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Aakash Saini ∙ Jan 25 2023, 12:00 AM | 2 Min Read

Hales continues dream run as Vipers overcome Emirates with time to spare

image-ldaj7r9nRutherford hits a boundary (Source: ILT20)

The Desert Vipers have put their ILT20 2023 campaign back on track after a thumping victory over evenly-matched MI Emirates. Opener Alex Hales was the star of the show for the fifth successive time this season, as he guided his side through an imperial run-chase alongside Caribbean powerhouse Sherfane Rutherford.

Pooran, Pollard combat Cottrell, Atkinson’s new-ball gambit

Desert Vipers pacers Sheldon Cottrell and Gus Atkinson both struck within their opening spells to rock the MI Emirates early in the match. Later, captain Kieron Pollard consolidated the innings with West Indies teammate Nicholas Pooran as the two staged a 116-run stand, one which ended in the penultimate ball of the final over.

The two batting dynamites clubbed sparkling five-centuries, thus anchoring the Emirates total to 169-5. For the Vipers, English all-rounder Tom Curran was the only other wicket-taker of the innings. The speedster claimed two victims, including that of in-form Pooran in the last over.

Alex Hales charts fifth 50-plus score of the tournament in five innings

Run-machine Alex Hales continues to rake in runs for fun as the opener listed his fifth 50-plus score of the tournament after five matches. He piled up 62 unbeaten runs from just 44 balls and formed a 72-run second-wicket partnership with captain Colin Munro after losing his opening partner in the first over of the run-chase.

Vipers’ West Indies import Sherfane Rutherford took over the demolition job after Munro’s dismissal, whacking a 29-ball 56* to guide his side past the finishing line.

Emirates speedster Trent Boult claimed a wicket in the third ball of the innings and was only assisted by Samit Patel’s twin strike in the middle overs.

While Hales and Rutherford drove the Vipers to an emphatic victory, they did so with 21 balls still intact in the match. The big win elevated Munro and co. to the top of the ILT20 2023 points table, as they displace previous toppers Gulf Giants to number two.

Brief scores:

MI Emirates: 169-5 (50)

Kieron Pollard 67* (39), Nicholas Pooran 57 (49)
Tom Curran 2-38, Sheldon Cottrell 1-20

Desert Vipers: 170-3 (16.3)

Alex Hales 62* (44), Sherfane Rutherford 56* (29)
Samit Patel 2-23, Trent Boult 1-34

Desert Vipers won by seven wickets

Also Read: ILT20 2023: Sharjah Warriors ends Gulf Giants' unbeaten streak with a clinical win