ILT20 2023, Highlights; Kieron Pollard smashed a 19-ball 50 as MI Emirates thrash Desert Vipers to close in on first place

Mi Emirates racked up 241/3 and then bowled out Desert Vipers for 84 in a dominant 157-run win in a crucial encounter in Sharjah.

Muhammad Waseem, also the player of the match, struck a magnificent 86 off 44 while Kieron Pollard smashed a 19-ball 50* in Emirates’ record effort.

Waseem, who hit 11 fours and 4 sixes, was dropped on naught when Luke Wood failed to hold onto a tough return catch in the third over.

But once given the lifeline, Waseem made Vipers pay, starting with two sixes and a four off Mark Watt in the over after.

His pyrotechnics meant that Emirates were 68/0 at the end of six overs, with Andre Fletcher (50 off 39) playing the relatively steady hand until then.

Fletcher and Waseem went on to add 141 runs for the first wicket as Vipers, who had earlier opted to bowl, looked out of clues on a very good pitch for batting.

Tom Curran (4-0-63-2) and Matheesha Pathirana (4-0-58-1), who shared all the wickets and also the last three overs at the death, were taken to the cleaners as Pollard struck the fastest fifty of the tournament.

69 runs came in those last three overs as Pollard cleared ropes at will, leaving Vipers with a very stiff target to chase.

Bowled out in just over 12 overs, Vipers were never in the chase.

Trent Boult struck with the crucial wicket of in-form Alex Hales with Fazalhaq Farooqi wreaking havoc on either side of it to finish with figures of 3-13.

From 14/2, Vipers were reeling at 47/6 at the end of six overs, which proved to be an impossible position to come back from.

Zahoor Khan and Imran Tahir also chipped in with a couple of wickets each as only three batters from Vipers made it to double digits.

Mark Watt and Tom Curran’s 12 ended up being the joint highest individual scores.

Brief Scores: MI Emirates 241/3 (Waseem 86; Curran 2-63) beat Desert Vipers 84 all out in 12.1 overs (Farooqi 3-13, Zahoor 2-8) by 157 runs

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