Match number 2 and 3 kicked off on July 15 at Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium in Texas. The day saw a clash between San Francisco Unicorns & MI New York and Washington Freedom & Seattle Orcas respectively. 

San Francisco Unicorns registered a crushing 22-run victory against MI New York to leapfrog in the points table to the number two position. They have a healthy NRR of 1.1. Corey Anderson and Shadab Khan were the main architects of San Francisco’s triumph over MI New York. New York are now down to number 4th position with a sorry-looking NRR of -1.1.

Seattle Orcas got away with a narrow victory against Washington Freedom beating them in a low-scoring thriller by 5 wickets. Seattle have now moved all the way up to the third position in the rankings table with a NRR of 0.325. Washington find themselves positioned at the number 4 spot with a horrid-looking NRR of -0.325. 

Without further ado, let us delve into some of the top performances from the opening day of the enthralling 2023 Major League Cricket (MLC) match. 

MI New York crash out to San Francisco Unicorns in a massive run-fest

Unicorns were reduced to 50 for 4 at the 7th over mark before Corey Anderson (91* off 52) and Shadab Khan (61 off 30) got them back in the game with a mammoth 129-run stand. Tajinder Singh Dhillon played a breezy cameo of 18* off 10 as Anderson ended the first innings with a powerful hit that took the Unicorns to 215 for 5. 

Boult and Rabada were good for MI New York with 2 wickets apiece while the rest of the bowlers were taken to the cleaners. A poor day in the field for them as they allowed the Unicorns to run away with the game. 

In response, MINY got off to a shaky start losing 2 wickets inside the first three overs. Brevis and Pooran steadied innings with a 51-run stand but the scoring rate was below par. A flourishing partnership between Pollard & Pooran developed which threatened the Unicorns for a while. But Plunkett removed both the batters and got Unicorns back in command.

Liam Plunkett was the pick of the Unicorn bowlers with 2 for 30 in his spell while Shadab Khan took the solitary wicket of Brevis. Carmi Le Roux looked promising upfront and accounted for both the openers. Unicorns held their nerve against the big hitters from MINY and got over the line.  Tim David played a fighting knock of 53* off 28 but it came a little too late for his side as they feel 23 runs short of their required target. 

Brief Scores

San Francisco Unicorns – 215/5 (Anderson 91, Shadab 61, Rabada 2-32, Boult 2-38)

MI New York – 193/5 (David 53, Pollard 48, Plunkett 2-30, Le Roux 2-39)

End Result: San Francisco Unicorns beat MI New York by 22 runs.

Seattle Orcas thump Washington Freedom in a low-scoring thriller

Seattle Orcas were very tidy with the ball first up. Wayne Parnell and Harmeet Singh were the pick of the bowlers sharing 4 wickets between them. Imad Wasim was brilliant with the ball and with the bat later on in the innings. He only conceded 19 in his 4 overs spell and picked up a wicket. A well-rounded effort from the bowlers helped Seattle restrict Washinton to 144. 

Washington will be slightly disappointed with their batting effort. They did not have a promising start with the bat and ended up with a below-par score. Moises Henriques and Akeal Hosein were the main pillars of the Washington batting lineup notching up decent scores of 24 (19) and 33 (22) respectively. Their inability to accelerate through the middle overs led to their dismal show with the bat. 

However, they did have some success early on with the new ball. Anrich Nortje, Akeal Hosein, Moises Henriques, and Dane Piedt picked up a wicket each while Saurabh Netravalkar was wicketless. While chasing a modest target of 145, Seattle got off to a wobbly start. Key players featuring Quinton de Kock, Shehan Jayasuriya, and Heinrich Klaasen were back in the hut in no time. 

With pressure mounting, Wasim and Nauman Anwar stitched a match-reviving stand of 44 runs for the 4th wicket to bring them closer to the finishing line. Shubham Ranjane hit two back-back boundaries, in the end, to take his side over the finishing line. Washington Freedom would be hoping to turn things around against Texas Super Kings in their next encounter on July 17.

Brief Scores

Washington Freedom – 144/7 (Hosein 33, Gous 28, Wasim 1-19, Harmeet 2-24)

Seattle Orcas – 148/5 (Anwar 48, Wasim 43, Nortje 1-29, Henriques 1-8)

End Result: Seattle Orcas won by 5 wickets. 

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