MI Emirates ease to 45-run win against Dubai Capitals to clinch ILT20 Season 2 title
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Dubai: The MI Emirates produced a clinical display to win a one-sided final by 45 runs over Dubai Capitals in DP World ILT20 Season 2 at the Dubai International Stadium on Saturday. This season has seen some high-quality battles and the packed fans were expecting something similar between the two sides with varying fortunes. But that was not to be as the Capitals could not reprise their stunning run of four successive wins and succumbed rather tamely in the final hurdle.

Chasing a big target of 209, the MI Emirates superior bowling attack didn’t give any elbow room to the Dubai Capitals, suffocating their chase with a vice-like grip.

History was loaded against the MI Emirates. Their track record at the Dubai International Stadium has been abysmal to say the least. They had not won a match at the venue this season, but showed plenty of grit and commitment to end their long drought. The MI Emirates got off to a brilliant start given by the UAE skipper Muhammad Waseem and Sri Lankan left-hander Kusal Perera. Subsequently Andre Fletcher and skipper Nicholas Pooran increased the tempo to take the team past the 200-run mark for the first time in this season.

The West Indian left-hander, however, remained unbeaten on 57 and narrowly missed being the Best Batsman of the tournament, finishing two runs behind Desert Vipers’ skipper James Vince. Pooran reached the total in 10 innings while Vince had played in 12.

UAE skipper once again proved his worth to clinch the Blue Belt for Best UAE player after scoring 321 runs in 12 innings to finish fourth in the list of best batters.

On the eve of the final, Pooran had said that “batters win matches and bowlers win tournaments.” In the final, MI Emirates batters and bowlers shone to give the Capitals no chance of coming back into the final after conceding too many runs to their comfort. The only success Sam Billings tasted on the day was winning the toss, but his decision to bowl first backfired and the huge target and a slowing pitch didn’t help Capitals’ cause.

The packed house was treated to some high-class fireworks on and off the field. Waseem and Perera got off to a sizzling start, putting on 72 runs in the powerplay. The left-right combination must have unsettled the Capitals bowlers. The 77-run opening partnership provided the right platform for Fletcher and Pooran to go for their shots.

In the earlier contest between the two teams, Emirates had a similar start only to suffer a middle order collapse to end at a below par score. But having learnt their lesson, the Emirates batters didn’t let their guard down and took the total to 208 in 20 overs, taking the score past the 200-run mark for the first time in the Season 2.

While the bowling and batting were top notch, the MI Emirates fielding didn’t measure up to the standards. The MI players dropped as many as five catches during the Capitals innings, which could have cost them the match had the any of the Capitals’ players got into their rhythm. However, none could get their act together and lost their way quite early in their innings.