UAE's Sanchit Sharma savours his 'dream start' in ILT20

Sharma, the 21-year-old UAE medium pacer, returned with excellent figures of three for nine

By James Jose

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Sanchit Sharma of Gulf Giants celebrates the wicket of Colin Ingram of Abu Dhabi Knight Riders. — Supplied photo
Sanchit Sharma of Gulf Giants celebrates the wicket of Colin Ingram of Abu Dhabi Knight Riders. — Supplied photo

Published: Sun 15 Jan 2023, 7:31 PM

Last updated: Sun 15 Jan 2023, 7:40 PM

The inaugural DP World International League T20 (ILT20) had drawn on some big names from the world of cricket but, for all intents and purposes, the strengthening of the country’s cricket, has been the bigger picture all along.

It has just been three days into the first iteration, but there have already been some eye-catching performances by the UAE lads.


After opener Muhammad Waseem, medium pacers Akif Raja and Hazrat Luqman impressed over the past three days, another UAE player stood out, so much so that his performance earned him the Player of the Match accolade.

Sanchit Sharma, all of 21, snapped up three wickets with his medium pace to help the Gulf Giants inflict a second defeat on the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.


And Sanchit, whose only international was against Ireland in Dubai in 2021, was chuffed with his showing.

"I am very happy with my performance. This is a dream start for me,” Sanchit said after the game.

“I took three big wickets — opener, number three and number four batters. Those wickets set the game up for us. I bowled with the new ball in the practice games, so I was sure that I would take the new ball in today's game," he added.

Indeed, they were three big scalps.

After cleaning up opener Colin Ingram, Sanchit removed Brandon King and Connor Esterhuizen off successive deliveries to return with impressive figures of 3-9.

That meant, the Knight Riders, who had lost to the Dubai Capitals in the tournament opener, could only muster 114-9.

Giants captain James Vince led from the front in the chase, with a top notch 65 from 44 deliveries that was peppered with four boundaries and four sixes.

Despite two defeats in two, Abu Dhabi Knight Riders batting coach Ryan ten Doeschate felt they can turn things around.

"We've had two poor performances with the bat. The guys are aware of that. The Sri Lankan guys are getting in tomorrow (Monday), so we'll have a few more options for our next game. It's going to be important for us to react well to our last two performances. We need to maximize what we have at our disposal," said ten Doeschate.

Brief scores:

Gulf Giants beat Abu Dhabi Knight Riders by 6 wickets.

Abu Dhabi Knight Riders 114-9 in 20 overs (Andre Russell 26, Paul Stirling 20, Sanchit Sharma 3 for 9, Chris Jordan 3 for 28)

Gulf Giants 115-4 in 14.1 overs (James Vince 65, Sunil Narine 2 for 21)

Player of Match: Sanchit Sharma


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