Ryan Rickelton scored a magnificent century, ably supported by Quinton de Kock, as the Seattle Orcas sealed an emphatic nine-wicket victory against the Los Angeles Knight Riders in Grand Prairie, Texas on Tuesday night. 

Stand-in skipper Heinrich Klaasen won the toss and put the Knight Riders in to bat. Both LAKR openers Jason Roy and Sunil Narine looked dangerous, but before things could escalate, Klaasen introduced Zaman Khan into the attack.

The Pakistan fast bowler, one of the team’s major offseason acquisitions, made an immediate impact. Striking with his very first delivery, he got the massive scalp of LAKR skipper, Sunil Narine. 

The Seattle Orcas had to wait until the 10th over to get the next wicket, when Harmeet Singh dismissed Unmukt Chand with the ball straightening just enough to deceive the batter. The left-arm spinner struck again, with Shakib Al Hasan falling against a ball down the leg-side. 

Roy scored a brilliant half-century, before Cameron Gannon got his scalp for 69 to prevent any more damage with the bat. 

Andre Russell’s wicket, taken by Zaman, would also prove to be vital, with the dangerous West Indian not able to get on one of his rampaging knocks. 

Despite an expensive final over, with David Miller showcasing his class, the Seattle Orcas would restrict the Knight Riders to 168/5, a chaseable total and one that the Orcas approached with confidence

It was the Ryan Rickelton show from here on. Making his debut for Seattle, Rickelton scored a smashing ton to make a stunning entry into the 2024 Cognizant Major League Cricket season. 

He was severe both against pace and spin and hit 9 fours and 5 sixes in his knock of 103* off only 66 deliveries. The LAKR pacers or spinners were unable to settle down, despite losing Nauman Anwar early in the innings, the Orcas went on the attack.

Rickleton’s South African counterpart, Quinton de Kock, provided great support, scoring 51* off 46 deliveries, as the pair put on an unbeaten partnership of 152 runs. 

Their efforts guided Seattle to its first two points of the season, and the team now turns its attention to facing Washington Freedom at the same venue on Thursday July 11.