DP World ILT20: Hasaranga stars as Desert Vipers qualify for play-offs

The Sri Lankan leg spinner scalps three wickets to defend a modest total against the Sharjah Warriors

Wanindu Hasaranga of Desert Vipers celebrates a wicket against the Sharjah Warriors at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Tuesday. — Supplied photo
Wanindu Hasaranga of Desert Vipers celebrates a wicket against the Sharjah Warriors at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Tuesday. — Supplied photo

James Jose

Published: Tue 31 Jan 2023, 10:24 PM

Wanindu Hasaranga is, without a doubt, one of the best leg spinners, if not the best, in the world at the moment. The well-traveled Sri Lankan, who has conjured his magic in various T20 leagues around the world, including the IPL, is the master of his craft.

And the 25-year-old from Galle answered his team’s call to spin the Desert Vipers to a 22-run victory over the Sharjah Warriors in the DP World ILT20 on Tuesday.

On a slow and sluggish surface and left to defend a below par 149, Hasaranga ripped through the Warriors’ batting order to snuff out the chase at the latter’s fortress — the historic Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

His miserly figures of 3-13 left the Warriors dwindling at 65-6, and in a deep hole that they were unable to get out of. The Warriors eventually finished up at 126-8 to suffer their fourth defeat. English left-arm pacer Luke Wood too picked 3-20.

The Vipers’ sixth victory from eight matches not just helped them recover from the humiliating 157-run defeat at the hands of MI Emirates in their previous game at the same venue but, more importantly, reinforced their position at the top of the table.

With two more matches to come against the Dubai Capitals and the Gulf Giants in Dubai on Thursday and Saturday respectively, Colin Munro’s side have qualifiedx for the play-offs.

Meanwhile, the Sharjah Warriors, who had won three of their last four matches (with the other being a washout), remain fourth on the table.

The Warriors take on Abu Dhabi Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi on Saturday before facing the Gulf Giants on Monday in Sharjah.

Earlier, the Sharjah Warriors bowlers were well backed up by a tight fielding unit as they kept Desert Vipers down to a below par 148-6.

Young left-arm spinner Noor Ahmad scalped two wickets, while UAE pacer Muhammad Jawadullah too took two, including the prized scalp of explosive English opener Alex Hales.

The Vipers had had a sedate start and reached 37 for one after the powerplay, the wicket to go, that of Hales.

It was a difficult pitch to bat on and that was best illustrated with UAE opener Rohan Mustafa, who has played in this part of the world more than anyone, making 31 from 33 balls, that had five fours.

The rest of the batting too couldn’t come up with anything worthy of note except for Benny Howell who remained not out on 34 from 23 deliveries with the help of four boundaries.

Sam Billings made 27 from 23 balls that had three fours and a six.

The total may have felt a tad on the lower side but it proved to be more than enough in the end with the Vipers’ bowlers getting the job done.


Desert Vipers beat Sharjah Warriors by 22 runs.

Desert Vipers: 148-6 (Benny Howell 34 not out, Rohan Mustafa 31, Sam Billings 27; Noor Ahmad 2-27, Muhammad Jawadullah 2-36)

Sharjah Warriors: 126-8 (Paul Walter 27, Noor Ahmad 23; Wanindu Hasaranga 3-13, Luke Wood, 3-20)


Gulf Giants vs MI Emirates, Zayed Cricket Stadium, 6 pm

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