Dasun Shanaka and Sikandar Raza struck unbeaten half-centuries as they steered Dubai Capitals to a stunning seven-wicket victory over MI Emirates in the 29th match of the DP World ILT20 at the Dubai International Stadium in front of a large Sunday crowd.
Chasing MI Emirates’ 164 for 7, Dasun Shanaka and Sikandar Raza scored unbeaten knocks of 58 and 56 runs respectively off 36 deliveries each. Shanaka hit five boundaries and three sixes while Raza scored four boundaries and four sixes. Their unbeaten 122 runs partnership for the fourth wicket in 11.3 overs ensured Dubai Capitals victory with 11 balls to spare.
Though MI Emirates have already qualified for the playoff, Dubai Capitals now moves to the fourth spot with nine points, above Sharjah Warriors. The clash between Sharjah Warriors with seven points and Gulf Giants, who are in the second slot, at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday will thus decide the last spot in the playoffs.
Dubai Capitals won the toss and elected to bowl. MI Emirates’ opener Andre Fletcher hit two consecutive boundaries off Fred Klaassen in the first over but fell to the first ball of the second over from Jake Ball edging to wicket-keeper Robin Uthappa for 9. One-drop Bas de Leede followed falling leg before to Ball’s fourth delivery of the same over for 2.
Lorcan Tucker, who joined opener Muhammad Waseem, took two boundaries off Hazrat Luqman who bowled the third over. Waseem too smashed Ball for a boundary to mid-on, and then in the next over he hit the first six of the match off Akif Raja into the mid-wicket stands. Tucker on 21 got bowled by Sikandar Raza when he missed a paddle sweep. At the end of the powerplay, MI Emirates was 58 for 3.
Adam Zampa, as usual, was introduced for the seventh over. Waseem hit his second six off Raza over midwicket in the eighth over but got clean bowled by Zampa in the ninth over while attempting a slog sweep for 31. At the halfway mark, MI Emirates was 77 for 4. Dan Mousely got dropped on 3 by Dasun Shanaka off Luqman despite getting to the ball running in from the square leg.
Pooran played some aggressive shots and took the score past the 100-run mark in the 14th over. Zampa, who was re-introduced for the 17th over, was greeted by Pooran with a six to square leg but he fell to the fourth ball of that over caught at sweep cover by Klaassen for 43. Jordan Thompson hit Klaassen for two sixes in the 19th over to take the score past the 150-mark. Thompson got out to the first ball of the last over lofting Ball straight to Powell at mid-off for 16. In the last five overs, MI Emirates scored 48 runs and lost three wickets to post a challenging total of 164 for 7 in 20 overs.
Brad Wheal, opening the bowling for MI Emirates, gave away just four runs in his first over while Craig Overton yielded just one run in the second over. In the third over Dubai Capitals opener, Robin Uthappa hit Wheal for a six and Munsey too picked a boundary off him. Munsey also hit Overton for a six to accelerate the run flow. Uthappa then hit Zahoor Khan for a six to the backward square but fell to Overton in the sixth over slashing and edging to the wicketkeeper Tucker for 29.
At the end of the power play, Dubai Capitals was 44 for 1. Munsey too quickly followed miscuing a reverse sweep to Wheal off left-arm spinner Zahir Khan for 14. Two balls later, he took the prize wicket of Rovman Powell who slog-swept to Mousley for a duck. Khan yielded no runs from that over too.
Sikandar Raza and Dasun Shanaka took the score to 62 for 3 in 10 overs. Needing 103 runs from the last ten overs, Raza went for his shots and hit Zahir Khan for a six to long-on and also scored two boundaries off that over. Shanaka too hit Zahoor Khan who was introduced for the 13th over for a six and a boundary. Their partnership strengthened and runs began to flow easily.
From the last five overs, Dubai Capitals needed 37 runs after Shanaka had punished Jordan Thompson for 15 runs which included six and two boundaries. Shanaka reached his half-century in 32 balls and the pair recorded their century partnership in 60 balls. Raza too reached his half-century in 34 balls with a six off Thompson. They ensured their team’s victory in 18.1 overs.
MI Emirates 164/7 in 20 overs (Muhammad Waseem 31, Lorcan Tucker 21, Nicholas Pooran 43, Dan Mousley 31 n.o, Jake Ball 3-37, Adam Zampa 2-24) Dubai Capitals 166 for 3 in 18.1 overs (Robin Uthappa 29, Dasun Shanaka 58n.o, Sikandar Raza 56n.o, Zahir Khan 2 for 32) n by 7 wkts