Dubai Capitals produced a brilliant all-round show to outplay Abu Dhabi Knight Riders by seven wickets in the 22nd match of the DP World International League T20 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.
Adam Zampa, through a spell of 3 for 16, backed by UAE bowlers Hazrat Luqman (2 for 41) and Akif Raja (2 for 23), restricted Abu Dhabi to 149 for 9 in 20 overs. Chasing the target, Dubai Capitals and Scotland opener George Munsey cracked 57 runs off 43 balls with six boundaries and a six to ensure a comfortable win with 14 balls to spare.
Scotland opener Munsey and Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella, who hit 37 off 22 balls with four boundaries and two sixes, put on a 59-runs opening partnership to set the base for their victory. Dubai Capitals thus recorded their third win in eight matches while Abu Dhabi remains winless in this tournament. For Abu Dhabi, opener Joe Clarke’s 52 runs off 27 balls with eight boundaries and two sixes went in vain.
Dubai Capitals, after winning the toss, had elected to bowl. It was an eventful start to the match with Fred Klaassen bowling a maiden over to Abu Dhabi opener Paul Stirling. UAE’s Hazrat Luqman removed Stirling with the third ball of the second over by having him caught by skipper Rovman Powell at mid-off for a duck.
Luqman, who was hit for four consecutive boundaries in the fifth over by opener Joe Clarke, removed one-drop batsman Dhananjaya de Silva, caught behind by wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella for 7. Twenty runs had come off that over. Clarke then hit Chamika Karunaratne for a boundary and a six to take 13 runs of that over, and by the end of the powerplay Abu Dhabi were 53 for 2. Clarke continued to punish Luqman for a boundary and a six to square leg and reached his half century in 24 balls.
Leg spinner Adam Zampa was introduced for the eighth over and he trapped Clarke leg before with the last ball of his over for 52. The task of accelerating the run flow fell on Brandon King and Charith Asalanka, but King lasted just ten balls to score seven runs when he too was trapped leg before by Zampa. At the half way mark, Abu Dhabi were 85 for 4 needing some quick runs. When Zampa clean bowled Zawar Farid for his third wicket, half the Abu Dhabi side was back in the dug-out for 90 in 11.4 overs. This was Zampa’s second successive three wicket spell in this tournament.
Off spinner Sikandar Raza had Asalanka stumped by Dickwella for 9. Andre Russell joined Akeal Hosein and steered Abu Dhabi past the 100 run mark in the 15h over through a six by Hosein off Raza. UAE’s medium pacer Akif Raja, who was introduced for the 16th over, struck with the first delivery clean bowling Hosein for 12.
Skipper Sunil Narine joined Russell and hit Raja for a mighty six to long on and also smashed the next through extra cover for a boundary. He then steered the third delivery past backward point for another boundary. With the fifth ball, Raja forced Russell to edge to wicketkeeper Dickwella for 12. In the 19th over, Narine got run out for 23 while going for a second run. This ended Abu Dhabi’s hopes of crossing the 150-run mark.
Chasing a run rate of 7.45, Dubai Capitals openers George Munsey and Niroshan Dickwella opened the innings and put on 59 runs during the powerplay. The first ball after the powerplay ended Dickwella’s innings when he was brilliantly caught by Dhananjaya on 37 at backward square leg while trying to sweep Hosein.
Dasun Shanaka joined Munsey and kept the score board moving at a steady pace. At the half way mark, Dubai Capitals were 93 for 1 and needed only 57 runs to win. Munsey reached his half century in 35 balls. Shanaka and Munsey put on a 62 runs partnership in 44 balls before Shanaka got out bowled by Lahiru Kumara for 28.
When six runs were needed, Munsey’s innings too came to an end caught behind by wicketkeeper Joe Clarke off Russell for 57. Rovman Powell through an unbeaten 21 steered his team safely to the target.
Speaking about their performance, Dubai Capitals’ George Munsey said, “It was a pretty decent wicket. The bowlers did a really good job to restrict them to 149 for nine and then the batters did what they had to do. We’ve got three quality spinners in our squad. It’s great to have them at our disposal.”
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Knight Riders’ Joe Clarke said, “It’s never nice to lose games. It’s quite disheartening when you’ve got the quality to go further in the tournament. We were 20-30 runs short on that wicket. We needed to get early wickets and that didn’t happen either.”
Brief scores: Abu Dhabi Knight Riders 149 for 9 in 20 overs (Joe Clarke 52, Sunil Narine 23, Hazrat Luqman 2 for 41, Adam Zampa 3 for 16, Akif Raja 2 for 23), Dubai Capitals 150 for 3 in 17.4 overs (George Munsey 57, Niroshan Dickwella 37, Dasun Shanaka 28, Rovman Powell 21n.o)