Pakistan stars dazzle as Vipers clinch last-ball thriller in ILT20

Shaheen Afridi clinched the deal for the Vipers in the last ball of the match

By Team KT

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Shaheen Shah Afridi celebrates after helping Desert Vipers win a dramatic battle against MI Emirates. — ILT20
Shaheen Shah Afridi celebrates after helping Desert Vipers win a dramatic battle against MI Emirates. — ILT20

Published: Tue 30 Jan 2024, 11:34 PM

Desert Vipers produced a nail-biting two-wicket win off the last ball after a fierce battle against MI Emirates in the ILT20 at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday.

MI Emirates were restricted to 149 for 9 in 20 overs, but they fought back to reduce Vipers to 62 for 5. The fate of the match swung like a pendulum until the last over.

Sherfane Rutherford kept Vipers' hopes alive through a quick 35 runs after taking 17 runs off Trent Boult’s 17th over with a six and two boundaries.

Then Dwayne Bravo had Rutherford caught by Kusal Perera at mid-on off a slower delivery. Shaheen Afridi (17n.o) and Luke Wood (6n.o) took up the challenge of scoring 17 runs from the last 12 balls from Boult.

Needing three to win in the last ball, Pakistan star Afridi played a shot to the backward point and took three runs to earn a memorable win in a dramatic finish.

Earlier MI Emirates’ batting cracked against the tight bowling of Pakistan left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir (3 for 26), Luke Wood (2 for 32) and Matheesha Pathirana (2 for 32).

Their total was shaped by Ambati Rayudu and Akeal Hosein’s 49 runs partnership in 45 deliveries for the fifth wicket through knocks of 23 and 24 runs respectively. Tim David’s cameo of 28 off 14 balls gave some respectability to the total.

“It feels great to get a win and those two points. There were a couple of rash shots, but I can't fault the intent; but we gotta be a little bit smarter. It’s always nice to win those tight games,” said Vipers captain Colin Munro.

Meanwhile, man-of-the-match Amir was delighted after setting up Vipers' second win of the tournament.

“It was an interesting game, and I am happy I did something for the team as I thought Rutherford would be the player of the match," he said.

"We bowled in partnership and it is important to communicate with each other. Also, Shaheen and me are sharing the experience, and that helps.”

MI skipper Nicholas Pooran felt his team fell short of the par score on the ground.

“We felt we were 10-15 runs short, but in all honesty we felt we could make it an interesting game if we could get a couple of early wickets. It is a tough one to swallow though. We'll definitely rebuild. It just wasn't enough today,” the West Indies star said.

Brief scores:

Desert Vipers beat MI Emirates by two wickets.

MI Emirates 149 for 9 in 20 overs (Ambati Rayudu 23, Akeal Hosein 24, Tim David 28, Mohammad Amir 3 for 26, Luke Wood 2 for 32, Matheesha Pathirana 2 for 32)

Desert Vipers 150 for 8 in 20 overs (Wanindu Hasaranga 26, Azam Khan 20, Sherfane Rutherford 35, Fazalhaq Farooqi 2 for 23, Muhammad Rohid 3 for 21, Dwayne Bravo 2 for 30)

Player of the Match: Mohammad Amir

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