Dubai Capitals subdue the unbeaten MI Emirates after a thrilling show:
MI Emirates met the Dubai Capitals for the first time in the tournament to play the 13th match of the league. Abu Dhabi is where both teams locked horns and a thrilling match unfolded which ended with the best side winning. The toss was won by the MI Emirates who, like almost all the toss winning teams in the tourney so far, opted to bowl first.
Robin Uthappa along with Joe Root opened the innings while Trent Boult bowled the first over. A four off Trent Boult helped Root open his accounts. Farooqi shared the ball with Boult and erred with his length as his first ball went wide of off and ran towards the boundary, handing his team 5 runs. Zahoor Khan was to bowl the 4th over and Root sent him for two fours through covers. With the end Zahoor’s over, the onslaught by Joe’s blade did not end, if anything it started in that over since Samit Patel in the next over turned out to be more expensive. A 20 runs Patel-over where all but 1 run came from Root’s bat brought the Capital’s tally to 52 by the end of 5 overs.
Imran Tahir came after power play ended and Uthappa served him with a gigantic six. Kieron Pollard, the captain, took the ball in the next over to try to break the partnership which by then had become 66-runs old.
The Afghan bowler, Farooqi made a return and his return proved to be fruitful for the Emirates since he was successful sending Uthappa back to the pavilion. The skipper Rovman Powell came in at no. 3. Pollard’s over went silent but Tahir’s next over messed up the scoreboard in the favor of Capitals. Tahir conceded 14 runs after enduring two sixes in one over by Powell.
Powell’s habit of hitting at least one six and one four in an over kept the run rate above 10 while Pollard kept on changing the bowlers to stop the flurry. Muhammad Waseem came and Zahoor Khan followed him but Powell was in no mood to show mercy as he was dealing in boundaries. The Powell blitz got his team to 172 by the end of 16 overs. Boult returned but could only lower the run rate which again surged in Fazalhaq’s next over where he bowled two back to back wayward deliveries, conceding a total of 16 runs.
It was Zahoor in his last over who got the success after he ended Joe Root’s innings at 82 runs. Out came Yusuf Pathan to join the captain in the middle after Root’s dismissal. The last over of the innings was bowled by the captain Pollard himself. Powell came at the strike and struck his fellow West Indian player for three moon-high sixes. Unfortunately, Powell fell three runs short of his century as Pollard got the better of him at 97 and the last ball of the innings. The Capitals left the ground with a double nelson next to their name on the scoreboard, which so far is the highest total in the ILT20.
MI EMIRATES’ BATTING:
Will Smeed and Muhammad Waseem were the players who entered the field as openers for the Emirates to chase a target of 223. Fred Klaassen bowled the first over while Hazrat Luqman shared the bowl with him. The Emirates started off slowly, which became a problem after three of their wickets within the power play fell.
First it was Chamika Karunaratne who bowled a full length delivery to Muhammad Waseem, who clearly looked under pressure because of the meager total on the scoreboard. Waseem tried to go big but Klaassen at third man caught him.
Next victim was Will Smeed whose leading edge sent the ball high in the air. Thanks to gravity and Uthappa, the wicket-keeper, the ball came down in the gloves and Smeed had to take the long walk back. In the same over the new batter in, Nicholas Pooran had to run back to the pavilion as well thanks to a good length delivery on the off side by Hazrat Luqman which demolished Pooran’s timber.
Power play, which was more of an unexpected raid for the Emirates, ended and the team could only accumulate 26 runs while losing 3 wickets. Andre Fletcher and Kieron Pollard were the new batters now who tried to rebuild the innings. Pollard, after a few overs went by, decided to fire on all cylinders. A boundary per over by Pollard was keeping his team in the hunt. By the end of 12 overs, the MI Emirates were at 83/3, finally showing some signs of life. Mujeeb ur Rahman got sent for a six and a four by Fletcher while Pollard handed two fours to Powell in the next over.
Fred Klaassen became the next victim of Pollard as the swashbuckler thwacked him for three maximums in a row all around the field. Powell, in his next over, had to tolerate the rage of Pollard as well since the West Indian batter hammered him for two fours and a six. However, the Capitals’ Captain had the last laugh as he ended this blitzkrieg by Pollard on the very next ball. 16 overs came to an end and Emirates needed 79 runs off 24 balls. Najibullah Zadran, the hero from the last night, entered the arena carrying the hopes of his team. 18th over it was and Najib played like he did not know there were other ways to score than hitting boundaries. The Afghan batter took Karunaratne to cleaners as he struck him for four maximums and a solitary boundary in just one over. Yes, you read that right. The ball on which the last six was hit took both teams on a rollercoaster as Najib was given out when Dan Lawrence caught him in the deep but replay showed his foot touching the boundary line which did not only save Najib but also added 6 runs to the Emirates’ tally.
Second last over started and Pollard’s team was 41 runs away from the victory. Klaassen came with the ball and castled Najib with his yorker which walloped the middle stump. Out walked Najib and with him the last hopes of Emirates. Samit Patel was the next man in and Emirates needed a-6-a-ball to win the match, which did not come and after a thrilling show, the Emirates took home their first defeat of the tourney.