A late ball six from Sikandar Raza and his unbeaten 45-ball 60 with five boundaries and two sixes took Dubai Capitals to a thrilling five-wicket win over Desert Vipers in the 27th match of ILT20 Season 2 at the Dubai International. Stadium. Raza orchestrated his team’s victory through a 79-run partnership in 54 balls for the fourth wicket with Sam Billings, who scored 57 off 36 balls with five boundaries and two sixes, and a 40-run partnership in 23 balls with Dasun Shanaka (10) for the fifth wicket.
With 13 runs needed in the last over, Ali Naseer, a 19-year-old medium pacer from the UAE, bowled a brave over, but when six runs were needed in the last ball, Raza hit him long on.
Vipers had posted a challenging 171 for 7 through Alex Hales’ 66 off 37 balls with four boundaries and six sixes, and their opening 66-run partnership with Phil Salt (26). Aside from Michael Jones’ 20 cameo, everyone else had trouble getting runs.
With a run rate of 8.55, the initial partnership between Tom Banton and Max Holden lasted just 16 runs. Holden fell thanks to a superb leaping catch from Adam Hose off Sam Curran cover for 8. Ben Dunk also had a clean delivery which beat him and hit the top of his stump for 1. When Banton brought Ali Naseer to Daniel Lawrence in deep square leg for 15, the capitals were in trouble.
VIDEO: Sikandar Raza hits a six off the last ball when 6 runs were needed off 1 ball
At the halfway mark, Capitals needed 111 more runs. Billings raced to his 50 off 29 balls. Raza provided excellent support. In the 15th over, Matheesha Pathirana trapped Billings leg before with a yorker to end the partnership that was growing to dangerous proportions.
Dasun Shanaka and Raza brought the target closer with 29 runs needed off the last 18 balls. Raza reached his half-century in 38 balls. Sam Curran ended the Raza-Shanaka partnership of 40 runs in 23 balls by cleanly bowling Shanaka for 10.
Previously, the last-place Capitals won the toss and opted to play the fifth-place Vipers first. Openers Philip Salt and Alex Hales gave a positive start to the innings by attempting their shots. Hales hit Richard Ngarava for three sixes and two boundaries in the second over to take 26 runs off that over. Their 50-run partnership came in 3.1 overs and Hales scored 40 of those runs. In the fifth over, Roelof van der Merwe broke the 66-run partnership by getting Salt to reverse-sweep him to Ngarava at short third man for 26.
Hales reached his half-century in 25 balls reaching his sixth boundary of six and two. At the end of the eighth over, Vipers reached the 100-run mark. Dan Lawrence added 34 runs for the second wicket with Hales before becoming Van der Merwe’s second victim caught by Rahul Chopra at long-off for 15. Skipper Colin Munro departed quickly towards an Olly Stone delivery that cut through the gap of the pad to hit the stump for 6. Stone also struck to end Hales’ good knock by making him bowl, but ended up flicking the ball to Ngarava at short fine leg.
The fall of quick wickets reduced the prospects of a big score. Sikandar Raza trapped Adam Hose leg-before for 7 and also strangled the run flow. Haider also caught Sam Curran’s leg earlier. No boundaries were scored in 38 balls. Michael Jones, who scored 20 runs, sent Scott Kuggeleijn to Shanaka at point to give Vipers a challenging total.
Raza, who in the last year bagged 11 Man of the Match awards in T20, the most for any player in the world, described his last six balls by saying: “I said to myself, I don’t think I will do it. fall short as I had hit one earlier off the ground. “I’ll keep my form and try to hit it in the air and hit it as best I can.”
About Ali Naseer, Raza said: “He bowled very well; These are things we have learned throughout our careers. Having a 19-year-old throw in the final was fantastic, and he almost won it. It could have gone either way; But I’m sorry, we needed that win tonight. The first thing that comes is the faith that keeps me going.”
Sam Billings, after praising Raza’s knock, said: “Raza has shown his true character and ability. I told him one shot can get him back. We had to hold on and the spinners did a fantastic job and changed the game. We needed to win tonight and we can face tomorrow. Very proud of the efforts.”
A disappointed Vipers captain Colin Munro said: “They bowled exceptionally well but we lost wickets in bunches, which never helps. The first two played well but unfortunately we couldn’t move forward. Thanks to Ali Naseer, he played very well and will be in those situations many times in the future. Good for us for next year too.”