Major League Cricket playoff lineup set. Orcas to take on Texas Super Kings in first qualifier, while MI New York to face Washington Freedom.
The group stage of the Major League Cricket ended in Morrisville, NC, on Tuesday night, with the Seattle Orcas defeating MI New York in a nailbiter. The victory of the Pacific West Coast team was powered by a superlative century from South African Heinrich Klaasen, who scored the winning runs, a six over long on off US left-arm spinner Nosthush Kenjige.
Table-topper Seattle will face off against the Texas Super Kings, who finished second in the league stage, on July 27 at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Texas.
Though they lost their last match on Tuesday, MI New York also qualified for the playoffs, edging out the San Francisco Unicorns owing to a superior net run rate. Both teams finished with two wins and three losses.
MI New York will take on the Washington Freedom in the second qualifier. Freedom and Super Kings finished with three wins and two losses, but because of Sundayâ€™s huge drubbing from the hands of MI, Washington fell behind in net run rate.
Tuesdayâ€™s match clearly belonged to Klaasen, who produced perhaps the finest T20 knock on the US soil, to chase what once looked like an improbable target of 194. His breathtaking 44-ball 110 contained 9 fours and 7 massive sixes.
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Klaasen started slowly, with his team mustering just 37 runs in the powerplay, and losing the key wicket of compatriot Quinton de Kock and Shehan Jayasuriya. In the first 12 balls he faced, the South African middle-order scored just 13 runs.
But in the company of Nauman Anwar, the US opener who scored a 30-ball 51, he rebuilt the innings.
Klaasen reached his 50 off 24 balls and hundred off 41 balls.
After Anwar was out in the 11th over, Klaasen took up on himself to finish the job.
Earlier, the MI New York scored 198 for 8, on the back of another magnificent half-century by Nicholas Pooran, who scored 64 off 34 balls.
Captain Kieron Pollard made 34 off 18 deliveries.