ILT20 season 2: Andries Gous’ unbeaten 95 helps Abu Dhabi Knight Riders march past Desert Vipers

South Africa’s wicketkeeper-batsman Andries Gous hit an unbeaten 95 runs to lead Abu Dhabi Knight Riders to a sensational win against Desert Vipers in the third match of the ILT20 season 2 at the Dubai International Stadium.

South Africa’s wicketkeeper-batsman Andries Gous hit an unbeaten 95 runs to lead Abu Dhabi Knight Riders to a sensational win against Desert Vipers in the third match of the ILT20 season 2 at the Dubai International Stadium.

Gous’ knock off 50 balls studded with five boundaries and seven sixes enthralled the large Sunday crowd. His 85-run partnership in 47 balls for the second wicket with Michael-Kyle Pepper (36), and his 71-run stand in 43 balls for the fourth wicket with Laurie Evans (21) ensured his team an easy six-wicket win with 14 balls to spare.

Earlier, Knight Riders restricted Desert Vipers to a gettable 164/8 through some tight bowling led by their skipper Sunil Narine (2 for 23) and Ali Khan’s fine death-over spell bagging 3 for 29. Adam Hose top scored with 45 runs off 30 balls after his skipper Colin Munro hit a quick 22 in 12 balls. Vipers may not have crossed the 150 mark but for Wanindu Hasaranga (24) and Hose’s 57 runs partnership off 40 balls for the fourth wicket.

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Knight Riders skipper Sunil Narine won the toss and elected to bowl. Colin Munro, skipper of Vipers, gave his team a positive start by hitting David Willey for a boundary in the first over and a six and a boundary off Imad Wasim in the second over. Fellow opener Alex Hales began to open up with two consecutive boundaries off Willey but fell to the third ball of the third over, caught by Wasim at covers for 11.

Joshua Little took the big wicket of Munro, who pulled him straight into the hands of Laurie Evans for 22. One-drop batter Daniel Lawrence, who attempted a slog sweep, landed up hitting Wasim high to wicketkeeper Andries Gous for 19. All eyes turned towards Sri Lanka’s Hasaranga, who joined Hose. He went on to slog sweep Wasim for a six in the 10th over. At the halfway stage, Vipers were nine short of the 100-run mark.

When runs were hard to get, Hose hit Little for six and two consecutive boundaries in the 12th over. In the 14th over, Ali Khan struck to remove Hose for 45, caught behind while attempting a reverse hit. Hose had put on 57 runs off 40 balls for the fourth wicket with Hasaranga. Narine struck in the 15th over removing Hasaranga caught at deep-midwicket by Willey for 24 and Sherfane Rutherford caught and bowled for a duck.

With only five overs to go, the Vipers were struggling at 127/6. Ali Khan bowled another brilliant over giving away just four runs. Bas de Leede and Rohan Mustafa steered the score past the 150-run mark before de Leede fell to the accurate Ali Khan for 14. Ali Khan also clean bowled Mohammad Amir for 4 for his third wicket. In the end, Mustafa remained unbeaten with a run-a-ball 13.

Knight Riders began their chase by losing UAE’s young opener Alishan Sharafu who pulled Sheldon Cottrell and top edged to Tymal Mills at backward point for one. One-drop Pepper, who joined opener Gous, began by hitting Mohammad Amir for two consecutive boundaries. Gous then went on to hit Cottrell for two sixes in the fourth over. Twenty runs were scored off Cottrell’s over.

Pepper strengthened Knight Riders’ chase hitting De Leede for three consecutive boundaries in the eighth over and taking 22 runs off the over. Mills provided the breakthrough in the 10th over by having Pepper caught by Munro at extra cover for 36. Pepper and Gous had put on 85 runs in 47 balls for the second wicket.

With 10 overs to go, Knight Riders needed 74 runs. Sam Hains lasted only five balls before getting clean bowled to Lawrence for 1. Gous reached his half-century in 28 balls lifting Mustafa for a six over deep mid-wicket. He went on to hit Hasaranga for two consecutive boundaries and a six in the 13th over to make it a run-a-ball target for his team.

Laurie Evans ensured more strike was taken by his aggressive partner Gous, and together they put their team on the road to an easy victory. They put on 71 runs in 43 balls for the fourth wicket before Evans fell to Mills, caught by Hose at long-on for 21. By then, only three runs were needed to win. Imad Wasim hit the winning boundary as Gous remained unbeaten five runs short of a century.

Brief scores:

Desert Vipers 164/8 in 20 overs (Colin Munro 22, Adam Hose 45, Wanindu Hasaranga 24; Sunil Narine 2-23, Ali Khan 3-29) lost to Abu Dhabi Knight Riders 166/4 in 17.4 overs (Andries Gous 95*, Michael-Kyle Pepper 36, Laurie Evans 21; Tymal Mills 2-21) by 6 wkts.

(IANS)