Both Hasaranga and Hales contribute to Abu Dhabi Knight Riders’ third straight defeat.
- On Wednesday in Dubai, Desert Vipers easily defeated Abu Dhabi Knight Riders. The contest featured few runs (January 18). After losing all three games, the Knight Riders are in a precarious position, while the Vipers have won two straight.
- They didn’t get off to a good start with the bat, losing two wickets in the first three overs. Despite some further boundaries being hit by Brandon King and Colin Ingram to round off the powerplay in fine form, the left-hander didn’t survive long. The innings was saved when King and Charith Asalanka put up 49 runs for the fourth wicket.
- Knight Riders were in a good position after 13 overs, with a score of 101/3; if they had batted intelligently, they could have reached a total of over 160. With the wickets of Asalanka and Andre Russell off consecutive deliveries, though, Wanindu Hasaranga returned for another spell and severely set them back. After Russell was run out for a golden duck, the Knight Riders were left without a consistent batsman to help them deliver the knockout blow. Hasaranga backed that up with a sensational wicket maiden when he got rid of Sunil Narine in the final over.
- King scored 50 not out, but the Knight Riders’ momentum was stifled by the loss of wickets at the other end, and they were only able to put up 133 runs. With Rohan Mustafa smashing five boundaries on route to 23 off just 10, the Vipers’ openers got their team off to a fantastic start in the chase. Sam Billings and Alex Hales made sure there were no snags in the chase after Akeal Hosein was stopped from his rampage and Russell rattled the pursuit by taking the wicket of Colin Munro right away.
- They turned up the heat at the halfway point, helping their team to 75/2 thanks largely to Hales’s efforts. The England opener got two boundaries off Russell and fifty off 36 balls. He then got two more off Lahiru Kumara, thus ending the pursuit. However, the damage had already been done, as the Vipers romped him with 26 balls left after Narine cleaned him up for 64 in the next over.
- Briefly, the score was Desert Vipers 135/3 in 15.4 overs (Alex Hales 64, Sam Billings 35*; Sunil Narine 1/26) versus Abu Dhabi Knight Riders 133/8 in 20 overs (Brandon King 57; Wanindu Hasaranga 3/18).