khan (2) helped the Unicorns reach their target in 15.2 overs.

Spencer Johnson was the leading wicket-taker for the LA Knight Riders with figures of 3/36.

Earlier, San Francisco Unicorns bowlers did well to restrict the LA Knight Riders. By the end of the powerplay, LA Knight Riders were 42/2, having lost the wickets of Sunil Narine (6) and Unmukt Chand (0). Opener Jason Roy (26) looked threatening and cracked four boundaries in his 18-ball stint before he was cleaned up by Liam Plunkett in the seventh over.

The experienced Shakib Al Hassan (35), and Nitish Kumar (20) came together to put on the biggest partnership of the innings. The pair put on 45 runs in 31 deliveries in the middle overs before Abrar Ahmed and Brody Couch dismissed the pair in consecutive overs.

The dangerous David Miller (24) and the hard-hitting Andre Russell (40*) constructed a 34-run stand. However, Miller was scalped by Haris Rauf in the 17th over, just as the LA Knight Riders looked to step on the accelerator. Russell’s 25-ball cameo comprising three sixes and two fours guided them to 165/6.

Brief scores: LA Knight Riders 165/6 in 20 overs (Andre Russell 40*, Shakib Al Hassan 35; Brody Couch 2-24) lost to San Francisco Unicorns 166/4 in 15.2 overs (Finn Allen 63, Matthew Short 58; Spencer Johnson 3/36) by six wickets.

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