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Dubai Capitals Tom Banton (right) congratulates Leus du Plooy during the Qualifier 2 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Dubai Capitals recorded a stunning nine-wicket victory over reigning champions Gulf Giants in the Qualifier 2 of the DP World ILT20 season 2 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Showing no signs of being the team that was beaten by Giants twice in the league stage, Capitals excelled in all departments of the game. After restricting Giants to a paltry 138 for 6, Capitals won the match with 25 balls to spare.

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Giants skipper James Vince had carried his team’s innings on his shoulder through a knock of 58 runs off 53 balls with four boundaries and two sixes. After a 25-run opening partnership with Usman Khan (21), Vince lifted his team from a disastrous 62 for 5 through a 55 runs partnership in 46 deliveries with Chris Jodan (30n.o) for the sixth wicket. Unfortunately, all his efforts went in vain.

Chasing the moderate target, Capitals openers Leus du Plooy and Tom Banton gave a stupendous start putting on a 98-run partnership. Du Plooy was severe on strike bowler Jordan hitting him for a six and two boundaries to take 16 runs off his first over. The opening partnership in 11.1 overs ended when Banton was caught by Overton at long-on off Liam Dawson for a run-a-ball 38 runs.

Basic cricket

Du Plooy reached his half century in 35 balls and remained unbeaten on 63 off 40 balls with five boundaries and three sixes, and along with Tom Abell (20n.o), they steered their team into the final to be held on February 17 (Saturday) at the Dubai International Stadium.

Delhi Capitals skipper Sam Billings, while praising his team, said: “A combination of factors helped us. Clarity and sticking to real basic cricket, especially on these kind of wickets. We stuck to a formula. If not for (Sikandar) Raza hitting that last ball, we would have been out of the tournament. That really galvanised us and people have stepped up. Anything can happen in the finals. But we are we confident with our recent form. We won’t take it lightly as they are a great side, but if we play our best cricket, we will be very tough to beat.”

Player of the Match Leus Du Plooy said: “It was good fun out there. Our bowlers bowled really well to give us a chaseable target. Then Banton and I got off to a good start. I tried to stay as busy as possible and not face too many dots.”

Poor start

Gulf Giants skipper Vince said: “In hindsight, conditions got a little better when the dew came on. They won both powerplays, we lost wickets and we had to rein ourselves back in to get some runs in the back end. 140 was parish and below-par; we got off to a poor start and from there on it was hard to wrestle the momentum back. We still finished second on the table. Unfortunately, we couldn’t replicate our performances from last year. We were slightly off our game, the other sides were good, and we were outplayed on a couple of nights. The boys have put in a huge amount of effort and we have a lot to be proud of.”

Brief scores: Dubai Capitals bt Gulf Giants by 9 wkts. Gulf Giants 138 for 6 in 20 overs (James Vince 58, Usman Khan 21, Chris Jordan 30n.o) Dubai Capitals 139 for 1 in 15.5 overs (Leus du Plooy 63n.o, Tom Banton 38, Tom Abell 20n.o). Player of the match: Leus du Plooy.