Another heartbreak for ADKR, Another triumph for DVT:
The 7th Match of the ILT20 kicked off in Dubai between Abu Dhabi Knight Riders and Desert Vipers. ADKR, so far, have had no luck winning any match while DV already have 1 victory in their pocket. Both captains, Colin Munro and Sunil Narine, walked towards the field to toss the coin, which landed in the favor of Munro, who opted to bowl first.
Out came Kennar Lewis along with Brandon King, who was sent up the order, to open the innings. Sheldon Cottrell with the bowl ran to bowl the first over. A silent first over gave way to a happening second over where Gus Atkinson’s bowl shot off the leading edge of Lewis’s blade and went up in the air. Sam Billings caught the ball on its return and Lewis trudged off the field with only 1 run. Dhananjaya De Silva walked out next. Two fours from both the batters ended the second over, making Cottrell return, who got his first wicket of the match after the devilish top-edge sent the ball flying, again, to Billings behind the wicket. Colin Ingram made his way as the second wicket for ADKR fell. A boundary off Atkinson got him off the mark.
Tom Curran entered the attack to bowl the last one before power play ended. However, the English bowler ended up sealing his over by conceding a six. Power play ended with ADKR at 47 and loss of 2 wickets. Benny Howell came to throw the ball and bowled a decent over. The ball then stayed in the hands of Rohan Mustafa, who ended his first over by dismissing another of Knight Riders’ batters. Colin Ingram it was this time, who hit the ball straight to the fielder making him catch a sitter without moving an inch. In went Ingram, making way for Charith Asalanka. Wanindu Hasaranga was sent for the first time but his first two overs saw only rotations between the wickets as well as a six by King over deep midwicket. Howell in the next over took home a troika of fours by both Knight Riders, who were not in mood to forgive anyone. A peaceful first over by Shiraz Ahmed gave way to Hasaranga to bowl his third and the fortune could not keep him away from striking any more.
Hasaranga took two in two sending Asalanka first after a catch by Rohan in the deep and then Andre Russel who was caught at long on the very next ball. Sunil Narine trod in and denied Hasaranga of his hat-trick.
Narine, too, was seen taking a long walk back to the pavilion in the Sri Lankan spinner, Hasaranga’s next over. Akeal Hissin joined King in the middle. Runs came in the form of singles and doubles only and ADKR looked happy with that too. King reached his fifty and decided to set things straight quickly as he hit a six and a four. However, Atkinson in the last over got him by demolishing his timber. Matiullah Khan came in next but could only add a few runs to the tally before getting cleaned up by Atkinson on the last ball. Knight Riders, accumulating whatever strength they had in them after Hasaranga’s furore, put up a total of 133 runs. To prepare for the chase, the Vipers’ players went in.
DESERT VIPERS’ BATTING:
Lahiru Kumara and Rohan Mustafa came out, fully padded, from the Vipers’ camp to chase an easy total of 134 runs. Lahiru Kumara bowled the first, leaking 8 runs. Sabir Ali in the next over was even generous in giving away the runs as Hales and Mustafa, together, struck him for 3 fours. Lahiru Kumara came for his second over and Hales greeted him with an eye-pleasing six. Mustafa followed his fellow opener and handed Kumara two fours, one towards the covers and the second straight down the ground.
Akeal Hosein’s entrance to bowl the fourth over ended Rohan’s flurry. The opening batter tried to whack the ball towards the midwicket but a top edge made the ball land in the hands of Kumara at short fine leg. Captain Colin Munro came to join Hales as Russel took the ball to bowl the 5th over. Munro’s stay did not last long since Russel got him on the third ball of his over.
Sam Billings came out of the Vipers’ camp to stop things from slipping out of hands. Hosein’s second ended the powerplay with DTV cruising safely, despite the fall of two wickets, at 48/2. Boundaries over the next few overs came infrequently but the Vipers’ batters kept on chipping in singles and doubles, which was all they needed at that time as the Munro-led team was in need of a-run-a-ball.
Hales gifted two back to back boundaries to Andre Russell which helped him bring up his half century in the same over. Unfortunately Hales could not stay to play the winning shot as after hitting Lahiru Kumara for two boundaries in one over, the English batter became the victim of Narine, who got his first before signing off his spell. With his team only 12 runs short of victory, DVT batters wrapped up things quickly as Billings played a classical cover drive first to hit the ball for a four and then Sherfane Rutherford, who came after Hales departed, struck a maximum to complete the victory with 7 wickets and 20 balls remaining.