Muhammad Waseem, Kieron Pollard, and Andre Fletcher all hit half-centuries to help MI Emirates post a massive 241 for 3 in 20 overs in the DP World ILT20.
MI Emirates' left-arm medium-pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi bowled out Desert Vipers for 84 runs in 12.1 overs for a massive 157-run win in the 21st match of the DP World ILT20 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday night, backed up by Zahoor Khan and Imran Tahir with two wickets each.
Waseem of the UAE set the tone for MI Emirates' outstanding performance, scoring 86 runs off 44 balls with 11 boundaries and four sixes. Fletcher, who batted second, scored 50 off 39 balls, including four boundaries and two sixes. They put on a 141-run opening partnership in 12.3 overs.
Following the openers' performance, skipper Kieron Pollard hit a 19-ball unbeaten half-century that included four boundaries and four sixes. He and Dan Mousley added 89 runs in 5.2 overs, with Mousley hitting an unbeaten 31 off 17 balls with three fours and two sixes.
MI As a result, Emirates not only had the highest score of the tournament, but also the tournament's largest victory. In addition, this is the second-highest score in a T20 league at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, following the 244 for 6 against Kabul Zwanan in the 2018 Afghanistan Premier League by Balkh Legends.
Earlier, the Desert Vipers won the coin toss and chose to bowl. MI Andre Fletcher of the Emirates batted first, hitting both opening bowlers Luke Wood and left-arm spinner Mark Watt for boundaries. The Desert Vipers were missing their star bowler Sheldon Cottrell, who has been diagnosed with a niggle. Wanindu Hasaranga, their star spinner, had also been rested.
Mohammad Waseem, who had yet to open his account, escaped being caught and bowled by Wood in the third over. He marked his escape with a boundary through extra cover off the final ball of that over.
Waseem hit two consecutive sixes off Watt in the fourth over and finished the over with another boundary to take 17 runs off that over. Waseem also hit Matheesha Pathirana for a boundary to short fine leg and another to third man in 4.5 overs to complete the 50-run partnership. Fletcher hit a six over the bowler's head off Tom Curran, who bowled the final over of the power play. The powerplay resulted in 68 runs.
Waseem reached 50 in 24 balls. MI Emirates reached 100 runs in 9.1 overs thanks to a six by Waseem to the roof of the stadium off Benny Howell at deep square leg. Waseem's ease with which he hit Tom Curran for his fourth six over long-off was impressive. Fletcher reached his half-century in 38 balls before being caught at long-on by Pathirana.
Kieron Pollard promoted himself and joined Waseem, who was batting on 80, to try to pile on more runs in the final seven overs. The total passed 150 in the 15th over, but Waseem on 86 fell to Curran, who was caught by Rohan Mustafa at deep extra cover. Next man Najibullah Zadran edged to wicketkeeper Sam Billing for a duck, attempting to swing Curran.
Dan Mousley, a 21-year-old England allrounder, joined Pollard in his first match. He hit Pathirana for back-to-back sixes and also thrashed him through the covers for a boundary in the 18th over, scoring 22 runs.
MI Emirates' 200 came off a towering six from Pollard off Curran that sailed out of the stadium. He pulled Curran again out of the stadium to bring up the 50-run partnership with Mousley in 3.4 overs. The third six of that over from Pollard too sailed over long onto the roof of the stadium and 28 runs came off that over.
Pollard reached his half-century lifting the last ball of the innings from Pathirana for a six over long off. The pair put on 89 runs in just 5.2 overs for the highest score of the tournament.
MI Emirates 241 for 3 in 20 overs (Andre Fletcher 50, Muhammad Waseem 86, Kieron Pollard 50n.o, Dan Mousley 31 n.o, Tom Curran 2-63) Desert Vipers 84 in 12.1 overs (Fazalhaq Farooqi 3-13, Zahoor Khan 2-8, Imran Tahir 2/8).