Rehan’s 3/28, Vince’s 83* bring the Giants on top of the table in ILT20:
The stage was set yet again in the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Although DC have already played their opener here, the Giants will be facing the conditions here for the first time. Time for the toss came and the captains from both sides, James Vince and Rovman Powell, entered the ground. The coin landed in Vince’s favor who opted to field first.
The match began as Robin Uthappa, on strike, waited for Richard Gleeson to deliver the shiny new ball. A few rotations between the sticks gave the Capitals 5 runs to show on the scoreboard after the first over.
Sanchit Sharma shared the ball but gave double the runs Gleeson gave in the first over, courtesy of a boundary and a maximum off Uthappa’s blade. David Wiese, like last night, was given to bowl the third. A fine leg four ended his over and pushed the DC to 23/0.
Gleeson and Sharma bowled the next two overs. Gleeson bowled a 2 runs over bringing the run rate down to 6.25 but Sharma was quick to skyrocket the scoring rate after he conceded 21 runs in his second over, all of which were added to Uthappa’s kitty. The last over of the powerplay was bowled by Chris Jordan but his deliveries were not treated better by Uthappa as he handed him a troika of fours and reached his fifty in just 26 balls. The power play ended with 62/0 shining in front of Dubai Capitals’ name. Out of these 62, 57 runs came from Uthappa’s club.
Liam Dawson came to bowl the first over after the power play ended. A deep point four by the dangerman Uthappa was the only entertaining stuff that came in this over. An LBW appeal by Dawson after Root failed to sweep the ball reverse, could also be a contender, though.
Rehan Ahmed was brought in to bowl as the second spinner and on just the second ball, the skipper Vince ran, his country fellow, Joe Root out. Rovman Powell walked in next and opened his accounts with a ginormous 89 meter six over the legside. Dawson, too, in his next over was gifted a six by the opposition Skipper. A four in Rehan’s next over followed by a dropped catch in the same one ended the first half of Capitals batting. The end of 10 overs brought 96 runs on the board.
Jordan came to bowl his second after the first expensive one and began with a wide ball which scampered to the boundary for a four. Wiese made a comeback and ended his over on a huge note after dismissing the main threat, Robin Uthappa. Uthappa attempted pulling Wiese’s ball which went flying towards the long-on-ish area where Chris Jordan caught it in the deep. Sikander Raza came in as the wicket-keeper batter made his way back. The fall of wicket revived Powell’s six hitting ability and his victim this time, again, was Dawson.
Gleeson came to bowl his third and gave 4 off the over to chip in his efforts in controlling the damage. However, Raza and Powell recovered by hitting a six and a boundary to Wiese in the next over. Rehan rolled his arm over again and this time sent Skipper Powell back. Rajapaksa strode in but Sharma on the very first ball of the next over gave him a ticket back to the pavilion. His Sri Lankan fellow, Dasun Shanaka, walked out to face Sharma but it was Raza who punished Sharma by slapping his delivery for a four off a wide yorker followed by an equally graceful six.
Rehan Ahmed’s last over truly stopped the Capitals from reaching a potential double ton as he struck the timbers of the DC batters twice in his over giving away only 2 runs. His first victim was Shanaka who was caught in the deep by Gerhard Erasmus. The next batter in was Ravi Bopara but his stay was truncated by, again, Rehan. Rehan used the most lethal weapon in his arsenal, his googly, and showed Bopara the way back to the pavilion. 18 ended, DC stood at 166/6.
Isuru Udana joined Sikander Raza in the middle and Jordan’s silent over heralded the upcoming storm, which began with Gleeson’s over, the last of the first innings.
Gleeson was denied of getting Sikander Raza’s big wicket as Ollie Pope dropped him. However, on the very next ball Pope made up for his mistake and caught Gleeson’s short ball after it passed brushing Udana’s bat. Hazrat Luqman walked in and played havoc with Gleeson’s so far imposing over. He handed back to back four and a six to the pacer and brought the tally to 182. A yorker ended Luqman’s 2 ball long stay and with it the first innings came to an end too.
GULF GIANTS’ BATTING:
The Giants’ batting started with a maiden over from Isuru Udana but Rehan while facing Hazrat Luqman in the next over paid him back for his last over heroics in the first innings. Two boundaries and a six ended the over and added 17 runs next to the Giants’ name. Udana, too, was given a gash in the form of a midwicket six by Rehan in the next over. The so-far silent captain, James Vince, got off the mark after 7 balls of pacifism, by hitting the new bowler Mujeeb ur Rehman for a four. Akif Raja came to bowl the second last over of the power play and got smacked for a four by Vince.
The last over of the powerplay was bowled by Mujeeb who did not get off to a good start as he bowled a wide. However, things after that wide ball gave the Giants several things to worry about. The off-spinner dismissed Rehan first and then ended the newly-in, Ollie Pope’s stay and sent him back for a duck.
Out came Gerhard Erasmus and the power play ended with the Giants at 43/2. Akif Raja continued and so did Vince’s habit of hitting him for a boundary. Sikander Raza entered the attack with the ball and a few strike rotations by the batters ended his over. Following it, Dasun Shanaka was brought to bowl from the other end. Shanaka in his second over helped the Giants get the asking rate down by conceding two back to back maximums from Erasmus. Following him Vince started hurling the ball for boundaries as well. In the next three overs, the captain struck the Capitals’ bowlers for two fours and as many maximums, thus reaching his second fifty in the tournament.
Raza was robbed off two chances to get the opposition batters out after two catches off his two back to back balls were dropped. Vince sealed Raza’s spell with an extra cover six, thus bringing the asking rate below 10.
Udana was presented by Erasmus for a flurry of fours and once again, much to the frustration of Capitals’ bowlers, Ravi Bopara dropped Erasmus standing at deep extra cover.
Erasmus’s innings ended with a luckless run out in Powell’s over. Vince on the strike, struck the ball straight and the ball ended up hitting the wickets at the non-striker’s end. Erasmus who was well outside the crease could not outrun Powell who was quick to pick up the ball and pull out one of the stumps.
16 overs ended with Giants only 31 runs away from victory. Shimron Hetmyer came out of the camp next and ruined Mujeeb ur Rehman’s figures by pairing up with his captain and handing him 15 runs in his last over. Captain Powell soon got rid of Hetmyer but the dangerman Vince still remained. With 9 runs remaining the Giants entered the penultimate over. Udana with the ball tried to LBW trap Wiese but DRS saved him to stay and play the winning shot. With a couple of rotations on the last ball of the over, Wiese got his side over the line safely and returned unbeaten with his captain who led from the front to get the second victory in a row in the tournament. With this triumph, the Giants now sit at the top of the table with 4 points in their kitty.