Major League Cricket: Seattle Orcas crush Los Angeles Knight Riders by nine wickets

NEW DELHI: Seattle Orcas opened their account in the 2024 Major League Cricket with a commanding nine-wicket victory over Los Angeles Knight Riders at Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas on Wednesday.
Chasing a competitive target of 169, the Orcas secured the win with one ball to spare, thanks to a match-winning, unbeaten 152-run partnership between Ryan Rickelton and Quinton de Kock.
Rickelton dazzled with an unbeaten 103 off 66 balls, including five sixes and nine fours, while de Kock contributed a steady 51 not out off 46 balls, featuring two sixes and three fours.
As it happened: LA Knight Riders vs Seattle Orcas
“Different experience, we have a great bunch of guys. Happy to contribute for the team. Nice to get over the line. It’s always nice to play with Quinny. He’s a phenomenal player, it was awesome for me to express. It was sticky upfront, but it was better while batting second. Happy to get over the line, happy to get some points on the board,” Rickelton said after winning the ‘Player of the Match’.
Seattle captain Heinrich Klaasen praised his batters and lauded the collective effort of the team.

“We had to execute our plans after what happened in the first game. The batters took the responsibility tonight. The boys showed the intensity today in the field. We have a quality group of local players. It was a collective effort, which makes my life easier. Ricky (Rickelton) hasn’t been playing for almost two months, and it was an incredible knock by him. de Kock also played well; he was in control,” Klaasen said.
Knight Riders captain Sunil Narine acknowledged his team’s shortcomings, particularly their inability to capitalize on a strong start.
“We got off to a decent start, but they bowled well in the middle overs. We didn’t stifle them in the middle overs. We need to come back stronger in the next game. If we get 160, we need to take 2-3 early wickets. It’s difficult to contain these guys after that start. It’s getting better in the second innings to bat. We know how easy it is while batting second. We just need to clear our minds. We need to take the positives; it’s a short tournament. We need to come up with different plans,” Narine said.

Earlier in the day, the Knight Riders set a competitive total of 168/5, thanks to contributions from Jason Roy (69 off 52 balls) and David Miller (44 not out off 22 balls).
However, the partnership between Rickelton and de Kock ultimately eclipsed their efforts. Despite getting an early wicket in the form of Nauman Anwar, the Knight Riders failed to break the partnership that proved to be the match-defining one.
The two South African batters remained in control throughout the run chase, ensuring the Orcas crossed the finish line in the 20th over.

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