Dubai: Shimron Hetmyer, wearing his favourite jersey number 189 and sporting his white coloured hair, flayed the Sharjah Warriors bowling attack to score an unbeaten 53 runs and helped Gulf Giants post an impressive total of 187 for 6 in 20 overs and win the 22nd match of the DP World ILT20 season 2 by 79 runs at the Dubai International Stadium.
Hetmyer’s knock off 28 balls studded with three boundaries and four sixes entertained the Sunday crowd that filled almost every seat at the Dubai International Stadium. He recorded a partnership of 35 runs with Gerhard Erasmus (17) for the fifth wicket and 59 runs for the sixth wicket with Jamie Overton (25). Hetmyer’s show began after Chris Lynn hit 45 runs off 32 balls with six boundaries and a six and had put on 66 runs for the second wicket in 47 balls. Warriors’ left-arm spinner Sean Williams picked three wickets for 46.
The Warriors’ chase began on a disastrous note. UAE’s 18-year-old left-arm spinner Aayan Afzal Khan, bowling the first over, struck by getting opener Niroshan Dickwella caught behind with the first ball, and one-drop Joe Denly with the second delivery, caught by Jordan at mid-off. Their batters continued to fall at regular intervals with Johnson Charles too being caught behind off Overton for 2.
After skipper Tom-Kohler Cadmore, who hit a brave 39, was caught by Cox off Drakes, and Sean Williams too was out caught by Afzal Khan at short third man off Zuhaib Zubair for 3, half the side was back in the dug-out for 44. After this, Giants’ victory was a mere formality. Lewis Gregory hit 30 runs but UAE’s 20-year-old leg spinner Zuhaib Zubair sped up Giants’ victory bagging four wickets for 22 runs.
The Warriors had won the toss and elected to bowl. Giants’ were meeting Warriors’ after beating them in the opening match of the tournament by 31 runs. For Warriors, it was their match right after having crashed to an eight-wicket defeat to MI Emirates.
Giants’ opener Jamie Smith fell to the fourth ball of the second over, clean bowled by Muhammad Jawadullah while attempting a slog shot for 7. In the tenth over, Sean Williams ended Lynn’s knock when he was five short of his half century, caught by Joe Denly at mid-wicket. In the same over, Williams also removed Vince, caught by Woakes at long-off, for a run-a-ball 20.
From 87 for 4 in 11.5 overs, Hetmyer took charge to lift Giants to a winning total. Hetmyer, who had hit an unbeaten 40 in the previous match against Vipers, went for his shots cheered by the crowd. Gerhard Erasmus played the second fiddle role brilliantly before Daniel Sams got him to edge a reverse sweep to be caught by a diving wicket keeper Dickwella for 17.
Hetmyer, while on 24, escaped being caught by a diving Denly at long-off off Sams when the third umpire ruled him not out despite Denly’s fingers seemed to be under the ball. He celebrated his escape thrashing Williams, who bowled the 17th over, for three sixes and a boundary and took 26 runs off that over. He raced to his 50 in 24 balls, and along with Jamie Overton, they swelled their team’s total.
James Vince, skipper of Giants, who is delighted over his team’s return to the top four in the table, said: “We knew that if we won today we will be back in the top four. The manner in which Hetty (Hetmyer) and Jamie played highlighted what we spoke about and the intent we wanted to play to win matches.”
Kohler-Cadmore, skipper of Warriors, was sporting in defeat. “We didn’t get enough runs with the bat, so obviously disappointed. We’ve got another game tomorrow and need to get back to our best. Sometimes you gotta dust your hat off and say well done.”
Player of the Match Zuhaib Zubair said: “I am glad I got the opportunity to play in this tournament and am happy with the win. I want to thank my bowling coach (Ottis Gibson) for giving me the confidence to do my best.”
Gulf Giants bt Sharjah Warriors by 79 runs. Gulf Giants 187 for 6 in 20 overs (James Vince 20, Chris Lynn 45, Shimron Hetmyer 53n.o, Jamie Overton 25, Sean Williams 3 for 46) Sharjah Warriors 108 in 17.3 overs (Tom Kohler-Cadmore 39, Lewis Gregory 30, Aayan Afzal Khan 2 for 16, Zuhaib Zubair 4 for 22)
Player of the Match: Zuhaib Zubair