Knights win reduced CLT20 opener

New Zealand

The Northern Knights got their Champions League T20 qualifying campaign off to a winning start, beating the Southern Express from Sri Lanka by seven wickets in Raipur on Saturday.

The Northern Knights got their Champions League T20 qualifying campaign off to a winning start, beating the Southern Express from Sri Lanka by seven wickets in Raipur on Saturday.

The New Zealand side chose to chase in a game that was reduced to 10 overs per side, with a lot of time lost to a wet outfield, which took two hours and three inspections to clear before a toss could be flipped.

As such, the Express batted first and recorded 93 for five in their 10 overs. While they scored quickly enough, they were hampered by the loss of regular wickets, with Danushka Gunathilaka top scoring with 39.

The opener made his runs off 26 balls and hit the only three sixes of the innings, while Sri Lanka batsman Kusal Perera added 37 before being removed by veteran all-rounder Scott Styris.

Otherwise, the batting was ineffective as Trent Boult claimed two wickets. Three leg byes and four wides made the extras column the third highest scorer, and the below 100 score didn't ever appear to be enough.

New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson did the bulk of the damage in the chase, smashing his 52 off 29 balls as he opened the batting. He was bowled by Farveez Maharoof, but the damage had already been done.

As such, teen scores from Anton Devcich, Daniel Flynn and Dan Harris were enough to see the side home, with three balls to spare.

Northern Districts: D Flynn, T Boult, A Devcich, D Harris, D Mitchell, M Santner, BJ Watling, K Williamson, S Styris, T Southee, I Sodhi

Southern Express: J Mubarak, N Dickwella, W Jayampathi, H Jayaratne, H Madushanka, M Maharoof, SS Pathirana, K Perera, D Perera, A Perera, S Prasanna

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