Amazing Rutherford hundred puts Windies B in final

Guyanese batsman Sherfane Rutherford.

TORONTO, Canada,  CMC – Teenager Sherfane Rutherford smashed a sensational hundred to hand West Indies B a dramatic last-ball win, as they chased down an imposing 216 to beat Chris Gayle’s Vancouver Knights by six wickets in the first Global T20 Canada qualifier here Thursday.

With the Caribbean side needing a single from the last ball of the match, wicketkeeper-batsman Anthony Bramble blasted left-arm spinner Saad Bin Zafar over long on for the second six of the over, to complete a remarkable run chase and put his side in the final.

Rutherford, the brilliant architect of the victory, finished on 134 from 66 balls to earn Man-of-the-Match honours, while Nicholas Pooran chipped in with 44 and Bramble, a cameo 23 not out.

Windies B were down and out at 11 for three in the third over before the 19-year-old Rutherford took matters into his own hands.

The right-hander belted 11 fours and 10 sixes, adding 130 for the fourth wicket with the left-handed Pooran who struck four fours and a pair of sixes in a 28-ball knock.

When West Indies star Andre Russell removed Pooran in the 15th over with still 75 runs required from 35 deliveries, Rutherford combined with fellow Guyanese Bramble to stun the Knights in an unbroken fifth wicket stand worth 80.

Rutherford had earlier snared two for 25 with his medium pace but Gayle hit exactly 50 from 44 balls while fellow Jamaican and West Indies star, Chadwick Walton, gathered a top score of 54, as Knights piled up 215 for six off their 20 overs at the Maple Leaf North-West Ground.

Walton faced 24 balls and counted six fours and four sixes, adding 73 from 33 balls with the left-handed Gayle who pounded four fours and three sixes in a more measured 44-ball stay at the crease.

Russell arrived near the end of the innings to produce a trademark cameo, striking 29 not out off 16 balls, including a four and three sixes.

Gayle held the innings together, putting on exactly 50 for the third wicket with Rassie van der Dussen (23) and a further 44 for the fourth with Babar Hyat (25), before falling at the end of the 16th over to a catch in the deep off seamer Jeremiah Louis (2-46)

Knights then crippled Windies B’s run chase, as Shamar Springer (0) holed out to cover off pacer Tim Southee to the fifth ball of the innings with one run on the board, and Justin Greaves (1) and Brandon King (6) followed in quick succession.

Rutherford, who had managed only 11 runs from his first 15 balls, then ripped into Australia leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed, belting three sixes and a four in the ninth over which gushed 25 runs.

He raced to his half-century off another 13 balls and never eased up, as he destroyed the Knights bowling with audacious hitting on both sides of the wicket.

Rutherford notched a pair of sixes off New Zealander Southee in the 12th over which went for 20 and then lashed another two sixes off West Indies left-arm speedster Sheldon Cottrell – the second of which saw him to three figures off 50 balls.

Pooran joined in, twice clearing the ropes with Fawad Ahmed in the 14th over before falling to a catch in the deep in the next over.

With 27 runs needed from the last 12 balls, Rutherford struck Russell for a straight six and followed up with a couple of boundaries, leaving Windies B requiring 13 runs from the final over.

The first two deliveries yielded four runs and when Bramble cleared the ropes at long off with the third ball, the result was then virtually beyond doubt.

In the other match played, seamer Rayad Emrit took four for 28 and fellow Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies player Lendl Simmons scored 33, to help Winnipeg Hawks beat Edmonton Royals by seven wickets.

Disgraced Australia opener David Warner top-scored with 55 in his side’s successful run chase.

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