Pooran and Farooqi shine as MI Emirates bounce back with victory over Gulf Giants

Andries Gous slams unbeaten 95 to get Abu Dhabi Knight Riders’ campaign off to perfect start

Nicholas Pooran, captain of MI Emirates, plays a shot during the win over Gulf Giants. ILT20
Powered by automated translation

MI Emirates bounced back from their opening day blues to claim their first points with victory over Gulf Giants in the DP World ILT20 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

Nicholas Pooran top scored with a 28-ball 51 and Tim Davids hit an impressive 41 not out off 15 balls to help Emirates post a challenging 179 for five after a slow start.

Fazalhaq Farooqi then returned with four for 25 from four overs to restrict the Giants to 161 for nine, leaving Emirates winners by 18 runs.

Richard Gleeson began the match with a tidy first over, giving away only two singles, after the Giants elected to field first. Dominic Drakes struck at the other end from his second delivery to have Will Smeed (1) caught off his own bowling, leaving MI Emirates 4-1 at the end of that over.

Muhammad Waseem, joined by Andre Fletcher, put on 41 before Mujeeb ur Rahman, coming into the attack for the first time in the seventh over, broke the partnership.

The Afghan produced a quick delivery that turned sharply to crash into Waseem’s stumps. The UAE captain had appeared to get into his stride by smashing Gleeson for consecutive sixes in the previous over in his 18-ball 19.

Fletcher departed for a 38-ball 28, caught at the third man fence off Jamie Overton, to leave Emirates struggling at 66-3 in 11.5 overs.

Pooran and Ambati Rayudu set the tempo with a brilliant 69-run stand from 32 balls before Davids rounded off with an unbeaten 41 off 15 deliveries that had five sixes and a couple of boundaries. He pumelled Chris Jordan’s final over for 27.

Pooran top scored with a 28-ball 51 with four sixes and three fours while Rayudu chipped in with a 16-ball 25 that included four hits to the fence and one for the maximum.

The Giants, in reply, raced to 48 in five overs before Farooqi struck twice in successive deliveries to change the game around.

The Afghan left-arm quick had Jamie Smith caught by Dwayne Bravo at mid-off and Jordan Cox playing on the next.

James Vince and Usman Khan took the score to 96 before the latter fell to Waqar Salamkheil for a 20-ball 22. Vince departed five runs later for a 43-ball 52.

The Giants didn’t lose hope. Overton bludgeoned spinner Salamkheil for three sixes in a row and then hit another off Trent Boult to bring down the equation to 26 off 12. Farooqi was brought back to the attack and produced another double strike to dash the Giants’ hopes.

He bowled Overton (41 off 18) with his second delivery, had Jordan (0) trapped in front, leaving the Giants needing 23 from the final over.

Earlier, Andries Gous smashed an unbeaten 95 in 50 balls to guide Abu Dhabi Knight Riders to a comprehensive six-wicket win over Desert Vipers at the Dubai Cricket Stadium.

The South African wicketkeeper batter thumped seven sixes and five fours as his team reached their target with 14 balls to spare after restricting the Vipers to 164 for eight.

Updated: January 22, 2024, 3:42 AM