MI Emirates overpower Dubai Capitals to emerge ILT20 champions


MI Emirates' run riot overpowered Dubai Capitals by 45 runs to emerge as the new champions of the DP World ILT20 Season 2 in Dubai.

Nicholas Pooran scored a breezy unbeaten captain's knock of 57 runs off 27 balls. He was backed by Andre Fletcher's 53 off 37 balls.

Openers Muhammad Waseem and his partner Kusal Perera contributed aggressively, with Waseem scoring 43 off 24 balls, and Perera adding 38 off 26 balls, leading to a 77-run opening partnership and helping MI Emirates set a record score of 208 for 3 in 20 overs.

In reply, Capitals could muster only 163 for 7 in 20 overs with Trent Boult and Vijayakanth Viyaskanth bagging two wicket each.

MI Emirates’ skipper Nicholas Pooran, after receiving the Player of the Match, hailed his openers for setting the stage for the victory. “Truly special to be the man of the match in the final. We spoke about having the right energy and attitude. I couldn't have asked for a better start, they (openers) did the hard work, we just finished it off. It's about understanding the situation and batting accordingly."

Losing captain Sam Billings was sporting in his defeat and said: “Always regret when you lose. As captain, I'm go to bed thinking where it went wrong. But they were brilliant, Nicholas Pooran in that mood is very difficult to play against. Maybe they scored 20-25 runs too many. One of the best things about playing cricket in different places is experiencing different cultures. The UAE players have all been impressive. Really happy to see them improve.” 

Sikandar Raza who won the most valuable player award said: “Quite a proud and humbling moment for me. It has been a journey, it is the reward for a lot of sacrifice, hard work, and pain. I just want to say thank you to all those who have prayed for me in these last two years, especially during my illness. I like to be in the position where the skipper can bank on me to bowl four overs every time. Thirteen wickets in the tournament feels like the hard work is coming through; we can only get better.”

MI Emirates received the winners’ prize of a whopping $700,000, while the runners-up received $300,000.

James Vince of Gulf Giants took home the Green Belt for "highest run-getter", while Waqar Salamkheil bagged the White Belt for "highest wicket-taker". Muhammad Waseem won the Blue Belt for the best UAE player for the second year in a row, while Sikandar Raza bagged the Red Belt for the Most Value Player. All of them received $15,000 each.

DP World Biggest six was awarded to Andre Fletcher while DP World Most 6s of the season was won by Nicholas Pooran. The Cycle Hub Catch of the season went to Sam Billings for his one-handed effort at the slip to dismiss Will Smeed in Match No2.  

Final scores:
MI Emirates 208 for 3 in 20 overs (Muhammad Waseem 43, Kusal Perera 38, Andre Fletcher 53, Nicholas Pooran 57n.o)
Dubai Capitals  163 for 7 in 20 overs (Tom Banton 35, Sam Billings 40, Jason Holder 24, Trent Boult 2 for 20, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth 2 for 24)

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