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UAE cricketers shine over the weekend in ILT20

Alishan Sharafu smashed 82 not out from 47 balls to secure a timely win for Abu Dhabi Knight Riders
28 Jan 2024 17:15

Kuumar Shyam (Abu Dhabi)

A solid knock of 89 off 62 balls by MI Emirates opener Muhammad Waseem consigned the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders to an eight-wicket defeat despite setting up a formidable total of 188/5 in 20 overs in the Abu Dhabi derby of the second DP World ILT20.

The UAE national team skipper entertained the Sunday spectators at the Zayed Cricket Stadium with an unbeaten innings studded with eight boundaries and three sixes, helping the MI Emirates chase the target in 19 overs.
Waseem was joined by Kusal Perera, who set the momentum by scoring the fastest 50 of the second season, taking only 22 balls to do so. Perera scored 54 off 26 balls. Though Emirates lost captain Nicholas Pooran (33 off 19 balls) to Ali Khan in the 17th over, Waseem anchored the innings to help their team sail through to their fourth win this season from five matches. 

Put in to bat first, the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders had a brisk start from Joe Clarke and Michael Pepper, before the former got out for 21 from 13 balls. 

Coming in at No.3, another UAE batsman Alishan Sharafu steadied the innings. Along with Pepper, the duo score at a run rate of 9.5 per over in the powerplay overs, until Trent Boult scalped Pepper. It was a fine catch in the deep square leg by Muhammad Waseem.

At 83/2, Sharafu then went on to build a partnership with Sam Hain (39 runs in 28 balls). Sharafu was dismissed at 37 (off 25 balls) in the 13th over by Waqar Salamkheil when Boult took a splendid single-handed catch. Andre Russell made a quickfire 46 off 17 balls, studded with six sixes as ADKR put up a decent target of 189 on a batting pitch, but Waseem ensured it wasn’t enough.

Jawadullah gets Sharjah first home win

Skipper Tom-Kohler Cadmore, through an aggressive 68 off 34 balls studded with eight sixes and two boundaries, guided his team to a hard fought seven-run win over Desert Vipers in the 13th match of the DP World ILT20 season 2 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. His 101 runs partnership in 53 balls for the third wicket with Martin Guptill, who scored 39 off 32 balls with four fours and one six, gave his team a challenging total of 174 for 7 in 20 overs. 

The Sunday crowd of nearly 13,000 were in for a great treat when Vipers tried to chase the target through Alex Hales’s 61 off 40 balls with five sixes and three boundaries and Azam Khan’s fighting 35 off 22 balls. Together, the pair put 52 runs in 33 balls for the fifth wicket but failed to carry their team to victory. 

Earlier, Wanindu Hasaranga had put the brakes on Sharjah Warriors’ run flow with three wickets in the 16th over for figures of 3 for 30. Luke Wood too chipped in with three wickets for 33 runs, but all their efforts went in vain.

So close was the fight that when Vipers needed 22 runs to win off the last 12 balls, Daniel Sams gave away only six runs in the penultimate over.  Needing 16 runs off the last over, Muhammad Jawadullah held his nerves and bowled accurately giving away just eight runs to ensure Warriors’ victory. 

Sharafu shines on successive days

Earlier on Saturday afternoon, the UAE’s 21-year-old Sharafu stole the thunder with an unbeaten 82 runs to steer ADKR to a six-wicket win over Desert Vipers at the Zayed Cricket Stadium. Sharafu’s knock came in 47 balls with 11 boundaries and four sixes. With support from experienced and senior players like Imad Wasim (25) and Andre Russell (24n.o), he helped chase down Desert Vipers total of 154 for 8 with 16 balls to spare.

ADKR were in trouble but Sharafu began to play freely and in a total of 60 for 3, he had scored 30 of those runs. He reached his half century in 34 balls. For Knight Riders who had lost two consecutive matches, this was a morale-boosting win. For Sharafu, too, the knock came on the back of repeated failures in going beyond double digit scores.

Sharafu thanked the management for the trust in him. “It feels really good. I am grateful to the management for trusting in me. It's a great environment and I’m looking to pick up as much as I can from all the legends in the dressing room.”

  • Points table after 12 games as on January 28
    Points table after 13 games as on January 28


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