Gulf Giants recorded a gigantic 101-run victory over Dubai Capitals in the eighth match of the DP World International League T20 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday night.
Gulf Giants posted an impressive 181 for 6, riding on their heavy scoring skipper James Vince’s 76 off 48 balls with four boundaries and four sixes. David Wiese (3 for 3) and Chris Jordan (3 for 12) backed by Richard Gleeson (2 for 14) bowled out Dubai Capitals for a paltry 80 runs in 14.3 over for a massive 101 runs victory. Gulf Giants thus recorded their third consecutive victory while Dubai Capitals faced their second defeat in three matches.
Dubai Capitals had won the toss and elected to field. The consistent Gulf Giants’ captain Vince opened the innings with 18-year-old Rehan Ahmed. Vince has scores of 65, 83n.o and 76 from his last three matches. In the second over, Rehan hit Fabian Allen for three consecutive boundaries. Isuru Udana forced Rehan to drive into the hands of Rovman Powell at mid-off for 12 in the third over. This brought in Chris Lynn, who had arrived just after playing in the Big Bash League for his first match here. Vince hit Mujeeb Ur Rehman for two consecutive boundaries in the fourth over and Gulf Giants reached the 50-run mark in 6.3 overs.
Vince smashed Allen for sixes to mid-wicket and long-on and also scored a boundary to take 20 runs off the 10th over. At the half way mark, Gulf Giants were 83 for 1. Vince raced to his third consecutive half century in 33 deliveries. He hit two more sixes off Mujeeb Ur Rehman. Lynn, who chipped in with a run-a-ball 25, fell to the last ball of the 12th over to Mujeeb lifting to Dasun Shanaka at long-off after posting a partnership of 82 runs in 54 balls for the second wicket. Gerhard Erasmus lasted only five balls to score three runs before lofting Powell to Udana at deep cover. UAE’s Akif Raja ended Vince’s superb knock by having him caught at long-on by Root. With the very next ball, he clean bowled David Wiese.
From 122 for 5 in 15 overs, Shimron Hetmyer and Liam Dawson accelerated the run flow. Hetmyer hit Udana for two consecutive sixes in the 18th over to take 17 runs off the over and the score went past the 150-run mark. The pair put on 54 runs in 4.5 over before Dawson got caught and bowled by Udana for 18. Chris Jordan hit the last ball from Udana to mid-wicket for a six to post a total of 181 for 6 in 20 overs. Hetmyer remained unbeaten on 37 off 19 balls with two boundaries and three sixes. The last five overs yielded 59 runs.
Dubai Capitals got off to a shocking start losing their consistent opener Robin Uthappa to the last ball of the first over. He edged Richard Gleeson to wicketkeeper Ashwanth Valthapa for 1. UAE’s Chirag Suri joined opener Joe Root, who brilliantly scooped Gleeson for a boundary. Suri too produced an elegant straight drive off Sanchit Sharma but Wiese trapped him leg before in the fifth over for 6. Wiese also took the valuable wicket of Powell, brilliantly caught and bowled for a duck. At the end of the fifth over, Dubai Capitals were 31 for 3.
To make matters worse, Root while going for a sweep, missed the shot and got bowled by Rehan Ahmed for 20. Yusuf Pathan joined Shanaka but scored just three runs before pushing Wiese into the hands of Dawson in the covers. When Gulf Giants had half of Dubai Capitals back in the dug-out for 44 runs, they took a firm grip on the match.
Needing 136 runs for the last ten overs, Shanaka hit Rehan for three boundaries in the 11th over but fell to the first delivery of the 12th over from Sanchit Sharma, caught by Jordan at long-on for 23. Then wickets continued to fall in every over with Jordan removing Allen for 4, Gleeson dismissing Udana for 7, and Jordan once again striking to clean bowl Karunaratne for 4 and last man Akif Raja for a duck.
Speaking about their performance, Gulf Giants’ all-rounder Rehan Ahmed said, “It feels great to clinch the win. It was a hard wicket to get started on with the bat, therefore getting around 180 was pretty good. It was great to dismiss Joe Root as he is one of the best players ever.”
Meanwhile, Dubai Capitals’ batter Chirag Suri expressed, “We could’ve assessed the conditions better here. Sharjah has been a good ground for chasing, but the ball kept a little lower than what we expected, and batting got a little harder in the second innings. Sometimes things go your way and sometimes it doesn’t. But there are still a lot of games left and we have to put things right in the next game.”
Gulf Giants beat Dubai Capitals by 101 runs. Gulf Giants 181 for 6 in 20 overs (James Vince 76, Chris Lynn 25, Isuru Udana 2 for 41, Akif Raja 2 for 23) Dubai Capitals 80 in 14.3 overs (Joe Root 20, Dasun Shanaka 23, Richard Glesson 2 for 14, David Wiese 3 for 3, Chris Jordan 3 for 12).