ILT20: Rovman Powell, Joe Root power Dubai Capitals to 16-run victory

The Dubai Capitals produced a scintillating performance to defeat MI Emirates by 16 runs at the Zayed Cricket Stadium here.

The Capitals put a whopping 222 for three, riding on Rovman Powell and Joe Root’s spectacular half-centuries. Kieron Pollard batted out of his skin to score 86 runs off 38 balls, but the MI Emirates couldn’t find a way to cross the line.

The MI Emirates didn’t get off to the best of starts as they lost Muhammad Waseem, Will Smeed and Nicholas Pooran with just 26 runs on the board. However, the MI Emirates captain Kieron Pollard didn’t lose hope. He smashed Akif Raja for a six and a four and kept the MI team in the game at 83 for three at the end of the twelfth over. Pollard got on a roll and kept striking boundaries as he brought up his half-century in just 27 balls.

The skipper smashed Fred Klaassen for three sixes and took his team’s total to 127 for three at the end of the fifteenth over. Thereafter, he struck Powell for two fours and a six as the equation reduced to 79 runs off 25 balls. But the momentum moved to the Capitals camp when Powell dismissed Pollard in the sixteenth over.

Najibullah smashed Chamika Karunaratne for 28 runs in the eighteenth over, but he departed in the very next over, leaving the MI Emirates 40 runs behind their target. The MI Emirates tried their best, but it was too big a mountain to climb in the end.

Robin Uthappa and Joe Root got the Dubai Capitals off to a spectacular start with a 78-run opening stand. The Englishman set the tone as he smashed two boundaries off Zahoor Khan in the fourth over. He backed that up with two sixes and a four off Samit Patel’s bowling in the very next over. Uthappa also got into the act as he smacked Imran Tahir for a maximum in the seventh over. However, he fell to Fazalhaq Farooqi for 26 runs off 23 balls in the ninth over.

But captain Rovman Powell kept the momentum in the Capitals’ favour as he struck two sixes off Tahir in the eleventh over. The skipper continued to find the boundary with ease and brought up his half-century in just 22 deliveries. Root and Powell took on Zahoor Khan in the sixteenth, scoring 18 runs off the over to take the Dubai Capitals’ score to 172 for one. Powell struck Farooqi for a six and a four as the Capitals got closer to the 200-run mark. Root departed for 82 runs off 54 balls in the 19th over, but the wicket didn’t deter Powell at the other end. The captain smashed Kieron Pollard for three sixes and took his team’s total to a mammoth 222 for three.

Speaking about their performance, Dubai Capitals’ Pravin Amre said, “It was a really good wicket to bat on. We knew that we needed to get 20 extra runs. Rovman played very well and his innings was so crucial for us. His innings was a treat to watch. It was important for us to get the win and we played special cricket today.”

Meanwhile, Nicholas Pooran said, “It was always going to be challenging to chase down 222. Pollard and Najibullah Zadran played wonderfully, but it was always going to be tough. But if we are going to lose like this, we really don’t mind it.”

Brief scores: Dubai Capitals 222 for three (Rovman Powell 97, Joe Root 82, Fazalhaq Farooqi one for 39), MI Emirates 206 for five (Kieron Pollard 86, Hazrat Luqman two for 24)

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