MI Emirates displayed their all-round strength and registered an emphatic six-wicket win over Sharjah Warriors in the sixth match of the DP World ILT20 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Tuesday night.
Deadly strikes by MI Emirates' veteran and experienced bowlers Dwayne Bravo and Imran Tahir, who shared five wickets between them, restricted Sharjah Warriors to 146 for 7 in 20 overs.
Chasing the target, MI Emirates won in 17.1 overs with 17 balls to spare through another fine knock of 40 runs from UAE's Muhammad Waseem and Nicholas Pooran's breezy 39 runs.
Sharjah Warriors thus crashed to their third successive defeat while MI Emirates moved to the top of the points table. Sharjah Warriors' opener Tom Kohler Cadmore's fine knock of 55 off 41 balls with six boundaries and one six went in vain.
Dwayne Bravo (3 for 25) and Imran Tahir (2 for 17) reduced Sharjah Warriors from a strong 87 for 1 to 119 for 7 within a span of seven overs. A cameo from Paul Walter (28 not out) took the score to 146 for 7 in 20 overs but it was yet another insipid batting show from Sharjah Warriors.
MI Emirates had won the toss and elected to bowl. Sharjah's in-form opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz began well hitting opening bowler Trent Boult for two elegantly placed boundaries from the last two deliveries of the first over.
Gurbaz then executed a sweetly timed straight drive in Boult's second over. He picked one more boundary off Boult's fourth ball but fell to the fifth ball pulling straight to Andre Fletcher in the deep for 15.
Dawid Malan joined Kohler-Cadmore and took the score past the 50-run mark in 5.3 overs. Kohler-Cadmore smashed Fazalhaq Farooqi for four boundaries in the last over of the powerplay.
All his shots were so well-executed that all the fielders could do was watch those shots race to the boundary. He also greeted Dwayne Bravo's first delivery with a boundary over long-off.
Imran Tahir, who had bagged three wickets in his last match against the same team, was introduced in the eighth over and he gave away just five runs. Kohler Cadmore pulled UAE's Zahoor Khan, who bowled the ninth over, for a six to mid-wicket.
Bravo ended the 56 runs partnership for the second wicket by having Malan caught behind by wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran for 14. Kohler Cadmore reached his half-century in 35 balls but the persistent Tahir had skipper Moeen Ali caught by Fletcher at long-on for 2.
Sharjah Warriors reached the 100-run mark in 13 overs but Tahir struck again with a beauty of a delivery to clean bowl Kohler-Cadmore for 55. In the 15th over, Bravo clean bowled Mohammad Nabi for 1 and Joe Denly for 4.
UAE's Zahoor Khan had his UAE teammate Alishan Sharafu caught by Kieron Pollard at long-on for 2. Essex allrounder Paul Walter hit an unbeaten 28 runs to take the score to 146 for 7 in 20 overs.
Needing to score at a run rate of only 7.30, MI Emirates' openers England's Will Smeed and UAE's in-form batsman Waseem began confidently. Smeed, who had hit consecutive boundaries off Naveen Ul Haq and Junaid Siddiqui, fell for 29, brilliantly caught by Kohler-Cadmore at mid-wicket.
Andre Fletcher joined Waseem but left-arm spinner Noor Ahmed bowled a tight seventh over giving away just three runs. MI Emirates reached the 50-run mark only in 7.1 overs. Waseem swept Joe Denly for a boundary while Fletcher lifted him for a six.
Unfortunately, Fletcher got run out for 15 in a mix up with Waseem. Nicholas Pooran walked in and along with Waseem they accelerated the run flow. Waseem smashed Walters to mid-wicket for a six and then elegantly cut him for a boundary to take the score past the 100 run mark in 13 overs.
He swept Nabi into the hands of Malan for 40. His knock off 36 balls had four boundaries and a six. Kieron Pollard walked in with his team needing 45 runs in 41 balls. He lifted Noor Ahmed straight out of the ground for a six and got out bowled by Junaid Siddiqui for 19.
Fletcher hit two power-packed sixes off Naveen Ul Haq to quicken the victory and remained unbeaten on 39 off 21 balls with three sixes and a boundary.
Sharjah Warriors 146/7 in 20 overs (Tom Kohler-Cadmore 55, Paul Walter 28n.o, Dwayne Bravo 3-25, Imran Tahir 2-17) lost to MI Emirates 147/4 in 17.1 overs (Will Smeed 29, Muhammad Waseem 40, Nicholas Pooran 39n.o, Junaid Siddiqui 2/24) by 6 wickets.