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HomeCricketMuhammad Waseem and Kieron Pollard’s breezy knocks take MI Emirates to playoffs

Muhammad Waseem and Kieron Pollard’s breezy knocks take MI Emirates to playoffs

DUBAI: Consistent opener Muhammad Waseem and skipper Kieron Pollard’s breezy knocks backed by Dwayne Bravo‘s three-wicket spell carried MI Emirates into the playoffs with an impressive 18-run win over Abu Dhabi Knight Riders in the 26th match of the DP World ILT20 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Friday night.

Abu Dhabi Knight Riders’ winless run continued after they let MI Emirates post 180 for 4 in 20 overs through some poor fielding and unimpressive bowling. Dropping Waseem thrice, they let the high-scoring UAE opener flourish and hit 60 runs off 43 balls with six sixes and one boundary. Skipper Kieron Pollard’s cameo of 43 off just 17 balls with four boundaries and three sixes swelled the total.

Chasing the target, Abu Dhabi were bowled out for 162 in 19.2 overs with Dwayne Bravo producing a fine spell of 3 for 37, backed by Imran Tahir (2 for 20) and Zahoor Khan (2 for 33). Andre Russell’s fighting knock of 42 off 22 balls with five boundaries and two sixes went in vain.

Abu Dhabi Knight Riders won the toss and elected to bowl. Their opening bowler and medium pacer Akeal Hosein gave away just a single in the first over. Opener Andre Fletcher got the first boundary of the day off Marchant de Lange through an edge over the slips.

Muhammad Waseem too scored a boundary off Hosein past point. They scored 29 runs during the powerplay. In the seventh over, skipper Sunil Narine provided the breakthrough having Fletcher caught and bowled for 22.

When on 14, Muhammad Waseem got a life when Brandon King at backward point dropped him off Russell. At the halfway mark, MI Emirates was 55 for 1 with Lorcan Tucker too picking the gaps correctly. In the 13thover, Waseem hit Matiullah Khan for two successive sixes to score 16 runs off the over.

Tucker too hit Hosein for a six over long-on. Waseem then went on to hit two successive sixes off Sabir Ali to reach his half-century in 38 balls. This was followed by another six off Narine over square leg. He also smashed another six to mid-wicket in the same over and also escaped being caught again at cover.

Tucker who took 23 balls to score 33 runs was retired out to accelerate the run flow. Nicholas Pooran replaced him at the crease but Waseem on 60 got clean bowled to the first ball of the 16th over by Marchant de Lange.

Kieron Pollard joined Pooran and tried to accelerate the run flow. Pollard picked two successive boundaries off Russell’s first and second deliveries of the 18th over. He also hit the fourth delivery for a six to long on, then edged the fifth for a boundary, and then hit the last ball for a six to long. Twenty-six runs were scored off that over.

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