Riding on Carlos Brathwaite’s 3 for 26 to restrict the Dubai Capitals to a modest 132/7 in 20 overs, defending champions Gulf Giants registered a 3-wicket win in the 11th match of the DP World ILT20 Season 2 in Sharjah.
Gulf Giants braved the onslaught of left-arm spinner Roelof Van Der Merwe who caused havoc to their run-chase bagging crucial wickets of James Vince (28), Carlos Brathwaite (1) and Chris Jordan (0). His effort of 3 for 27 went in vain with the defending champions holding their nerves to earn the winning points.
Sikandar Raza who scored a swashbuckling 47 off 36 balls to anchor the Dubai Capitals innings after losing early wickets proved his mettle with the ball too, picking up two wickets for mere eight runs but it was simply not enough.
“The wicket was doing all sorts of things. Especially with seamers, the ball was swinging a lot, and it was difficult to bat on. We thought if we could drag the innings and take the total to 140-150, we would be good. But the chase won’t be easy,” Raza had stated after the first innings.
The chase sure wasn’t easy, with Jason Holder getting opening batsman Jamie Smith (1) in the first over. But Chris Lynn led the charge, thereafter, scoring 37 runs off 22 balls, studded with three boundaries and three sixes. He was ably supported by captain James Vince who etched his name in history for getting past 10,000 runs in T20s. Vince scored 28 off 19 balls with two boundaries and two over it.
The duo struck 57 off 36 balls, scoring well above the asking run rate of 6.6 per over. Though Giants lost Lynn and Vince to Raja and Van Der Merwe in the 6th and 7th over respectively, there was enough fireworks with Jordan Cox steering their innings. He scored an unbeaten 38 off 30 balls. However, the going got tough when Merwe bagged Brathwaite and Chris Jordan in back-to-back deliveries in the 14th over while Raza had gotten rid of Usman Khan and Shimron Hetmyer. But Drakes and Cox held on to romp home a win.
Elated with the win, Gulf Giants’ captain James Vince said: “I thought it was a really good performance with the ball. We started off really well, a crucial run out early in the match set the tone. We were brave today and it was important to get off to a decent start in the chase. I think if Chris (Lynn) and I could stay on for 70-8o runs then we could have chased with five overs to spare.”
Earning the Player of the Match for his effort, Carlos Brathwaite said: “I just wanted to hit the stumps more often. There was a bit of pressure to bowl after Gleeson and Drakes, but I am happy to have delivered in an important match.”
Gulf Giants bt Dubai Capitals by 3 wickets. Dubai Capitals 132/7 in 20 overs. (Sikandar Raza 47, David Warner 21, Rahul Chopra 20; Carlos Brathwaite 3 for 26). Gulf Giants 133/7 in 18.4 overs (Chris Lynn 37, James Vince 28, J Cox 38; Van Der Merwe 3 for 27, Sikandar Raza 2 for 8)