Pathirana-Sowter soar as Vipers play party-spoilers to Warriors’ playoff chance

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In the wooden-spoon battle of the league stages,  Desert Vipers drubbed Sharjah Warriors in a rain-curtailed contest to deny a playoff berth. Matheesha Pathirana and Nathan Sowter’s three-fers restricted the hosts to a below-par score that the Vipers’ batters overhauled with 31 balls to spare.

Brief Scores: Desert Vipers: 123/4 (12.5) [ Phil Salt: 31 (12), Colin Munro: 27 (20); Junaid Siddique: 2-0-16-2] beat Sharjah Warriors: 121/9 (18) [ Luke Wells: 31 (28), Sean Williams:23 (16); Nathan Sowter: 4-0-21-3]

Following a delayed start due to a wet outfield, Sharjah Warriors were sent in to bat first after the Desert Vipers captain Colin Munro in an 18-over per side contest. After a 25 runs opening stand between Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Nirsohan Dickwella, the former was cleaned up by Sam Curran on the last ball of the third over. Immediately, on the next delivery, Dan Lawrence knocked off the stumps of a well-going Dickwella with the ensuing batters- Martin Guptill and Luke Wells – managing to sum up the powerplay with 29 runs. The Warriors failed to find boundaries for a space of 47 deliveries, losing both Guptill and Joe Denly halfway through the innings. In an attempt to up the ante, Wells (31) found the top edge off Lawrence and followed them back to the pavilion with the score reading 91/5 after 14 overs. With four overs to go, the Warriors piled up 30 runs for the loss of four wickets as Matheesha Pathirana concluded the innings with back-to-back scalps, ending their tally at 121/9.

Unlike their counterparts, the Desert Vipers got off to a flying start as Alex Hales and Phill Salt charged Chris Woakes and Daniel Sams to extract 13 and 18 runs respectively from their first overs. The introduction of Sean Williams in the fourth over seemed to be headed the same way before the experienced Zimbabwean had the last laugh against Salt (30 off 12 balls). Right after, Hales brought up a cameo (21) to sum up a 64-run powerplay (5 overs) before following Dan Lawrence back to the hut to offer Junaid Siddique a double-wicket sixth over. With the scoreboard reading  65/3, skipper Colin Munro tailored a 50 runs stand with Dinesh Chandimal before getting run out at the fag end of the chase. The surface got better to bat on during the second innings and Sam Curran hit the winning runs to deny playoffs qualification of the Warriors.

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