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Amir stings for Vipers prevail in last-ball thriller over MI Emirates

Pakistan's Mohammad Amir was adjudged man of the match
30 Jan 2024 23:33

Dubai (Aletihad)

Desert Vipers produced a nail-biting two-wicket win off the last ball after a fierce battle against MI Emirates in the 14th match of the DP World ILT20 season 2 at the Dubai International Stadium. 

MI Emirates was restricted to 149 for 9 in 20 overs, but they fought back to reduce Vipers to 62 for 5. The fate of the match swung like a pendulum till the last over. Vipers’ Sherfane Rutherford lit up hopes of a victory through a quick 35 runs after taking 17 runs off Boult’s 17th over with a six and two boundaries. Then Bravo had Rutherford caught by Kusal Perera at mid-on off a slower delivery. Shaheen Afridi (17n.o) and Luke Wood (6n.o) took up the challenge of scoring 17 runs from the last 12 balls and ten off the last over from Trent Boult to win off the last ball. They ran for the three runs needed to win off the last ball. 

Earlier MI Emirates’ batting cracked against the tight bowling of Mohammad Amir (3 for 26), Luke Wood (2 for 32) and Matheesha Pathirana (2 for 32). Their total was shaped by Ambati Rayudu and Akeal Hosein’s 49 runs partnership in 45 deliveries for the fifth wicket through knocks of 23 and 24 runs respectively. Tim David’s cameo of 28 off 14 balls gave some respectability to the total.  

Chasing the target, Vipers’s opener Rohan Mustafa went for his shots and scored 18 runs with two boundaries and a six before being bowled by Fazalhaq Farooqi. UAE’s left-arm pacer Muhammad Rohid struck twice in the fifth over to clean bowl opener Alex Hales for 3 and had Adam Hose brilliantly caught by a leaping Dwayne Bravo at first slip for a duck. Farooqi picked the price wicket of skipper Colin Munro caught behind by wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran for 4. 

With the score reading 28 for 4 in 5.3 overs, Azam Khan walked in and hit two successive boundaries off the first two deliveries  he faced off Farooqi. Wanindu Hasaranga too speeded up the run flow and put on 34 runs for the fifth wicket before Rohid dismissed the aggressive Khan, caught by Boult at deep mid-wicket for 20. At the half way mark, Vipers needed 76 more runs. When Hasaranga too slapped Dwayne Bravo straight to Boult at deep extra cover for 26, Emirates took a firm grip on the match.

Sherfane Rutherford, however, changed the course of the match through his 35 runs before the last over drama. 

Winning captain Colin Munro said: “It feels great to get a win and those two points. There were a couple of rash shots, but I can't fault the intent; but  we gotta be a little bit smarter.  It’s always nice to win those tight games.”

Player of the Match Mohammad Amir said, “It was an interesting game, and I am happy I did something for the team as I thought Rutherford would be the player of the match. We bowled in partnership and it is important to communicate with each other. Also, Shaheen and me are sharing the experience, and that helps.”

Losing skipper Nicholas Pooran remarked: “We felt we were 10-15 runs short, but in all honesty we felt we could make it an interesting game if we could get a couple of early wickets. It is a tough one to swallow though. We'll definitely rebuild. It just wasn't enough today.”

Brief scores:

Desert Vipers bt MI Emirates by two-wickets.  MI Emirates 149 for 9 in 20 overs (Ambati Rayudu 23, Akeal Hosein 24, Tim David 28, Mohammad Amir 3 for 26, Luke Wood 2 for 32, Matheesha Pathirana 2 for 32) Desert Vipers 150 for 8 in 20 overs (Wanindu Hasaranga 26, Azam Khan 20, Sherfane Rutherford 35, Fazalhaq Farooqi 2 for 23, Muhammad Rohid 3 for 21, Dwayne Bravo 2 for 30)

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