Sam lives up to Billings as Capitals inflict second successive loss on Knight Riders - GulfToday

Sam lives up to Billings as Capitals inflict second successive loss on Knight Riders


Delhi Capital's Fraser-McGurk plays a shot against Abu Dhabi Knight Riders during their DP World ILT20 match in Dubai on Thursday.

Mohammad Abdullah, Senior Sports Reporter

Sam Billings smacked a fifty after Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Jake Fraser-McGurk gave a breezy start as Dubai Capitals defeated Abu Dhabi Knight Riders by five wickets in their DP World ILT20 match in Dubai.

Capitals chased down a fighting total of 183 for the loss of five wickets with 3.5 overs to spare.

Capitals were off to a disastrous start as their captain and the star batsman David Warner was trapped in front of wicket for a duck.

Warner’s dismissal turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Jake Fraser-McGurk took the onus on their shoulder and played whirlwind knocks. Both the batsmen added 56 runs for the second wicket in just 3.4 overs.

Their brief but fiery stand set the tone for a successful chase as they brought the asking run rate under control. Despite the early wicket, they did not allow the Knight Riders bowlers to dominate them.

Fraser-McGurk made his intent clear from the beginning as he whipped 14 runs off Imad Waseem’ over with the help of two sixes. In the next over, Fraser-McGurk collected 18 runs off David Willy, hitting him for two sixes and one four.

Gurbaz also flexed his muscles and smashed Russell for two consecutive sixes, bringing up fifty for his team in just 20 balls. Russell had the last laugh as Fraser-McGurk miscued a shot as the ball took the leading edge and as the bowler completed a clean catch.

The Capitals lost the second wicket but the damage was done. Fraser-McGurk 17-ball 41 was studded with four sixes and three boundaries.

After the dismissal of Gurbaz also could not last long and he holed out to Gouse off Narne after scoring a breezy 7-ball 21. Sam Billings and Sikander Raza took the charge in their hands. They added 109 runs for the fourth wicket to all but end the hopes of Knight Riders victory.

Billing scored a 35-ball 67 while Raza smashed 43 off 29 deliveries as they took the match as deep as possible.

Billings innings featured nine boundaries and one six while Raza’s knock was studded with five fours. They brought the equation down to 5 needed of 5.3 overs before Billing was dismissed. Rovman Powell and Rahul Chopra took the Capitals past the target in 16.1 overs.

Earlier, Capitals’ Sri Lankan pacer Chameera wreaked havoc in the second over of the innings with a twin strike as Knight Riders lost two wickets in quick succession.

He capitalized on the help offered by the pitch and exploited the conditions to justify his captain’s call of bowling first after winning the toss.

In all the four matches played previously in Dubai this season, the team batting second emerged winners. Losing a toss was always going to add psychological pressure. On the top of it, bowling second becomes more difficult because of the dew factor.

Chameera rattled the stumps of Andries Gous with an inswinger to trigger a collapse. Two balls later, Michael Pepper was caught by Gurbaz behind the stumps as while trying playing a mistimed cut shot.

Knight Riders lost two wickets within a span of four balls and four runs as they reduced from 7/0 to 11/2. Two wickets in quick succession, meant the same old rigorous routine of reviving the innings and maintaining the run rate at the same time.

Alishan Sharafu and Sam Hain were left with the responsibility of undoing the damage. They played sensibly and shared a 37-run partnership for the third wicket to bring some stability to the innings.

Sharafu played a sedated innings of 18-ball 15 before he holed out to Billings off Roelof van der Merwe in the deep midwicket. The square boundary is the shortest distance a batsman has to cover for maximum result but Sharafu could travel to billing only not the rope.

With three batsmen back in the pavilion in six overs, Knight Riders were in tatters. They were in a dire need of a big partnership to mount a serious challenge for batting-laden Capitals.

Sam Hains and Laurie Evans added 131 runs for the fourth wicket to turn the table on Capitals. Both of them were very cautious in their short selection.

Not only did they anchor the innings but also spurred the run rate. They added 131 runs in 13 overs with an average of 10 per runs. Both Hains and Evans started the rebuilding process slowly but accelerated their innings beautifully.

Evans changed gears in the 13th over as he belted Holder for 18 runs with the help of two boundaries and one six. The massive over took the pressure off and paved the way for a smooth sail.

Evans brought up his fifty with a boundary off Kane Richardson in just 28 balls. Hain was dropped by Gurbaz off Akif on 47. He made the best use of the chance and added another 30 runs to his score from there on.

He raced to his fifty with a single in 38 balls. He smashed eight fours and two sixes while Evans innings was studded with six hits to the fence and two over it.

After reaching their fifties, both the batsmen started cutting loose. The last three overs yielded 38 runs, losing one wicket. Hane was caught by Sikander as Holder picked up his first scalp of the day. Evans remained unbeaten on 67 off 41 balls.








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