International League T20 (ILT20) is moving towards its business end as the final of the tournament is set to take place on Sunday, 12 February. Desert Vipers after beating Gulf Giants have qualified for the finals while the Giants will take on MI Emirates in qualifier 2 on Friday in Dubai International Stadium.
Emirates in their eliminator clash beat Dubai Capitals by Eight wickets to seal their berth for qualifiers. Nicholas Pooran and Andre Fletcher scored half-centuries and led Emirates to a comfortable win. After winning the toss MI Emirates opted to bowl first and restricted Capitals to 151/5. Kiwi pacer Trent Boult and Afghan spinner Rashid Khan took two wickets each for the Emirates.
In Qualifier 2, both teams will be looking to book their spot in the finals of the inaugural season of ILT20 against Desert Vipers. Giants who topped the table in the league fell short in Qualifier 1 against Vipers they will be challenged by the Kieron Pollard-led Emirates who knocked out Capitals in the eliminator. However, the result of the match will depend upon a few batters from both teams as they look similar in the bowling department. These are the top three batters who can impact the result of the match.
3. Nicholas Pooran (MI Emirates)
In the high-octane match against Giants Emirates will hope Pooran continues his form. Pooran has scored 326 runs at an average of 54.33 in the nine games this season. The West Indian wicketkeeper-batter and Andre Fletcher helped MI Emirates win the Eliminator against Dubai Capitals. In the do-or-die match against Dubai Capitals, Pooran smashed a furious half-century and helped Emirates to win the encounter comfortably. In his last match against Giants Pooran scored 42 runs in a low-scoring match and helped Emirates to post a fighting total.
2. James Vince (Gulf Giants)
Gulf Giants skipper James Vince is leading the team from the front. Vince is the leading run scorer for the Giants and has played some crucial knocks for the team. The 31-year-old English batter has scored 342 runs in nine innings at an average of 42.75. Vince smashed two consecutive half-centuries against Dubai Capitals at the start of the season. In the later half of the season, he has not sparked much but he will be looking to lead his team against Emirates in a do-or-die match.
1. Kieron Pollard (MI Emirates)
Former West Indies allrounder Kieron Pollard has been sensational with the bat in the tournament. Emirates skipper has smashed 337 runs in nine matches at an incredible average of 67.40. Pollard is not only scoring runs but also being very impactful. He is continuously hitting with a strike rate of 198.24 which is the most by any batter in the season. In the last league game against Abu Dhabi Knight Riders Pollard hammered his former teammate, Andre Russell. He scored 26 runs against Russell in a single over. Pollard will be very crucial with both bat and bowl for the Emirates. He will be the most prized wicket in Qualifier 2 of ILT20.