A powerful batting display from MI New York was too much for Freedom, who unless other results go their way, will next play in the third v fourth Eliminator fixture in Dallas on Thursday.
Just 24 hours after a scintillating win against San Francisco Unicorns that confirmed Freedom’s qualification for Finals, they had an opportunity to secure a top-two finish with victory against MI New York.
After losing the toss, Freedom were put in to bat and got off to a fantastic start with Andries Gous and Matt Short both hitting two boundaries off the second over of the innings as Freedom raced to 21 for no loss.
It would be downhill from there, however, as Rashid Khan and Nosthush Kenjige kept Freedom’s batters under wraps as three quick wickets fell.
Moises Henriques and Glenn Phillips would patch the innings back together, with Phillips in particular finishing well to end on 47 off 35 balls. Add in a six apiece from Obus Pienaar, Akeal Hosein and Marco Jansen and Freedom finished on 160.
Freedom’s bowling attack had been perfect up until this point, but on their one off day they were punished mercilessly, as New York batters Shayan Jahangir and Monank Patel raced to 67 for none.
The wicket of Patel, taken by Akeal Hosein, would bring Nicholas Pooran to the crease and his onslaught would leave no hope for a Freedom comeback, as he struck 62 off 33 deliveries in an innings that included six sixes.
There is still a small chance that Freedom could finish in the top two and progress to the Qualifier, but it is out of their hands, and they will require two results to go in their favour. First, they’ll need San Francisco to defeat Texas Super Kings by a narrow margin, before requiring Seattle Orcas to defeat MI New York.
Regardless of result, it has been a fantastic group stage from a squad that has gelled together magnificently with just a week’s preparation. Bring on the Finals.