The Dubai Capitals got off to a flying start in the DP World ILT20 after defeating Abu Dhabi Knight Riders by 73 runs in the opening game of the competition at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Sikandar Raza of Zimbabwe scored a cameo, 17-ball 26 as Dubai Capitals posted 187/6 in 20 overs. They returned to restrict Abu Dhabi Knight Riders to 114/9 in 20 overs with Raza claiming 1-27 runs in four economical overs.
Speaking ahead of their next match against Gulf Giants on Monday, Sikandar Raza said "We are really happy after winning our first game. I changed my mindset last year. I felt I was batting with a lot of caution in late 2021 and early 2022.
But, we all freed ourselves when Dave Houghton became the head coach of the Zimbabwe team. Now we play very positive and aggressive cricket. I want to bat freely in every competition and the result will take care of itself."
Raza also heaped praise on England star Joe Root for sharing his experience with the Dubai Capitals players, "Joe has been brilliant in our camp. He takes time off and comes and speaks to each one of us.
He has ensured that we don't feel shy when we speak to him. He's a really nice guy to speak to and a very knowledgeable guy as well." The Dubai Capitals' UAE bowlers Hazrat Luqman and Akif Raja contributed with figures of 1-27 and 2-20 respectively against the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders.
Speaking about their performance, Raza said, "Luqman got Andre Russell out and we all know that he is a massive wicket. He can change the game in the space of a couple of overs.
Raja also bowled really well. They stuck to their plans and executed them well, which tells me that they have the skill to carry out a different plan against a different opposition as well."
The Dubai Capitals will be up against the Gulf Giants in their next match of the DP World ILT20 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Monday (January 16).