MI Emirates Soar to ILT20 Glory: Pooran’s Prowess Secures Victory Over Dubai Capitals in Thrilling Final

In the ILT20’s second edition, Nicholas Pooran’s MI Emirates clinched the trophy, defeating Sam Billings’ Dubai Capitals by 45 runs in the final.

MI Emirates ILT20's second edition champion
MI Emirates won the ILT20’s second edition.

In a thrilling culmination of the ILT20’s second edition, MI Emirates, led by Nicholas Pooran, emerged victorious by a substantial 45-run margin against Sam Billings’ Dubai Capitals in the final showdown. The Capitals’ decision to bowl first proved challenging as Emirates, propelled by the dynamic duo of Muhammad Waseem and Kusal Perera, amassed a commanding 208 for 3.

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The innings witnessed a scorching start, with Waseem and Perera smashing 72 runs in the initial six overs, and Pooran’s explosive unbeaten 57 off 27 balls towards the end bolstered the team’s total, marking the highest of the season.

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Despite Emirates dropping six catches in the field, their substantial run cushion proved sufficient to weather the storm. Capitals, in response, grappled with consistent wicket losses, and their most significant partnership amounted to a mere 38 runs between Billings and Sikandar Raza for the fourth wicket. Both teams displayed vulnerabilities in the field, but Emirates’ earlier batting prowess ensured that the missed opportunities did not compromise their commanding position.

Waseem’s early onslaught and the pivotal breakthroughs by left-arm wristspinner Zahir Khan played crucial roles in setting the stage for Emirates’ triumph. Waseem, who had amassed 43 runs by the end of the powerplay, fell victim to Zahir’s crafty delivery, breaking a pivotal 77-run partnership. Although Billings had a chance to dismiss Andre Fletcher, a missed stumping opportunity allowed the batsman to continue.

The Capitals managed to slow down the scoring rate, and when Perera attempted to break free, he lost his wicket to Raza. Fletcher struggled against Zahir and Raza initially but picked up pace in the 16th over, eventually departing after a brisk innings. Pooran then took charge, propelling Emirates beyond the 200-run mark with an array of boundaries, including two fours and six sixes.

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MI Emirates further strengthened their position with Akeal Hosein’s removal of Leus du Plooy, followed by Tom Banton’s stumping by Vijayakanth Viyaskanth. Viyaskanth also dismissed Raza, denting the Capitals further. As the asking rate soared past 15 by the 13th over, Billings attempted to catch up but was stumped charging against Waqar Salamkheil.

Despite Jason Holder receiving three lives in five balls, the required boundaries did not materialize as frequently as the Capitals needed. Trent Boult’s economical 17th over and his dismissal of Rovman Powell left the Capitals needing an improbable 75 runs from the final 18 balls with four wickets in hand. Although the Capitals’ innings lasted the full 20 overs, the outcome was evident much earlier, sealing MI Emirates’ triumph in the ILT20.

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