Saad bin Zafar, the 31-year-old Pakistan-born Canadian, dominated the final of the inaugural Global T20 Canada league with ball and bat. The six-team T20 tournament, which received attention because of the presence of a number of international stars in general and Steve Smith and David Warner in particular, wound to a close on Tuesday, 17 July.
The final was played between Vancouver Knights and the Windies B team at Maple Leaf (North-West Ground) in King City, Ontario, and Zafar, chiefly a left-arm spinner with little history of heroics with the bat, was the all-round hero for the Knights.
Asked to bat first by Chris Gayle, the Caribbean side put up 145 before being bowled out in 17.4 overs.
Fabian Allen, the 23-year-old all-rounder from Jamaica, was their best batsman, hitting a 23-ball 41 from No.8, while Windies paceman Sheldon Cottrell (4/29), Australian leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed (3/24) and Zafar (2/26) picked up most of the wickets.
The Knights chase seemed to have gone off the rails when they were 22/3 in the fourth over, but Zafar, batting for only the third time in the tournament, smashed a 48-ball 79* and took them home in the company of South Africa’s Rassie van der Dussen (44*) in 17.3 overs for a seven-wicket win. Zafar hit eight fours and three sixes in his knock.
Zafar has played just two first-class matches, both in 2008 for Canada in the ICC Intercontinental Cup, and 13 List-A games. In these, his best score is 36