Abu Dhabi [UAE]: England leg spinner Adil Rashid, displaying his guile and artistry with the ball, backed with surgical precision, produced a spell of 4/12 to bowl out Abu Dhabi Knight Riders for a paltry 94 runs in 17.1 overs in the 25th match of the International League (ILT20) season two at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
His mesmerizing spell ended Warriors’ three-match losing streak to win the match by seven wickets and also snap Knight Riders’ three-match winning run. It has also helped them remain in contention to reach the qualifiers, rising from the bottom of the table to the fourth position.
Chasing the moderate target, Liam Livingstone’s breezy knock of 30 off 13 balls (with three fours and three sixes) and Niroshan Dickwella’s run-a-ball 30 runs (with two fours and two sixes), and their 52 runs partnership in 26 balls for the second wicket, ensured their team a victory in 13.5 overs.
The tale of Knight Riders’ dismal show began soon after bottom-placed Warriors won the toss and elected to bowl against second-placed Knight Riders. Opener Joe Clarke got clean bowled for a duck to the third ball of the first over from Chris Woakes that went through the bat and pad gap to hit the stumps. Woakes’ first over was a wicket-maiden. Daniel Sams too bowled a maiden in the fourth over.
Alishan Sharafu hit two boundaries and a six off Sams in the sixth over to take 14 runs. Michael Pepper too began to open out. The pair put on 61 runs off 48 balls for the second wicket when Sharafu, going for a sweep off Adil Rashid, top-edged to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella, dismissed for 26 in 28 balls with three fours and a six. Pepper too fell to the last ball of that over from Rashid, clean bowled for 32 in 21 balls, with five fours.
At the halfway mark, Knight Riders were 68 for 3 with Imad Wasim and Sam Hain struggling to get runs. To make matters difficult for Knight Riders, Liam Livingstone trapped Wasim leg before for 4. Half the side was back in the dug-out for 79 when Rashid bagged his third wicket having Hain caught by Joe Denly at long-off for 8 with the first ball of the 13th over. He also had Ravi Bopara out with the next ball, caught by Kohler-Cadmore at slip. Laurie Evans got run out for 13 to a direct hit by Livingstone for 13. Knight Riders thus lost their last four wickets for just four runs with Denly’s two quick strikes to return with figures of 2 for 0.
The chase began with the Warriors losing their skipper Kohler-Cadmore early, playing Joshua Little onto his wicket for 1. Livingstone began with a six and a boundary off successive balls off Little. Dickwella played second fiddle as Livingstone turned more aggressive. In the fourth over, Livingstone smashed Little for two sixes and two boundaries to take 21 runs off that over. He got out stumped by wicketkeeper Pepper off Imad Wasim for 30. His 13-ball knock had three boundaries and three sixes.
With 39 more runs needed from 87 balls, Martin Guptill joined Dickwella and took the score to 72 when Dickwella was stumped by Pepper off Wasim. The remaining 23 runs for their victory were scored between Guptill (13*) and Denly (18*).
Sharjah Warriors beat Abu Dhabi Knight Riders by 7 wickets. ‘
Abu Dhabi Knight Riders: 94 in 17.1 overs (Michael Pepper 32, Alishan Sharafu 26, Adil Rashid 4/12) Sharjah Warriors: 95/3 in 13.5 overs (Niroshan Dickwella 30, Liam Livingstone 30, Imad Wasim 2/20)
Player of the Match: Adil Rashid.