Johnson Charles of Sharjah Warriors with the greenbelt for scoring the highest number of runs in the tournament so far. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Johnson Charles set ablaze the Dubai International Stadium cracking a breezy 93 to ensure Sharjah Warriors a five-wicket win over Dubai Capitals in the fifth match of the DP World ILT20 season 2. The muscular West Indies opener, displaying his power-hitting skills, hit six sixers and eight boundaries in his 51-ball knock.

Charles virtually carried his team on his shoulders with a 71-run partnership in 51 balls for fourth wicket with Lewis Gregory (16), and a 29-run stand with UAE’s Basil Hameed for fifth wicket. Though Charles got out when Warriors needed 27 runs off 23 balls, Hameed, through an unbeaten 24, and Daniel Sams (16n.o), carried their team to the victory with seven balls to spare.

Capitals medium pacer Dushmantha Chameera picked four out of the five wickets that fell for 28 runs, but his efforts went in vain.

Capitals were put into bat, but they posted a fighting total of 170 for 7 in 20 overs. Sam Billings top scored with 52 runs off 32 balls with four sixes and one boundary while Sikandar Raza’s hit 48 runs off 23 balls with three boundaries and three sixes. Together they put on 81-run for the fourth wicket off 44 balls after their team got off to a slow start scoring just 38 runs in the power play.

White belt

Skipper and opener David Warner played a sedate knock of 20 off 27 balls while Rahmaullah Gurbaz, fresh from this match winning knock of 81 against MI Emirates, got out for only 15 runs. One-drop Jake Fraser-McGurk too could muster only 14 runs. Daniel Sams picked three wickets for 28, which included the wickets of Gurbaz, Warner and Raza. He was well backed by Chris Woakes (2 for 21) and Mahesh Theekshana (2 for 32). Theekshana, who had also bagged four wickets in his first match against Gulf Giants, received the white belt for being the leading wicket-taker of the tournament so far.

In pursuit of their target of 171 runs, Warriors brought in opener Martin Guptill as the super- sub in place of Dilshan Madushanka, but he got run out for 2. Skipper and opener Tom Kohler-Cadmore then edged Dushmantha Chameera to wicketkeeper Gurbaz for 3.

Charles began with a six off Chameera and then went on to hit Jason Holder for a six and a boundary to wipe away the effect of the early dismissals. Niroshan Dickwella, who put on 25 runs in 12 balls with Charles, got out to Chameera for 7. By the end of the power play, Charles ensured that Warriors was strongly placed at 60 for 3 by scoring 42 off those runs. He raced to his half century in 26 balls.

Lewis Gregory provided good support to Charles who kept scoring freely. In the last ten overs, Warriors needed 79 runs. Chameera picked his third wicket clean bowling Gregory in the 13th overs for 16. He also went on to take the wicket of Charles forcing him to top edge to wicketkeeper Gurbaz when he was seven short of his century. Hameed and Sams then carried their team to the target.

More bounce

Commenting on his knock, the hero of the day and player of the match as well as the current green belt holder for high run-getter, Charles said: “This pitch was very good, bit more bounce, which meant a lot more leeway. Just had to make the most of the power play, which we did. I just want to keep it going. As we age, we get better, like fine wine, so I want to get better. Very important to get good starts in the power play, you get on top of the opposition.”

Commenting on his team’s defeat, Warner remarked: “Toss is a key component to this ground. Lots of dew here. We left a few runs out there, myself included. They bowled really well to me in the power play. It’s always tough when you bat first here. We bowled way too many bad balls to Johnson.”

Winning captain Tom Kohler-Cadmore said: “It’s nice to get your first win out of the way. Great to see the boys putting their hands up and winning the game for us. Whenever we needed a boundary, Basil Hameed came up clutch for us; it’s great to see we’ve got a full squad of players. I believe we’ve got 20 guys who can win games for us.”

Brief scores: Sharjah Warriors bt Dubai Capitals by 5 wkts. Dubai Capitals 170 for 7 in 20 overs (David Warner 20, Sam Billings 52, Sikandar Raza 48, Chris Woakes 2 for 21, Daniel Sams 3 for 28, Mahesh Theekshana 2 for 32) Sharjah Warriors 171 for 5 in 18.5 overs (Johnson Charles 93, Basil Hameed 24n.o, Dushmantha Chameera 4 for 28)

Player of the Match: Johnson Charles