As America’s inaugural T20 tournament, the Major League Cricket kicked off, current and former South African cricket stars took the limelight with record-setting performances.
It is safe to say that the sport of cricket has finally made its way to the United States through the new and exciting T20 tournament, the Major League Cricket or the 'MLC' as fans around the world call it.
For the start of the tournament, Faf du Plessis’ Texas Super Kings hosted the Los Angeles Knight Riders, a team led by Windies spin-bowler Sunil Narine.
The Super Kings fielded an eleven that consisted of six players of South African origin. It was Devon Conway (now New Zealand local), Faf du Plessis, David Miller, Gerald Coetzee, Rusty Theron (now USA local) and Calvin Savage (now USA local).
Conway blasted the tournament’s first half-century, reaching the milestone off 36 deliveries and this was following Du Plessis’ golden duck in the second over of the match.
Miller came in at four in the batting line-up and rushed to a 34-balls fifty, immediately knocking off the Joburg-born Conway as the new record holder for the fastest fifty in the MLC.
Miller (61 off 42) and Conway (55 off 37) put together a 77-runs stand and pushed the Super Kings to 181/6 in their allotted 20 overs.
In reply, the LA Knight Riders’ top-order struggled to deal with Coetzee and Theron as the two fast bowlers ripped through the top-order with relative ease.
Theron started by removing the dangerous Martin Guptil at the top of the order for a duck and went on to bowl out Proteas batter Rilee Rossouw, all in the very first over of the Super Kings' total-defence.
The Knight Riders were left in all sorts of trouble with the score on 4/2 after the first over of their run-chase.
Savage (1/22 in 2 overs) and Coetzee (2/22) did further damage and left the Knight Riders on 56/5 inside the first power play.
Coming in at six, Andre Russell (55 off 34) blasted seven 4s and three 6s and set the new fastest fifty of the tournament, taking only 29 deliveries to reach the milestone.
As determined as Russell was during his innings, he just did not get enough assistance from the other batters in his team and eventually, the LA Knight Riders were bowled out for 112 runs and suffered a 69 runs loss.
The Texas Super Kings, as expected, got their campaign off to a good start with a big win in front of their home crowd.
Proteas stars Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Tristan Stubbs and many others are expected to feature in the tournament for their various teams.