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 in Sharjah.
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.
Chasing the challenging target, Vipers lost their skipper Colin Munro to the second ball of the first over caught by Johnson Charles at backward square leg off Chris Woakes for a duck. Jawadullah struck in the fourth over to clean bowl Hose for 11. Hasaranga, who joined opener Alex Hales, lifted Daniel Sams to Kohler-Cadmore at mid-on for 6. Next man Rohan Mustafa went for his shots smashing Jawadullah for two boundaries, but he then chopped Lewis Gregory on to his wicket for 14.
Hard-hitter Azam Khan was cheered all the way to the crease by the Sunday crowd and he began with a boundary to fine leg. Hales raced to his half century in 37 balls with four sixes and two boundaries but Woakes got him out for 61 forcing him to slice to Gregory at deep backward point. Sams trapped Sherfane Rutherford leg before for 4. When 28 runs were needed off 15 balls, Kohler-Cadmore ran out Khan on 35 from mid-off through a direct hit.
“It’s great to come out with a win. Although it hasn’t been an ideal start, we played some good cricket. Our plan was to try to bowl the best, bowl to the fields, and keep taking wickets. This win gives us a lot of confidence; our bowlers stood up today," said Kohler-Cadmore, Player of the match and skipper of the winning team.
A disappointed Vipers skipper Munro said: “ I think we batted well in the chase but slipped up at important moments. While we are not too worried about the dropped catches, we were sloppy, so we will assess this. We're mentally prepared, if we execute our skills better we will be good.”
Sharjah Warriors 174 for 7 in 20 overs (Martin Guptill 39, Tom Kohler-Cadmore 68, Joe Denly 22, Luke Wood 3 for 33, Wanindu Hasaranga 3 for 30) Desert Vipers 167 for 7 in 20 overs (Alex Hales 61, Azam Khan 35, Chris Woakes 2 for 26, Daniel Sams 2 for 29)