Dubai: Gulf Giants’ skipper and opener James Vince, through an elegant and stubborn unbeaten 83 runs, well supported by Gerhard Eramus’s 52, chased down Dubai Capitals’ challenging total of 182 for 8 to record their second successive win in the fifth match of the DP World ILT20 at the Dubai International Stadium on Monday.
Vince, who had hit 65 in the first match in his team’s six-wicket win against Abu Dhabi Knight Riders on Sunday, produced yet another captain’s knock that came off 56 balls with seven boundaries and three sixes. He put on a 107 runs partnership for the third wicket with Erasmus, whose knock came off 28 balls with five boundaries and two sixes. Gulf Giants won the match with six balls to spare.
Delhi Capitals’ opener Robin Uthappa’s 79 runs off 46 balls with ten boundaries and two sixes went in vain.
Gulf Giants elected to bowl and Dubai Capitals’ Uthappa, fresh from his fine opening match knock of 43 against Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, went for his shots right away. UAE’s Sanchit Sharma, who was the hero of Gulf Giants’ first match win against Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, bowled the second over and Uthappa opened out by hitting Sharma for a boundary and a six. He also picked a boundary to fine leg off David Wiese who bowled the third over.
In the fifth over, Uthappa cracked three boundaries and a six off Sharma to take 21 runs from that over. The 50-run partnership with opener Joe Root and Uthappa’s half-century off 26 balls came in the sixth over. Uthappa punished Chris Jordan too for three boundaries. The pair put on a 71-run opening partnership, which ended in the eighth over when Vince ran out Root for 6 through a direct hit from the covers.
Skipper Rovman Powell, who joined Uthappa, began to exhibit his six-hitting ability once again. He hit leg-break bowler Rehan Ahmed for a six over long-on and then Liam Dawson for another six over mid-wicket. At the halfway mark, Dubai Capitals were in a commanding 96/1 with Uthappa on 70. Wiese ended Uthappa’s fine knock by having him caught by Chris Jordan for 79 at long-on.
Undaunted by the dismissal of Uthappa, Powell hit his third six off Dawson over mid-wicket. In the 15th over, Sikandar Raza scooped Wiese for a six. However, in the last five overs, Dubai Capitals could muster only 40 runs and lost six wickets. Powell fell in the 16th over, clean bowled by Rehan Ahmed for 38 off 25 balls with one boundary and three sixes. Sanchit Sharma, re-introduced for the 17th over, struck by having Bhanuka Rajapaksa caught by James Vince at cover for 3.
Eighteen-year-old Rehan from England struck again to dismiss Dasun Shanaka, caught by Erasmus at deep mid-wicket, for 2. In the same over, he picked his third wicket by having Ravi Bopara caught by Jordan at long-on for 2. These strikes scuttled Dubai Capitals’ hopes of reaching the 200-run mark. Raza remained unbeaten on 30 and Dubai Capitals were restricted to 182 for 8 in 20 overs.
Gulf Giants’ brilliant chase
Isuru Udana, opening the bowling for Dubai Capitals, began by bowling a maiden over to opener Vince. Rehan opened the innings by hitting UAE’s Hazrat Luqman for two boundaries and a six to take 17 runs off that over. He also pulled Udana to mid-wicket for a six in the third over. The pair put on 43 runs in 5.3 overs when off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rehman clean-bowled Rehan with a quicker one for 28. He also trapped Ollie Pope leg before for a duck in that over.
Gerhard Erasmus joined his skipper Vince, who kept the scoreboard moving. At the halfway mark, Gulf Giants were 76 for 2 needing another 107 runs. In the 11th over, Erasmus hit two successive sixes off Dasun Shanaka. Vince hit a boundary and a six off Mujeeb to reach his second successive half-century in the 13th over. In the 15th over, Erasmus picked three boundaries through some delectable steering shorts. He also escaped being caught by Ravi Bopara at covers when on 42.
With 42 runs needed off the last five overs, Erasmus too reached his half-century but got run out for 52 while backing up for a run to a straight drive from Vince. Next man Shimron Hetmyer fell for 6 to Powell but Vince stayed on to steer his team to their target.
Speaking about their performance, Gulf Giants’ captain James Vince said, “We got on top of the ball on quite a tricky wicket. We were put under pressure during the game, but we responded brilliantly. It looked like they would get 210-220, but the bowlers picked up crucial wickets, which helped us to restrict them to around the 180-mark.”
Meanwhile, Dubai Capitals’ batter Joe Root expressed, “We had a brilliant powerplay. Robin played out of his skin. The ball has been swinging a lot more than usual up front so we put in a good effort in the first few overs. But we stumbled after the 12-over mark and we couldn’t string the required partnerships.”
Dubai Capitals 182/8 in 20 overs (Robin Uthappa 79, Rovman Powell 38, Sikandar Raza 30n.o; Richard Gleeson 2-22, Rehan Ahmed 3-28) lost to Gulf Giants 183/4 in 19 overs (James Vince 83 n.o, Rehan Ahmed 28, Gerhard Erasmus 52, Mujeeb Ur Rehman 2-36).