Shimron Hetmyer played a perfect cameo, his 13 runs giving Gulf Giants a crucial win and a place in the play-offs. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Gulf Giants, needing 11 runs off the final over, scored thrilling five-wicket win over MI Emirates when Shimron Hetmyer struck the last ball for a six in the 24th match of the DP World ILT20 at Zayed Cricket Stadium on Wednesday. The victory ensured Giants a place in the play-offs.

Earlier, Chris Jordan’s three-wicket haul, backed by Dominic Drakes, David Wiese and Rehan Ahmed, bowled out MI Emirates for 139 in 19.5 overs.

Chasing a moderate total, Gulf Giants opener Tom Banton hit 45 off 39 balls with five boundaries and six carried to take the team closer to the target, but it was the West Indian left-hander’s heroics that sealed the match in the visitors’ favour.

Chris Jordan
England all-rounder Chris Jordan's three-wicket haul enabled Gulf Giants to restrict MI Emirates to under-par score. Image Credit: Supplied

Giving nothing away

Jordan with figures of 3 for 12 and Dominic Drakes (2 for 21), David Wiese (2 for 14) and Rehan Ahmed (2 for 27) set the stage for victory. Gulf Giants batsmen batted with caution and MI Emirates bowled tightly giving nothing away till the exciting last over. MI Emirates are in the third slot, two points ahead of Dubai Capital and Sharjah Warriors but it will be an exciting three-way shoot-out between these teams for the last two slots in the knockout

Gulf Giants won the toss and elected to bowl. MI Emirates’ opener Andre Fletcher fell to the second ball of the first over trapped leg before by Dominic Drakes. UAE’s Basil Hameed joined his national team and prolific scorer Muhammad Waseem. They took the score to 27 in 3.4 overs when Hameed, going for a pull shot off David Wiese, edged on to his helmet and got caught by Chris Lynn at short fine leg for 9. Only 36 runs came off the powerplay.

Nicholas Pooran, known for his big-hitting prowess, cracked the first six off the match off Rehan Ahmed over long-on. The ninth over from Ahmed turned costly when Waseem hit one six and Pooran hit him for two sixes and take 21 runs off that over. At the half way mark, MI Emirates were 76 for 2. In the 12th over Jordan ended the 61-run third-wicket partnership when he clean bowled Waseem for 29.

Rehan Ahmed took the prize wicket of Pooran in the 13th over forcing him to pull into the hands of Hetmyer at deep mid-wicket for 42. The task of accelerating the run flow fell on skipper Kieron Pollard and Najibullah Zadran but Pollard departed for 19.

With half the side back in the dug-out for 112 by the 15th over, MI Emirates continued to lose wicket in every over that followed. MI Emirates could score only 18 runs and lost five wickets in the last five overs

Tom Banton
Gulf Giants opener put the Gulf Giants on the victory path against MI Emirates. Image Credit: Supplied

Cautious approach

Chasing the gettable target, opener and skipper James Vince with Banton batted with caution, scoring just 35 in powerplay. After Vince’s wicket, Banton, in the company of Chris Lynn, went on to score freely and hit 45 before Bravo got him out caught by Waseem at deep mid-wicket. Gerhard Erasmus with Lynn kept the scoreboard moving. In the last five overs, Gulf Giants needed only 38 runs only, but the wickets of the well-set batters pulled them back and Gulf Giants needed 17 runs in the last 11 deliveries.

15-20 runs short

Speaking about their performance, Gulf Giants’ Chris Jordan said: “We definitely want to be a lot more clinical in these kinds of games. But the most important thing is that we crossed the line. We always look at areas that we can get better. We’ll definitely focus on the fact that we qualified and that we had a good game against a good team.”

Meanwhile, MI Emirates’ Trent Boult said: “The batting group would’ve hoped for 15-20 more runs. It’s a high-scoring ground. Credit to the Giants. All their seamers bowled nicely. They made us take tough options and the wickets kept falling.”

Brief scores:

Gulf Giants bt MI Emirates by 5 wkts. MI Emirates 139 in 19.5 overs (Muhammad Waseem 29, Nicholas Pooran 42, Dominic Drakes 2 for 21, David Wiese 2 for 14, Chris Jordan 3 for 12, Rehan Ahmed 2 for 27) Gulf Giants 143 for 5 in 20 overs (Tom Banton 45, James Vince 26, Chris Lynn 28, Gerhard Erasmus 20, Dwayne Bravo 2 for 32).

Player of Match ($1500): Chris Jordan

DP World Smart delivery of the day ($1500): Chris Jordan to Muhammad Waseem

Fairplay News biggest hit of the match ($1500): Kieron Pollard’s six of 97 mts.

Skytech. Net Super 4s of the match ($1500): Tom Banton (5 boundaries)

Sportsbuzz Buzzmaker of the match ($1500): Chris Jordan for scoring 101 fantasy points

Green Belt Holder: Alex Hales

White Belt Holder: Chris Jordan