Spinners bowl Vipers to consolation victory over Warriors in rain-marred match at ILT20 - GulfToday

Spinners bowl Vipers to consolation victory over Warriors in rain-marred match at ILT20


Joe Denly of Sharjah Warriors reacts during their match against Desert Vipers in Sharjah on Sunday.

Mohammad Abdullah, Senior Sports Reporter

Nathan Sowter and Matheesha Pathirana took three wickets each to help Desert Vipers set up a six-wicket win over Sharjah Warriors in their DP World ILT20 match in Sharjah on Sunday.

Sowter ripped through the middle-order before Pathirana wiped out the tail to restrict Warriors to 121/9. Vipers overhauled the target for the loss of four wickets.

Phil Salt and Alex Hales gave a blistering start to set the tone for a successful chase. Salt was at his brutal best as he smacked a 12-ball 30 with the help of four hits to the boundaries and two over it.

They added 50 runs in just 3.5 overs to all but end the Warriors hopes of defending the paltry total. Warriors did try to make some in-roads through their bowlers but Colin Munro and Dinesh Chandimal shared a 50-run stand for the fourth wicket to ensure a victory for Vipers before Munro was run out. Sam Curran hit a six as Vipers reached the target with 5.4 overs to spare.

Earlier, Warriors were given an improbable task of beating Vipers by 212 runs to qualify for the playoff. The biggest victory ever recorded in the history of T20 is by a margin of 273.Nepal scored 314 and bundled out Mangolia for a paltry 41 in September 2023.

Warriors’ chances of qualification were hurt when they had lost three matches in a row. They had come agonizingly close to win two of those three matches. Vipers were already out of contention with just six points. Even a victory would have taken them to eight, two adrift of top four.

Due to the heavy downpour, there was a lot of moisture in the pitch and the outfield was also wet. However, Vipers bowlers failed to exploit the conditions as the Warriors raced to 25 in three overs.

Curran gave Vipers first breakthrough by getting rid of Tom Kohler-Cadmore. He rattled the stumps of the captain as the Warriors’ lost first wicket for 25. 

Lawerence, who was hit for three boundaries by Dickwella in his first over, had the last laugh. He was taken off the attack only to be brought back from the other end. The move of bringing him from the other end did the trick for the Vipers.

On the first delivery of his second over, Lawerence had his revenge as he uprooted the stumps of Dickwella. Warriors lost two wickets in two balls to be pushed on the backfoot. Dickwella hit three boundaries in his 16-ball 20.

The Warriors needed a big partnership. Luke Wells and Martin Guptill got down to business, repairing the damage. Two wickets in successive deliveries put a brake on the scoring rate, which was further deteriorated by a wet outfield. Both Guptill and Wells preferred to take aerial routes most of the time to clear the 20-yard circle.

Boundaries were difficult to come by, so they decided to keep the scoreboard ticking with singles and doubles. They added 28 runs for the third wicket in 4.4 overs, not hitting a single four or six.

Vipers bowlers choked the flow of the runs to frustrate Guptill and Wells. Sowter uprooted the stumps of Guptill to break the partnership for his first scalp of the match. Joe Denly followed the suit, holing it out to Salt at the long off to leave Warriors in tatters.

The first six of the game came in the 14th over when Sean Williams picked up a length ball off Sowter to hit it over top, clearing mid-on for the maximum result after Wells had hit two consecutive fours off Curran.

Wells tried to emulate Williams but could manage to get only the leading edge. The ball went miles up in the air but lacked trajectory of Williams’ shot as Sowter took a sitter to dismiss Wells off his bowling and complete his three-wicket haul. He  conceded only 21 runs off his four overs to show the parsimonious trait of his personality. Sowter had played just two games before this in the tournament.

Williams became the first victim of Matheesha Patheerana. His dismissal opened the floodgates for the Sri Lankan spinner who also bagged the wickets of Mark Watt and Adil Rashid.

Patheerana clean bowled Watt and Rashid before Curran had Daniled Sams caught by Mustafa for his second scalp of the day as Warriors finished on 121/9.

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