ANI Photo | ILT20: Theekshana, Sams help Sharjah Warriors to nine-wicket win over Dubai Capitals

Sharjah Warriors’ Sri Lankan off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana weaved magic with the ball producing unplayable deliveries to bag four wickets for 20 runs. His guile and artistry with the ball resulted in Dubai Capitals being bowled out for 104 runs in 18.2 overs.
Theekshana was well-backed by Daniel Sams, who bagged 3 for 28 with his accurate left-arm medium pace. Together they helped Warriors register an emphatic nine-wicket win in the 14th match of ILT20 season 2 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Chasing the moderate target, Warriors raced to victory in 13.1 overs through an opening partnership of 70 runs in 8.2 overs between Niroshan Dickwella and Johnson Charles. Niroshan Dickwella scored a 30-ball 37 runs before getting caught by Sam Billings at long on bowled by Haider Ali. Charles went on to hit an unbeaten 43 off 33 balls with four boundaries and a six while Joe Denly remained unconquered on 23 off 16 balls with three boundaries and a six. Warriors won the match with 41 balls to spare.
Capitals had come into this match after a defeat to defending champions Gulf Giants. They surprised everyone by opting to bat first after winning the toss, unlike all other teams that had elected to bowl. On the other hand, Warriors, fresh from a win over Desert Vipers the day before this match, carried the momentum and have now shot up the points table to the second slot from the fifth position while Capitals slipped to the fourth slot.
The tale of Capitals’s collapse began soon after their opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz hit the second ball of the first over from Chris Woakes over long-on for a six. Scotland’s left-arm spinner Mark Watt got Gurbaz out with a ball that skidded through and went through the gates to hit the stumps for 9. Ben Dunk joined his skipper David Warner but fell in the fifth over to Sams, flicking into the hands of Johnson Charles at deep backward square leg for 8.
UAE left-arm medium pacer Muhammad Jawadullah, who had won the match for Warriors against Desert Vipers by bowling a tight last over, took the valuable wicket of Warner for 16. Warner, going for a pull, gloved the ball to wicket keeper Dickwella who took a diving catch down the leg side.
Theekshana, who was introduced for the ninth over, removed Sam Billings quickly for 9 by forcing him to slap to Lewis Gregory at cover. When half the Capitals side was back in the dug-out for 44, Theekshana trapped Max Holden leg before for a duck in the same over. Theekshana also got Ricardo Powell leg before for 10 in the 11th over with a doosra and Jason Holder also got out leg before in the 13th over for 1.
Roelof van der Merwe held on to score 21 runs before pulling Sams to Jawadullah at short fine leg. Raza took the score past the 100 run mark with a fighting 22 runs that had two sixes before becoming Sams’ third victim when he lifted to Kohlder-Cadmore at deep extra cover.
A happy Warriors skipper Kohler-Cadmore said: “The guys were brilliant in the first innings, and made our job easier. This isn’t the easiest place to play spin, and to have someone (Theekshana) who can bowl three overs in the powerplay is brilliant. Everyone’s chipping in, just about finding consistency.”
Capitals captain Warner admitted that his team did err: “We weren’t good enough with the bat. We are all accountable for that. The wicket played a bit different than we expected, and we need to give credit to them for the way they bowled. Our shot selection wasn’t good enough. We need to go back to the drawing board and be brave. We are being a bit too conservative, need to show more intent. We’ll be back in Dubai where we are a bit more confident about the conditions.”
Talking about his spell, Player of the Match, Theekshana said: “The surface was a bit slower than yesterday and it got better for me. We have got experienced players, and we are performing well as a team. In Abu Dhabi (next match), I have bowled in the T10 and the 2021 World Cup as well. I know the wickets there, so hopefully I can get better out there too.”
Brief scores: Dubai Capitals 104/10 in 18.2 overs (Sikandar Raza 22, Roelof van der Merwe 21, Daniel Sams 3/28, Maheesh Theekshana 4/20) vs Sharjah Warriors 105/1 in 13.1 overs (Niroshan Dickwella 37, Johnson Charles 43*, Joe Denly 23*).(ANI)

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