Wanindu Hasaranga’s deadly three-wicket spell and Alex Hales’ half-century (64) lifted Desert Vipers to a seven-wicket win over Abu Dhabi Knight Riders (ADKR) in the seventh match of the ILT20 at the Dubai International Stadium on Wednesday, January 18.
During the 3rd over of the second innings, Lahiru Kumara bowled a full-length outside-off delivery to Hales. He stepped back and played the inside-out shot over covers for a huge six. The batter didn’t seem to be worried by the pace of Kumara.
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Talking about the match, the Vipers won the toss and invited the Knight Riders to put runs on the scoreboard. However, the batting woes continue for Knight Riders. Such has been their plight that this is their highest score of the tournament so far, having scored 114 in each of their first two games.
A brilliant all-round performance by the Vipers
They were going alright today until the 13th over and were 101/3 at that stage. But things fell apart once they started to go after Wanindu Hasaranga. Charith Asalanka, Andre Russell, and Sunil Narine were all caught at the boundary and perished in the span of just 5 balls, snuffing out all hopes of a good score as the innings finished with a whimper in the final few overs.
Chasing the target, the Vipers got a quick start as local boy Rohan Mustafa played some stylish strokes over the infield. His cameo lasted for 21 balls before he holed out to short fine. Colin Munro was out quickly as well, but the two Englishmen in Alex Hales and Sam Billings steadied the ship. The duo were very calculated with their stroke-making, picking the field by hitting the ball into the right pockets.
Hales played a few aggressive strokes as well, as he notched up another fifty. He couldn’t stay till the end, as he chopped one back onto his stumps while facing Sunil Narine. Sherfane Rutherford however added the finishing touches with a cameo of 11, which included the winning six over deep backward square leg.