ILT20 Season 2: Muhammad Waseem’s 89* steers MI Emirates to 8-wicket win over Knight Riders

A spectacular knock by Muhammad Waseem who scored a resilient 89 off 62 balls, consigned the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders to a crushing 8-wicket defeat despite setting up a formidable total of 188/5 in 20 overs here in the 12th match of the ongoing ILT20 Season 2.

A spectacular knock by Muhammad Waseem who scored a resilient 89 off 62 balls, consigned the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders to a crushing 8-wicket defeat despite setting up a formidable total of 188/5 in 20 overs here in the 12th match of the ongoing ILT20 Season 2.

The UAE national team skipper entertained the Sunday spectators in the picturesque Zayed Cricket Stadium with an unbeaten innings studded with eight boundaries and three sixes, helping the MI Emirates chase the target in 19 overs.

The 27-year-old Waseem along with opening batter Kusal Perera set the momentum for the mega run-chase with Perera scoring the fastest 50 of ILT20 Season 2, hammering 54 off 26 balls. Their effort in the middle built a solid partnership of 110 in 9.5 overs which was finally broken by David Willey whose short-length bouncer ended Perera’s outing with wicketkeeper Michael Pepper taking a sound catch.

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Even though Perera’s dismissal was a setback to their run-chase, Waseem continued to power through making his intentions clear in the next over scoring a boundary off Marchant De Lange and a six, adding 11 runs in that over. The run rate continued to surge at 10.00 per over with captain Nicholas Pooran and Waseem breaking no sweat in steering the innings.

Waseem built on his impressive outing with well-timed boundaries in the following overs. Though they lost Pooran (33 off 19 balls) to Ali Khan in the 17th over, Waseem along with Tim David (10 n.o) showcased composure to help their team sail through to their fourth win this season from five matches. Today’s effort has put them on top of the points table.

Fazalhaq Farooqi impresses with 3 for 35

Put in to bat first, the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders’ attacking intent was evident with their opening batters Joe Clarke and wicketkeeper-batsman Michael Pepper feasting on the opening overs scoring 33 runs before Clarke was sent back to the dugout with 21 runs from 13 balls, three boundaries and a six to his name. It was Fazalhaq Farooqi who drew the first blood for MI Emirates, breaking the partnership between Clarke and Michael Pepper.

Coming in at No.3, Alishan Sharafu steadied the innings setting up a good partnership with Pepper fetching 50 runs off 32 balls. The duo’s blitz shot up the team’s run rate to 9.5 in the powerplay, until Trent Boult scalped Pepper. It was a fine catch in the deep square leg by Muhammad Waseem.

At 83/2, Sharafu went on to build a partnership with Sam Hain, scoring 39 runs off 28 balls to keep them in the game. However, after Sharafu was dismissed at 37 (off 25 balls) in the 13th over by Waqar Salamkheil and Trent Boult taking a splendid single-handed catch, the ADKR innings looked to be in trouble as they lost back-to-back wickets in the 17th over to Fazalhaq.

But Andre Russell came to the rescue scoring a quickfire 46 off 17 balls studded with 6 sixes. He batted alongside Imad Wasim to put together a refined partnership of 43 off 15 balls that powered them to a formidable total of 188/5 in 20 overs, which wasn’t enough eventually.

Brief scores:

Abu Dhabi Knight Riders 188/5 in 20 overs (Andre Russell 46 n.o, Sam Hain 40, Michael Pepper 38, Alishan Sharafu 37; Fazalhaq 3-35) lost to MI Emirates 189/2 in 19 overs (Waseem Muhammad 89 n.o, Kusal Perera 54; David Willey 1-37) by 8 wickets.

 (IANS)

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