Vijayakanth Viyaskanth-1707938100577
MI Emirates' 22-year-old leg spinner Vijayakanth Viyaskanth celebrates a Gulf Giants wicket at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: MI Emirates stormed into the final defeating defending champions Gulf Giants by 45 runs in the Qualifier 1 of the DP World ILT20 season 2 at the Dubai International Stadium on Wednesday.

Get exclusive content with Gulf News WhatsApp channel

Needing 164 to win, Giants were bowled out for 118 in 18.2 overs with Sri Lanka’s 22-year-old leg spinner Vijayakanth Viyaskanth claiming 3 for 22. West Indies left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein (2 for 13) struck early while Afghanistan’s left-arm spinner Waqar Salamkheil (2 for 27) provided the perfect support.

Emirates had earlier posted a challenging total of 163 for seven despite Australian medium pacer Daniel Worrall’s fine spell of three for 15 from his four overs well backed by Blessing Muzarbani (2 for 34). The architects of Emirates’ score were their skipper Nicholas Pooran (36) and Dwayne Bravo (30). They had put on a 45-run partnership off 36 balls for the fourth wicket. Later, Kieron Pollard smashed a breezy unbeaten 27 off 14 balls, and together with Tim David (29), added 45 runs in 26 balls for the sixth wicket.

Brilliant game

Player of the match, Hosein, said: “It’s about trying to get accustomed as fast and possible and trying to put in as much recovery as possible on your off days. When I came in today, the first ball spun; so I said I’m going to run with that today.”

Pooran said: “The way we’ve played in the tournament so far has been brilliant. Proud of each and everyone of our members. Akeal was brilliant. It’s great to have experienced players. You can’t buy experience. Bravo’s knock allowed Pollard and David to flourish.”

Giants captain James Vince expressed his disappointment and said: “It was a disappointing performance. We were completely outplayed today. It was difficult to get our spinners in the game because of the left-right combination. If we had a left-hander to attack Akeal early on, it would have been useful. Unfortunately, conditions didn’t change much through the match.”

Brief scores: MI Emirates bt Gulf Giants by 45 runs. MI Emirates 163 for 7 in 20 overs (Kusal Perera 22, Nicholas Pooran 36, Dwayne Bravo 30, Tim David 29, Kieron Pollard 27n.o, Daniel Worrall 3 for 15, Blessing Muzarbani 2 for 34) Gulf Giants 118 in 18.2 overs (Usman Khan 26, Chris Jordan 31, Akeal Hosein 2 for 13, Waqar Salamkheil 2 for 27, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth 3 for 22). Player of the Match: Akeal Hosein