Abu Dhabi: Consistent opener Muhammad Waseem and skipper Kieron Pollard’s breezy knocks backed by Dwayne Bravo ‘s three-wicket haul carried MI Emirates into the play-offs with an impressive 18 runs win over Abu Dhabi Knight Riders in the 26th match of the DP World ILT20 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Friday night.
Abu Dhabi Knight Riders’ winless run continued after they let MI Emirates post 180 for 4 in 20 overs through some poor fielding and unimpressive bowling. Dropping Waseem thrice, they let the high-scoring UAE opener flourish and hit 60 runs off 43 balls. Skipper Kieron Pollard’s cameo of 43 off just 17 balls with four boundaries and three sixes swelled the total.
Chasing the target, Abu Dhabi was bowled out for 162 in 19.2 overs with Dwayne Bravo producing claiming three for 37, backed by Imran Tahir (2 for 20) and Zahoor Khan (2 for 33). Andre Russell’s fighting knock of 42 off 22 balls with five boundaries and two sixes went in vain.
Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, electing to bowl first, restricted MI Emirates to just 29 runs during the powerplay and got the breakthrough in the seventh over when skipper Sunil Narine got Andre Fletcher caught and bowled for 22.
When on 14, Waseem got a life when Brandon King at backward point dropped him off Russell. At the halfway mark, MI Emirates were 55 for 1 with Lorcan Tucker too picking the gaps correctly. Waseem opened up and started his six-hitting feat in the 13thover, scoring 16 runs and then completed his half-century off 38 balls off the over. Tucker too hit Hosein for a six over long-on. Waseem then went on to hit two successive sixes off Sabir Ali to reach his half century in 38 balls. Tucker, who took 23 balls to score 33, was retired out to accelerate the run flow. Nicholas Pooran replaced him and skipper Pollard joined his fellow West Indian after the exit of Waseem for 60.
The duo added 56 in just 25 balls to post an impressive 180 for 4.
Chasing the target, Abu Dhabi lost opener Paul Stirling to the second ball of the first over from Trent Boult for a duck. Joe Clarke and Charith Asalanka took the score to 50 by the end of the powerplay and Tahir struck again with, trapping Asalanka.
Another MI Emirates’ champion bowler Bravo struck in his first over, clean bowling Clarke for 22. Abu Dhabi went past the 100-run mark in 10.4 overs with Russell scoring two consecutive boundaries off Bravo. UAE’s Zahoor ended Abu Dhabi’s challenge in the 13th over by taking the valuable wicket off Russell, caught by Waseem at midwicket for 42, that hastened the end.
MI Emirates beat Abu Dhabi Knight Riders by 18 runs. MI Emirates 180 for 4 in 20 overs (Andre Fletcher 22, Muhammad Waseem 60, Lorcan Tucker 33, Kieron Pollard 43) Abu Dhabi Knight Riders 162 in 19.2 overs (Joe Clarke 22, Andre Russell 42, Imran Tahir 2 for 20, Zahoor Khan 2 for 33, Dwayne Bravo 3 for 37).
Player of Match ($1500): Kieron Pollard.
DP World Smart delivery of the day ($1500): Dwayne Bravo to Joe Clarke
Fairplay News biggest hit of the match ($1500): Andre Russell’s six of 95 mts.
Skytech. Net Super 4s of the match ($1500): Andre Russell (5 boundaries)
Sportsbuzz Buzzmaker of the match ($1500): Muhammad Waseem for scoring 95 fantasy points
Green Belt Holder: Alex Hales
White Belt Holder: Chris Jordan.