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The fifth match of the International League T20 (ILT20) took place at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Monday, January 16 as Dubai Capitals and Gulf Giants squared off. The game turned out to be a cut-throat competition as both sides put up a brilliant show, but in the end, James Vince’s batting prowess led the Giants to clinch a six-wicket victory.
The contest started with Gulf Giants winning the toss and electing to bowl first. Their plans did not fall in place initially, as Dubai Capitals’ opener Robin Uthappa took everyone by surprise. While his opening partner Joe Root played the role of second fiddle in their 71-run partnership, Uthappa was mighty quick in scoring runs.
While Root could manage to score mere six runs off the 10 deliveries that he faced before being run out, Uthappa had managed to get to his half-century in great style. Even after Root’s dismissal, skipper Rovman Powell showcased some fine hitting, and racked up quick-fire runs. He scored 38 runs off 25 deliveries, including three sixes and a four which added some big runs to the team’s scoreboard.
Dubai Capitals lost a handful of wickets towards the end as the middle order came crashing down. Thanks to all-rounder Sikander Raza’s 19-ball 30*, the Capitals finished scoring 182/8 in their 20-overs quota. While Rehan Ahmed picked up three wickets, Richard Gleeson scalped two as the Gulf Giants embarked on their 183-run chase.
Rehan Ahmed showed some fine batting skills when he opened the chase alongside the experienced James Vince. He chipped in with a 17-ball 28, hitting two fours and as many sixes, before being dismissed before the end of the powerplay. Top-order wicketkeeper-batter Ollie Pope was dismissed cheaply for a two-ball duck as Gulf Giants faced two major blows in the sixth over.
But Vince and Gerhard Erasmus changed the course of the game thereon. They shared a massive 107-run partnership for the third wicket and punished the opposition bowlers by hitting some big shots. The duo batted for almost 10 overs before Erasmus was run-out, but he managed to bag a brilliant half-century.
Skipper James Vince continued to showcase his class batting as he was joined by West Indies’ Shimron Hetmyer. The Caribbean player could not contribute much and was dismissed for 7(6) in the death overs. David Weise joined Vince in the chase and kept rotating the strike regularly which helped Gulf Giants to complete the chase with six wickets and an over to spare.
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