Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein bowled out Sharjah Warriors for a paltry 74 runs and guided MI Emirates to a 106-run win in the ninth match of the DP World ILT20 season 2 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
He wreaked havoc with a spell of 4 for 23 through his guile and precision and bowled out Warriors in 12.1 overs.
MI Emirates had posted a total of 180 for 7 in 20 overs through Andre Fletcher, who hit 42 off 31 balls with four boundaries and two sixes. Kusal Perera, too, scored 42 runs off 25 balls with three boundaries and three sixes. Together, they put on 93 runs off 56 balls for the second wicket. Skipper Nicholas Pooran then cracked 37 runs off 29 balls with two sixes and a boundary. Sharjah Warriors' Muhammad Jawadullah stood out, taking three wickets for 31.
Warriors, who had to score at a run rate of nine, lost early wickets. Hosein bowled out danger man Johnson Charles with the last ball of the first over for 1, while Boult had skipper Tom Kohler-Cadmore caught and bowled for a duck. Opener Martin Guptill and Niroshan Dickwella added another 33 runs before Boult struck again to force Dickwella to play into David's hands at mid-off for 22. Joe Denly began smashing Boult to the cover boundary, but the Warriors lost Guptill to a slow delivery from Fazalhaq Farooqi for 17.
Hosein's deadly eighth over had Denly caught-out and bowled for 6 off the second ball. One ball later, he dismissed Basil Hameed for a duck caught by Boult at long-off and then Daniel Sams's leg with the next ball. Hosein missed his hat-trick as Chris Woakes survived a review after being given out leg before.
Earlier, Emirates began by losing their consistent opener, Muhammad Waseem, to the second ball of the first over from Chris Woakes, caught brilliantly by a diving Joe Denly at cover point for a duck. Fletcher, who joined opener Perera, aggressively lifted Dilshan Madushanka to the sightscreen for a six. Perera topped it with two sixes off Madushanka to take 20 runs off the fourth over.
Strike bowler Maheesh Theekshana was also hit for 16 runs in the sixth over. When the total was seven runs short of the 100-run mark, Theekshana yorked Fletcher for 42. Perera followed, run-out to the next ball for 42 in a mix up with his skipper Nicholas Pooran.
The mantle of maintaining the run flow fell on Pooran and Ambati Rayudu. That's when Muhammad Jawadullah struck to clean bowl Rayudu, who went for a wild swing and missed for 7. Tim David and Pooran scored seven runs short of the 150 mark when Daniel Sams forced David to edge to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella for 20. The pair had put on 38 runs in 27 balls for the fifth wicket. Pooran fell in the last over to Jawadullah, hitting straight to Denly at long-off. Jawadullah also yorked Hosein for a duck, but Trent Boult struck the last two deliveries of the innings for boundaries.
Pooran, skipper of the winning team, said: "Losing the toss, we had some responsibility to hold strong in batting. We felt 170 would do the job for us. It was a slightly difficult track for batters. We had to work hard in the batting department. This is the second game where we have bowled a team for less than 100."
Sharjah skipper Kohler-Cadmore said his team needed to be more positive. "You don't go out there and panic. Most teams will bowl first here. If you lose a lot of wickets at the top, you will struggle in the chase. We should not be losing too many wickets in the powerplay. It is about staying positive and keeping the same intent. And would hope to come back stronger for the next game."
The player of the match, Hosein, described how his spell was about making the right assessment. "I thought I would bowl fuller. Bowling the first over, I thought it was about execution. But it's just about making the assessment. I had to spin more balls. It's unfortunate that I was so close to picking up a hat trick."