A five-wicket haul from David Wiese and lack of application from Sharjah Warriors’ batters ensured the hosts go down without a fight and create an easy passage to Dubai Capitals into the play-offs of the DP World ILT20 inaugural season on Monday.
Warriors, who had to win the match to stay in the tournament, didn’t show the desired intentions, while Giants, who have already advanced to the next stage, played as if their life depended on this game. After skittling out Sharjah for a paltry 107 in 18.3 overs, Giants skipper James Vince and Colin de Grandhomme took their time to post a 50-run partnership for the second wicket off 47 balls, that set the base for Giants to coast to the top of the league table.
Put in to bat, Sharjah were in a hurry to score on an easy wicket. But there is a caveat. It’s easy after spending some time, assisting the batters once they get the measure of the pace and the bounce.
The pitch was so flat and smooth that one could see the reflection of the batters on it. Unfortunately, what one could not see is the true reflection of the Sharjah’s batters, who produced another dismal show to lose their way. Many Sharjah batters were guilty of playing across the line and that resulted in three leg-before the wicket and one bowled while the need of the hour was play straight.
Sharjah Warriors’ skipper Moeen Ali was brutally honest when he spoke about the team’s performance. “We were poor and we didn’t deserve to go through to the next round,” said the England all-rounder. “We had some very good batters, but didn’t score enough runs on board,” he added, putting his hand up as one of those who didn’t perform with the bat.
Wiese read the wicket well and bowled stump to stump line at good pace to test the batters’ patience, which the big names like Moeen Ali, Evin Lewis, Marcus Stoinis and Joe Denly failed to apply themselves. Chris Woakes got a beauty too early in the innings and he just managed to top-edge the extra bounce to gully, giving three wickets in one over for the Namibian all-rounder.
Vince and de Grandhomme didn’t show any urgency and avoided being chivalrous to play the ball on merit. There was not much difference in terms of runs between, where Sharjah were 48 for three after powerplay and 65 for four after 10 overs, subsequently losing three wickets in the 11th over of Wiese, while Giants were 36/1 off six overs, 60/1 in 10 overs and 93/3 in 15. The loss of wickets proved crucial. Mohammad Nabi’s crucial 29-run partnership with fellow Afghanistan spinner Noor Ahmad took the hosts past the 100-run mark, which at one stage read 67/7.
Gulf Giants will be entering the Qualifier 1 against Desert Vipers on a high as the Vince team have managed to win seven of their 10 games with a lone defeat and two abandoned ties. Team Orange will start as favourites on Wednesday at Dubai International Stadium, while MI Emirates will play against Dubai Capitals in Eliminator at Sharjah on Wednesday. The losers of Qualifier 1 and the winners of the Eliminator will play in Qualifier 2 in Dubai on Friday for a place in the final to be held on Sunday.
$1.3m total prize money for ILT20 inagural edition
The winners of the DP World International League T20 inagural edition will receive a prize money of $700,000, according to the organisers.
In a total prize fund of $1.3 million the runners-up will receive $300,000 at the end of the final.
Speaking about the prize money, Mubashshir Usmani, General Secretary, Emirates Cricket Board said: "The league is incredibly pleased to announce the prize money for the winning and runners-up teams of the DP World ILT20. We want the franchises and the players to compete intensely in winning these awards. The Season 1 of the DP World ILT20 will conclude on February 12 where the two finalists will contest to lift the Trophy and take the winner’s prize money. May the best team win.”
Desert Vipers’ Alex Hales has been the leading run scorer in the tournament so far with 465 runs and therefore he is the current Green Belt holder. Meanwhile, Gulf Giants’ Chris Jordan is the current White Belt holder with 14 wickets in the competition so far.
Alex Hales is leading the race to the Red Belt as he is currently the Most Valuable Player in the DP World ILT20 with 184 points. MI Emirates’ Muhammad Waseem is in the driver’s seat for the Blue Belt (Most Valuable UAE Player) with 146.5 points in the competition so far. Each of the Belt winners will receive $15,000 (USD) as prize money at the end of the season.
The Most Valuable Players are decided based on a unique point scoring system devised by the DP World ILT20. The players are given certain number of points for their performance with bat, ball and on the field in every match.