Abu Dhabi: MI Emirates bowlers came up with a fine performance to ensure their team registered a massive nine-wicket win in the sixth match of the DP World ILT20 season 2 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.
Trent Boult (3 for 14) wiped away the cream of the Knight Riders’ batting backed by Akeal Hosein with two wickets for 21 runs.
Knight Riders’ experienced all-rounder Andre Russell stood amid the ruins to hit a fighting 48 runs off 25 balls with four sixes and three boundaries. Muhammad Rohid Khan hastened the end of Knight Riders’ innings taking three wickets for 25 runs.
MI Emirates began their chase with Muhammad Waseem and Kusal Perera striking comfortably. Waseem started by hitting Josh Little for two boundaries and a six off consecutive deliveries in the first over while Perera did the same against David Willey in the second over off successive deliveries. Together they put on 42 runs in 4.2 overs before Perera got out to Matiullah Khan caught by Sunil Narine at mid-on for 22.
Top of table
Skipper Nicholas Pooran, who joined Waseem, carried his team quickly to the target with an unbeaten 39 off 16 balls with five sixes and one boundary. Waseem remained unbeaten on 26 off 20 balls with two boundaries and a six. Emirates won the match with 71 balls to spare. This big win lifted them to the top of the table too.
The tale of Kinght Riders’s disastrous batting began after Emirates won the toss and elected to bowl.
Knight Riders lost half the side for 22 runs in 6.1 overs. UAE’s 21-year-old opener Alishan Sharafu had started off by scoring boundaries off Hosein and Boult, but fell in the third over hitting Hosein to Tim David at mid-off for 10. His opening partner Andries Gous, who had hit a match winning unbeaten 95 against Desert Vipers in his previous match, was joined by Michael Pepper. Boult removed Pepper and Sam Hain, both of whom edged to wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran for 5. He also went on to get Gous, caught by Dwayne Bravo at mid-on for 3. Hosein uprooted Laurie Evans off stump for 1.
Imad Wasim and Andre Russell pushed the score to 47 before Wasim became the sixth wicket to fall, caught by Bravo at slip off Fazalhaq Farooqi for 7. In the 10th over, Ravi Bopara played Muhammad Rohid on to his wicket for a duck. Rohid also had David Willey caught by David at mid-on for a duck. At the half way mark, Abu Dhabi was tottering at 53 for 8.
Simple game plan
Skipper Narine, who joined Andre Russell, lasted just five balls to score one run before hitting high to Boult at mid-off. Russell though kept the scoreboard moving through some big hits. He smashed Rohid for two sixes in the 14th over and put on 36 runs in 16 balls with last man Josh Little.
Russell’s innings ended when Waqar Salamkheli had him caught by Muhammad Waseem at long-on when he was two runs short of his half century. Riders’ innings ended four runs short of the 100-run mark.
Player of the Match, Boult said: “I had a simple game plan. Try to pitch it up and search for some swing. I saw in the earlier game that it was swinging around early, so wanted to maximise the conditions. Akeal is a quality player, he swings the bowl well himself too. It’s not often that we get to see eight overs by the new ball bowlers.”
Narine wants his players to forget this mishap. “When you lose four wickets in the powerplay, you are on the back foot. The key to this game was to soak up the pressure and accumulate. You’ve got to get it out of the way tonight and forget it as soon as possible because we have a game in two days time. They are senior guys, they will know where they went wrong.”
A delighted MI skipper Nicholas Pooran wants his team to capitalise on this big win. “We wanted to win this game and respond after the first game where we lost heavily. The guys accepted the challenge. Boult bowled amazingly. Hopefully we can be consistent, keep our feet on the ground, come out for the next game with the same, consistent mindset.”
Brief scores: MI Emirates bt Abu Dhabi Knight Riders by 9 wkts. Abu Dhabi Knight Riders 95 in 14.1 overs (Andre Russell 48, Akeal Hosein 2 for 21, Trent Boult 3 for 14, Muhammad Rohid Khan 3 for 25) MI Emirates 96 for 1 in 8.1 overs (Muhammad Waseem 26n.o, Kusal Perera 22, Nicholas Pooran 39n.0) Player of the Match: Trent Boult