ILT20 Season 2: Bopara, Little, Willey wreck Warriors to give Knight Riders 7-wicket win

Ravi Bopara (4 for 15), Joshua Little (3 for 17) and David Willey (2 for 16) orchestrated Sharjah Warriors’ catastrophic batting collapse and helped Abu Dhabi Knight Riders march to an emphatic seven-wicket win in the 23rd match of the ILT20 season 2 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium here on Monday.

Ravi Bopara (4 for 15), Joshua Little (3 for 17) and David Willey (2 for 16) orchestrated Sharjah Warriors’ catastrophic batting collapse and helped Abu Dhabi Knight Riders march to an emphatic seven-wicket win in the 23rd match of the ILT20 season 2 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium here on Monday.

It was another lacklustre display of resilience from the Warriors batters as they were bowled out for 75 in 17 overs. Their score was one run more than their total of 74 all out against MI Emirates on the same ground in the ninth match of this edition. Warriors thus recorded the second-lowest total of the tournament too.

Chasing the target, Knight Riders raced to victory in 10.1 overs after their openers Joe Clarke and Michael Pepper put on a 54-run opening partnership in 5.2 overs. UAE’s left-arm pacer Muhammad Jawadullah struck twice to remove Pepper caught by Joe Denly at cover and Alishan Sharafu was also caught by Denly at cover-point for a duck. Jawadullah also went on to dismiss Clarke caught behind for 34 but Sam Hain (9n.o) and Laurie Evans (3 n.o) steered Knight Riders to the target without any further mishaps with 59 balls to spare. Jawadullah returned with figures of 3 wickets for 5 runs.

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The Warriors’ woeful batting collapse began soon after Knight Riders won the toss and elected to bowl. Warriors, who are at the bottom of the table, had crashed to a 79-run defeat to Gulf Giants the previous night after getting all out for 108. Their top-order batters’ procession to the dug-out began from opener Niroshan Dickwella, who fell to the fourth ball of the first over from David Willey while attempting a lap shot but landed up being caught by Alishan Sharafu at short mid-wicket for 4.

One-drop Liam Livingstone lasted just five balls to score two runs before chopping Joshua Little onto his stumps. Worse was to follow as opener Johnson Charles hit Willey straight to Laurie Evans at mid-on for 1. Three wickets were down for just seven runs.

Sean Williams joined his skipper Tom Kohler-Cadmore and pushed the score to 26 when Williams on 5 got out-caught and bowled brilliantly by Little, though the ball popped out of his hand in his first attempt. Kohler-Cadmore, who was scoring most of the runs, became the fifth wicket to fall to a beauty from Little. The ball nipped away and hit the top of Kohler-Cadmore’s off stump for 19.

Daniel Sams hit Andre Russell for two boundaries in the ninth over. Joe Denly, who played nine balls to score three runs, fell in the tenth over lifting Imad Wasim to Evans at long-on. James Fuller became the sixth batter to fall for a single digit when he lifted Ravi Bopara to Little at long-off for 3.

Daniel Sams, who kept the scoreboard ticking with a knock of 24, surprisingly went for a wild shot against Bopara and found his stumps shattered, and Warriors slipped to 66 for 8. Maheesh Theekshana picked Russell at long-on to offer his catch off Bopara for 2. England’s Adil Rashid, playing his first match in this tournament, became the last man to fall and also became Bopara’s fourth victim for 10.

Brief scores:

Sharjah Warriors 75 all out in 17 overs (Daniel Sams 24, David Willey 2-16, Joshua Little 3-17, Ravi Bopara 4-15) lost to Abu Knight Riders 79/3 in 10.1 overs (Joe Clarke 34, Muhammad Jawadullah 3-5) by 7 wkts.

(IANS)