Ontario Fire Continues Its Winning Ways!

Ontario Fire maintained its hold on top position on the Points Table for the 2022 Canadian National Women’s T20 Championships being played at the Maple Leaf Cricket Club in King City Ontario. Led by Canadian Women’s all-rounder Hiba Shamshad and including a number of her fellow National team members, Fire continued its so far unbeaten, seemingly relentless, march toward Championship honors with decisive Day 3 victories over key rivals the Prairies as well as a repeat win over their sister Provincial participant, the Ontario Heat.

Day 3 opening fixture between the Championship’s then two unbeaten teams, Ontario Fire and the Prairies produced some excitement before eventually turning out to be a comfortable five-wicket win for the host Province. Taking first strike the Prairies suffered the double setback of losing both of their tournament centurion openers Danielle McGahey and Divya Saxena with the score on 32.

McGahey was the first to go, caught by Vandana Mahajan off the bowling of Mohawish Khan for 15 on the fourth ball of the fifth over. Saxena followed soon after, just four balls later, and with score on 32 not having advanced any further. She was adjudged lbw to Mahajan with her personal contribution having been only 10.

The Kaurs, Amarpal (59*) and Arunimaa (17), then featured in a 70 run fourth-wicket partnership that brought some much-needed stability back to the innings. Amarpal’s fine unbeaten half-century was made off 48 balls and included 8 fours. The Prairies posted twenty-overs total of 112/3, however, seemed insufficient to challenge the Ontario Fire’s very strong and deep batting.

That indeed proved to be the case as, despite some setbacks in the form of five lost wickets, Fire’s batters eventually prevailed reaching their 113 runs victory target off the fifth ball of the 19th over with seven deliveries still available. Opener Rhea Misra (39) was Ontario Fire’s top-scorer with Terisha Bess Lavia (21) being the next highest contributor. For the Prairies Amarpal Kaur demonstrated her all-round capabilities taking 2/16 in her four available overs.

Prairies 112/3-20. Amarpal Kaur 59, Arunimaa Kaur 17.
Ontario Fire 116/5-18.5 ovrs. Rhea Misra 39, Terisha Bess Lavia 21. Amarpal Kaur 2/16-4.
Ontario Fire won by 5 wickets.

British Columbia (BC) secured an emphatic, morale-boosting, victory over points-table cellar-dwellers Atlantic Provinces in the third day opening fixture between the two sides. Batting first BC posted a commanding 162/4 off its 20 overs with Kate Gray 45 and Mukhwinder Gill 44 as the main contributors. For Atlantic Provinces Roya Samin (1/21-3), Carti Leroux (1/23-4), Jothi Guhan (1/26-4) and Rey Blais (1/39-4) were all single-wicket takers.

Set 163 to win in 20 overs and at a hefty, required, run rate of 8.37, Atlantic Canada’s folded yet again to be completely skittled out for 58 in 18.2 overs. Jeewanthi Kaushalya (14) was the only double figures scorer as Atlantic Canada’s batters proved themselves to be inept against the BC bowlers. Sonali Vig with 3/10-4 overs was the main destroyer, as Mannat Hundal also chipped in with 2/7-4 ovrs.

British Columbia 162/10-20 ovrs. Kaye Gray 45, Mukhwinder 44.
Atlantic Canada 58/10-18.2 ovrs. Jeewanthi Kaushalya 14. Sonali Vig 3/10-4, Mannat Hundal 2/7-4.
British Columbia won by 104 runs.

Amarpal Kaur became the Prairies’ third century-maker for the championships. Kaur smashed a 58 ball 103 that included 1 six and eleven fours to lead her team to an imposing first-strike, twenty-overs, total of 263/4 against Atlantic Provinces in their Day 3 encounter. Kaur’s dominance was evidenced by her ultra-superior role in the Prairies 100 runs first-wicket partnership, the other opener Krima Kapadia’s contribution to which was only 11. Kaur was well supported by Divya Saxena who was left not out on 66, thirty-four runs short of what would have been her second tournament century.

Facing a mammoth victory target of 264, Atlantic Province’s batters succumbed meekly, only reaching 81/8 by the conclusion of their 20 overs. Rey Blais 24 was once more their main contributor and yet again the only batter to reach double-figures. Bowling for the Prairies Chandni Reghu Nair claimed 4/11 in her four overs.

Prairies 263/4-20 ovrs. Amarpaul Kaur 103, Divya Saxena 66.
Atlantic Provinces 88/8-20 ovrs. Rey Blais 24, Chandni Reghu Nair 4/11-4.
Prairies won by 182 runs.

Day Three’s final fixture was a return encounter between host Province Ontario’s two participating teams, Fire and Heat. Fire again proved itself to be that much hotter than Heat, winning handily by 5 wickets in a relatively low-scoring affair.

Taking first strike, Ontario Heat only managed to get as far as 69/8 at the end of its twenty-overs. Saleha Maqsood 15 and Rabbjyot Rajput 14 were the only double-figure scorers. For Ontario Fire, Terisha Bess Lavia was again outstanding with the ball taking 4/6 off her four overs.

70 to win off 20 overs was never going to present much of a challenge to Ontario Fire’s batters. Despite the loss of five wickets the target was comfortably surpassed (71.5) in just 10.1 overs. Vandana Mahajan finished not out on 31 as the Fire’s top scorer. For Ontario Heat Saniyah Zia (2/14-2) and Rabbjot Rajput (2/15-4) were double wicket-takers.

Ontario Heat 69/8-20 ovrs. Saleha Maqsood 15, Rabbjyot Rajput 14. Terisha Bess Lavia 4/6-4.
Ontario Fire 71.5-10.1 ovrs. Vandana Mahajan 31. Saniyah Zia 2/14-2, Rabbjyot Rajput 2/15-4.
Ontario Fire won by 5 wickets.

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