Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Northern Districts batsman Kane Williamson hit a brilliant half-century to lead his side to a convincing seven-wicket win over the Southern Express in Raipur.
Due to heavy rain the day before and prior to the start of the game, the match was cut down to 10 overs per side.
Northern Districts captain Daniel Flynn would have been regretting his decision to bowl first as Kusal Perera and Danushka Gunathilaka amassed a 55-run partnership, which came courtesy of six drops in a short period of time, before Perera was finally caught by Trent Boult at deep square leg off the bowling of Scott Styris for 37.
Gunathilaka ended up scoring 39 runs before he was clean bowled by Boult.
Boult struck again just three balls later when Southern Express skipper Jehan Mubarak was caught behind for one run.
Angelo Perera only made one run before he was caught by Anton Devcich at long-on off the bowling of Tim Southee.
Seekkuge Prasanna scored seven runs before he was run out by Devcich off the last ball of the match.
Southern Express eventually finished on 92/5 off their 10 overs.
Boult was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Southee and Styris chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 93 to win, the Northern Districts got off to a brisk start before Devcich was caught by Kusal Perera at short fine leg off the bowling of Farveez Maharoof for 14.
Flynn mustered 14 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Dilruwan Perera.
Williamson scored a magnificent 52 off 29 balls, which included seven boundaries and a six, before he was cleaned up by Maharoof.
Daniel Harris and Styris mopped up the remaining runs to lead Northern Districts to a comfortable seven-wicket win.
Maharoof was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Perera claimed one.
Mubarak was disappointed with his team’s performance, and said: “It would have been pretty good if Kusal had gone on. It was hard for the guys to come in and get going. 92 was probably too few. In the next couple of matches we need to finish our innings better.”
Flynn was pleased to have won the match, and said: “The first ten overs didn’t go the way we liked. We fought back well and it was a top knock from Kane. It’s been unfortunate with the weather recently, but we got the result tonight. It’s great to play in front of a crowd like this.”
Williamson was named Man of the Match, and said: “Some balls stuck in the pitch and others skidded on, so it was interesting out there. They had a good score, so it was nice to get some partnerships going and chase it down.”