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Dubai Capitals kicked off the International League T20 2023 (ILT20) tournament with a big 73-run victory over Abu Dhabi Knight Riders in the first match on Friday (January 13). Captain Rovman Powell and retired Indian batter Robin Uthappa helped the Capitals score 187/6. Powell then shone with the ball, picking two wickets for just 15 while and Mujeeb Ur Rahman grabbed 2/16 to restrict the Knight Riders for just 114/9.
Captain Sunil Narine won the toss and elected to bowl first at Dubai International Cricket Stadium. But his decision proved costly as the Capitals started well with openers Uthappa and Joe Root putting in a 35-run partnership. Root scored crucial 26 off 21 before getting caught on Ali Khan’s delivery in the sixth over.
Andre Russell removed Bhanuka Rajapaksa in the ninth over but Uthappa kept the scoreboard moving from the other end as he scored 43 off 33 before being bowled by Narine. But Powell (48 off 29) and Sikandar Raza (26 off 17) kept the pressure on with quickfire knocks to help the Capitals score a big total. For the Knight Riders, Ravi Rampaul and Ali Khan picked two wickets each but proved costly.
Chasing a big target, the Knight Riders lost their opening Colin Ingram for just one in the first over on Isuru Udana’s delivery and never looked confident. Paul Stirling kept the Knight Riders alive but failed to get any support from the top order. Stirling scored 54 off 38 before beign dismissed by Powell in the 12th over.
Overall, Dubai bowlers proved dominating, with Powell, Mujeeb and Akif Raja taking two wickets each. Meanwhile, while Root took four catches to mark his return to the T20 franchise cricket.
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