MI Emirates skittled out Abu Dhabi Knight Riders for 95 runs in 14.1 overs to record a resounding nine-wicket win in the sixth match of the DP World ILT20 Season 2 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.
Trent Boult (3 for 14) wiped away the cream of the Knight Riders’ batting backed by Akeal Hosein with two wickets for 21 runs. Knight Riders’ experienced allrounder Andre Russell stood amidst the ruins to hit a fighting 48 runs off 25 balls with four sixes and three boundaries. Muhammad Rohid Khan hastened the end of Knight Riders’ innings taking three wickets for 25 runs.
MI Emirates began their chase with Muhammad Waseem and Kusal Perera striking comfortably. Waseem started by hitting Josh Little for two boundaries and a six off consecutive deliveries in the first over while Perera did the same against David Willey in the second over off successive deliveries. Together they put on 42 runs in 4.2 overs before Perera got out to Matiullah Khan caught by Sunil Narine at mid-on for 22.
Skipper Nicholas Pooran, who joined Waseem, carried his team quickly to the target with an unbeaten 39 off 16 balls with five sixes and one boundary. Waseem remained unbeaten on 26 off 20 balls with two boundaries and a six. The MI Emirates won the match with 71 balls to spare. This big win lifted them to the top of the table too.
Player of the Match, Boult said: “I had a simple game plan. Try to pitch it up and search for some swing. I saw in the earlier game that it was swinging around early, so wanted to maximize the conditions. Akeal is a quality player, he swings the bowl well himself too. It’s not often that we get to see eight overs by the new ball bowlers.”
Knight Riders captain Narine wants his players to forget this mishap. “When you lose four wickets in the powerplay, you are on the back foot. The key to this game was to soak up the pressure and accumulate. You’ve got to get it out of the way tonight and forget it as soon as possible because we have a game in two days’ time. They are senior guys, and they will know where they went wrong.”
A delighted MI skipper Nicholas Pooran wants his team to capitalize on this big win. “We wanted to win this game and respond after the first game where we lost heavily. The guys accepted the challenge. Boult bowled amazingly. Hopefully we can be consistent, keep our feet on the ground, come out for the next game with the same, consistent mindset.”
Abu Dhabi Knight Riders 95 in 14.1 overs (Andre Russell 48, Akeal Hosein 2 for 21, Trent Boult 3 for 14, Muhammad Rohid Khan 3 for 25)
MI Emirates 96 for 1 in 8.1 overs (Muhammad Waseem 26n.o, Kusal Perera 22, Nicholas Pooran 39n.0