Dubai, Jan 29 (IANS): Desert Vipers pulled off an exciting 12-run victory over Dubai Capitals in the 20th match of the DP World ILT20 at the Dubai International Stadium on Saturday night to regain the top position in the points table.
Though Desert Vipers could post only a moderate total of 149 for 9 through a captain's knock of 40 off 32 balls with two boundaries and two sixes from Colin Munro, Dubai Capitals were restricted to 137 for 5 in 20 overs through a splendid and accurate bowling by Rohan Mustafa (2 for 27) backed well by Matheesha Pathirana and Tom Curran. For Dubai Capitals, Adam Zampa playing his first match, bowled brilliantly take three wickets for 16 to bag the Player of the match award.
Dubai Capitals' skipper Rovman Powell (34n.o) and Yusuf Pathan (35n.o) put on an unbeaten partnership of 52 runs in 6.3 overs, but their effort went in vain before the tight bowling.
Dubai Capitals won the toss and elected to bowl. Desert Vipers' opener and UAE's Rohan Mustafa fell to the fifth ball of the first over from Jake Ball edging to wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa for 1. Skipper Colin Munro joined their prolific scoring opener Alex Hales. After scores of 83n.o, 64, 110, 99, 62n.o, Hales failed for the first time, charging out to Akif Raja and missing a good length delivery to be bowled for 12.
Munro hit Fred Klaassen for a six and a boundary off successive deliveries. Sam Billings too picked a boundary to mid-wicket off Raja. Munro then hit Raja for his second six. Desert Vipers scored 68 runs during their powerplay. Munro went on to pick two more boundaries off Jake Ball's sixth over, but after that they failed to maintain the momentum.
Sikandar Raza and Adam Zampa, who bowled the seventh and eighth over respectively, tightened the run flow giving away only five runs each. In the tenth over, Zampa trapped Billings leg before for 25 with a googly ending the 65 runs partnership off 44 balls for the third wicket.
Wanindu Hasaranga lasted only seven balls to score nine runs before lifting Zampa straight to Sikandar Raza at long-on. Zampa picked his third wicket in the 14th over, when Munro pulled him into the hands of Dasun Shanaka for 40.
With half the side back in the dug-out for 110 in 15 overs, Sherfane Rutherford and Tom Curran added 40 more runs in 32 balls for the sixth wicket before Ball had Rutherford brilliantly caught by a diving Shanaka at extra cover for 22. Curran fell to the first ball of the last over, caught by Rovman Powell at long off for 21. Desert Vipers' innings ended one run short of the 150 mark after Klaassen got Ali Nasar out caught by Shanaka for 1 to the fifth ball and Gus Atikinson getting run out to the last ball. In the last five overs Desert Vipers scored only 39 runs and lost four wickets.
Chasing a target of 150 runs, Dubai Capitals lost opener Robin Uthappa for 1 in the second over when Curran took a running catch at mid-on. In the third over, opener Hazratullah Zazai too fell edging Sheldon Cottrell to wicketkeeper Billings for 6. UAE's Chirag Suri and Shanaka took the score to 45 in 8.1 overs when Hasaranga had Shanaka brilliantly caught and bowled for 24. Suri scored 16 before lifting Rohan Mustafa to Hasaranga at deep mid-wicket.
At the half way mark, Dubai Capitals were 53 for 4, needing another 97 runs to win. Sikandar Raza joined his skipper Powell. In the 13th over from Hasaranga, Powell hit a huge six to long-on and also cracked a boundary to take 14 runs off the over. Raza hit Mustafa's first two deliveries of the 14th over for two consecutive sixes but perished to the third ball caught behind off his gloves to wicketkeeper Billings for 15.
With 65 runs needed off 39 balls, Yusuf Pathan joined Powell and hit Matheesha Pathirana for a boundary and a huge six over long-off. He also cracked another boundary and a six off Curran over mid-off. Pathirana bowled a tight 17th over giving away only three runs. Curran made it tougher giving away only seven runs in the 18th over.
The Saturday crowd moved to the edge of their seats with 23 needed of the last 12 deliveries. Pathirana yielded only six runs in the 19th over making it 17 needed from the last over from Curran. He gave away only four runs and helped Vipers win by 12 runs. Powell's unbeaten 34 came off 26 balls with one boundary and two sixes while Pathan's unconquered 35 came off 26 balls with three boundaries and two sixes.
Dubai Capitals remain on fifth slot with two victories and four defeats and only five points.