ILT20: Rutherford’s Desert Vipers beat Hetmyer’s Gulf Giants to reach final

SUMMARY: Desert Vipers 178-7 in 20 overs (Sherfane Rutherford 37, Wanindu Hasaranga 31; Chris Jordan 3-40) beat Gulf Giants 159 all out in 19.4 overs (Shimron Hetmyer 36; Tom Curran 4-31, Wanindu Hasaranga 3-36) by 19 runs


Tom Curran and Wanindu Hasaranga’s all-round efforts were central to Desert Vipers becoming the first team to reach the final of the inaugural edition of the International League T20 as they defeated Gulf Giants by 19 runs in the Qualifier 1 match in Dubai on Wednesday.

Hasaranga scored a 20-ball 31, Sam Billings struck 31 off 29 while Sherfane Rutherford overcame an injury to score a rapid 37 off 19 as the Vipers posted a challenging 178/7 on the board.

The Giants got off to a good start but their innings crumbled thanks to quick strikes from Hasaranga (3-36).

Shimron Hetmyer cracked a quickfire 36

Curran, who had made a 17-ball 29 in the first innings, finished with 4-31 to bowl the Giants out for 159. The Giants now await the victor of the MI Emirates vs Dubai Capitals clash to face off in Qualifier 2.

Chris Lynn and James Vince got going after a couple of quiet overs as they ensured boundaries regularly to power the start of the chase. The half-century stand was raised inside the powerplay, with the openers scoring seven fours between them in the first six overs.

But the introduction of spin soon after ended the opening stand as Hasaranga struck with his first delivery to have Lynn bowled for 26. Vince fell an over later, bowled by Tom Curran for 21.

The wickets, invariably, slowed the tempo of the innings as the Giants moved to 75/2 at the halfway stage of the chase, with a required rate of over 10.

Hasaranga continued to taste success as he struck twice in the 11th over, trapping both Colin de Grandhomme and David Wiese lbw. With Luke Wood slipping in a three-run over, the asking rate rose over 12.

Shimron Hetmyer provided the much-needed boost with three sixes in an over off Hasaranga – who had gone for only three runs in the two overs before this – as the Giants reached 100 after 13 overs.

But Wood provided a key strike in the 15th over as Hetmyer mistimed a pull to head back after scoring 36 off 21.

Tom Banton fell to Curran after scoring two fours but Dominic Drakes and Carlos Brathwaite tried to keep their team in the hunt as they struck a six apiece off Hasaranga.

Drakes, however, fell to Wood (2-26) and despite Brathwaite hitting a boundary in the over, the Giants needed 37 off 12.

Curran then sent Brathwaite and Sanchit Sharma off successive deliveries. Aayan Afzal Khan was the last to depart, run out without facing a ball, as the Vipers secured their first win against the Giants in three attempts.

Earlier, having been asked to bat, the Vipers did not have the best of starts as they were reduced to 33/3 inside the powerplay, losing the top three in quick succession.

Rohan Mustafa looked in good touch as he raced to 23, scoring three sixes in his short stay before being dismissed by Wiese.

Alex Hales and Colin Munro, on the other hand, struggled to get going before getting out to Carlos Brathwaite and Chris Jordan in successive overs.

A 63-run partnership between Hasaranga and Billings ensued, with the two batters scoring regular boundaries to set a good platform for the Vipers.

Sherfane Rutherford suffered an apparent hamstring injury

But they were reduced to 108/5 in the 15th over as the set batters departed in their attempt to play big shots.

With Wood departing after scoring a couple of boundaries, the Vipers were 126/6 in the 17th over when Rutherford came back to the middle having earlier been stretchered off with what seemed like a hamstring problem.

He was barely able to walk but that did not stop him from playing his shots as he whacked Jordan for a four and a six before striking three successive maximums off Wiese.

With Curran also coming up with a handy knock, which included two fours and as many sixes, the Vipers finished with close to 180, getting 69 in the last five overs. (cricbuzz) 


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