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Skipper Rovman Powell leads Dubai Capitals to massive victory in opening ILT20 match

DUBAI: Dubai Capitals skipper Rovman Powell shone under the Ring of Fire at the Dubai International Stadium cracking 48 runs and bagging two wickets to ensure his team a 73-run win in the opening match of the DP World ILT20 on Friday night.

Powell’s mission to win the opener was well supported by opener Robin Uthappa (43) and quick knocks of 26 runs each from opener Joe Root and Sikandar Raza for an impressive total of 187 for 6. Powell (2 for 15) along with Akif Raja (2 for 20) and Mujeeb Ur Rahman (2 for 16) restricted Abu Dhabi Riders to 114 for 9 in 20 overs.  Another highlight of Dubai Capitals’ splendid win was Root’s four catches.

Uthappa, opening the innings along with Root, put on 35 runs for the first wicket. Root was the first to go falling to Ali Khan, the right-arm medium pacer from the United States of America. Khan forced Root to pull into the hands of UAE’s Zawar Farid at deep square leg for 26. Sri Lanka’s star player Bhanuka Rajapaksa lasted only nine balls to score nine runs before yielding an easy high catch to Sunil Narine off Russell. At the half way mark, Dubai Capitals were 62 for 2 with skipper Rovman Powell joining Uthappa.

Skipper Narine, who bowled the 12th over, was pulled by Uthappa over mid-wicket for a six but Narine had him bowled with the last ball. Uthappa’s 43 came off 33 balls with three boundaries and two sixes.

Then began the Powell show.  He hit Ali Khan, who was introduced again in the 13th over, for 21 runs which included two sixes.  At the end of the 15th over, Dubai Capitals were 120 for 3.

Narine bowled a tight 16th over giving away just five runs. Powell slapped Rampaul’s first delivery to deep point for a six and also picked a boundary off the third. He fell to the fifth ball pulling into the hands of Colin Ingram at deep mid-wicket for 48 off 29 balls with three boundaries and three sixes. Sikandar Raza swelled the total through a quick 26.

Poor start from Abu Dhabi

Chasing a run rate of 9.35, Abu Dhabi lost an early wicket when Colin Ingram fell to the last ball of the first over from Isuru Udana, edging to Root at first slip for 1. Opener Paul Stirling too would have fallen to the first ball of the second over from UAE medium pacer Hazrat Luqman had Bopara at overs not dropped him. Stirling celebrated his luck pulling Luqman for a boundary. Udana bowled a tight third over giving away just seven runs.

Luqman yielded a six and a boundary to Stirling in the fourth over but Akif Raja who bowled the fifth over had Brandon King caught behind by wicketkeeper Uthappa for 8. Stirling kept the scoreboard moving despite two wickets down for 31 by pulling Raja for a six.

Zawar Farid who joined Stirling picked a boundary off Mujeeb Ur Rehman.  Abu Dhabi at the half way mark were 71 for 3 when Farid got out to Powell for 9.  Abu Dhabi needed to score 117 from the last ten overs.  Stirling reached his 50 in 36 balls. In the 12th over, Powell struck again to remove the danger man Stirling caught by Root at long-on for 54. His knock off 38 balls had five boundaries and two sixes.  When Sikandar Raza struck to remove Sunil Narine caught by Root for 4, half the Abu Dhabi side was back in the dug-out for 84.All eyes turned towards Andrew Russell but UAE’s Hazrat Luqman had him out caught by Root at long-off to end Abu Dhabi’s hopes.

The Dubai Capitals’ all-rounder Sikandar Raza said, “The mood in the camp is quite good after winning the match. It’s always nice to start the tournament well. Close to 190 was a really good total on that wicket in Dubai. Joe Root is a star and a class cricketer. He showed his class on that wicket today. He told me that the wicket is slightly two-paced. He had said that 160 would be a good total on this wicket.”

Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders’ captain Sunil Narine said, “The Delhi Capitals bowled well and we couldn’t string enough partnerships to chase down the total. We will work on that and hopefully, we will come to the party. I will try my level best to contribute to our team’s performance and hopefully, I can put up a better performance in the upcoming games.”

Brief scores:

Dubai Capitals bt Abu Dhabi Knight Riders by 73 runs. Dubai Capitals 187 for 6 in 20 overs (Robin Uthappa 43, Joe Root 26, Rovman Powell 48, Sikandar Raza 26, Ravi Rampaul 2 for 36, Ali Khan 2 for 45) Abu Dhabi Knight Riders 114 for 9 in 20 overs (Paul Stirling 54, Akif Raja 2 for 20, Mujeeb Ur Rehman 2 for 16, Rovman Powell 2 for 15)

Player of Match ($1500): Rovman Powell




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