Lynn, Brathwaite pack punches as Gulf Giants bags inaugural title
Lynn plays a shot during his 72* (ILT20)
Gulf Giants upheld their table-topping reputation of the ILT20 2023 season, by defeating the Desert Vipers in the final. On the big day, everything went right for the Giants, including the toss, as they overhauled their task with eight deliveries still intact in the game.
Hasaranga’s scintillating 55 lifts Vipers after Brathwaite’s new-ball brilliance
Giants’ new-ball pacer Carlos Brathwaite removed both of Vipers openers off his first over of the match. While he dismissed in-form batter Alex Hales courtesy of a sensational snare from his captain James Vince, the West Indies-based all-rounder ran out Rohan Mustafa four balls later in the innings.
Sam Billings held fort for a while through his calculated 31. However, at 44-4, it was up to specialist spinner Wanindu Hasaranga to take matters into his own hand with the bat. The Sri Lankan cracked a double-quick 55 laced with six boundaries and two sixes.
Meanwhile, Brathwaite returned from his opening spell to remove Billings and Tom Curran to finish with a three-fer.
Chris Lynn’s 72* sinks Vipers to script easy win and maiden title for Giants
Skipper and opening batter James Vince led with just 14 in his side’s response in the final. His partner Chris Lynn, however, remained unfazed at the other end throughout the run-chase. The T20 barbarian from Australia smoked nine boundaries and a six from the 50 unbeaten deliveries he faced in the innings.
The cricketer struck 72 runs, and also delivered the knockout punch with a boundary in the penultimate over of the match. Wicketkeeper Gerhard Erasmus also provided much assistance with his 30 while Shimron Hetmyer clubbed a 13-ball 25* and formed a 50-run stand with Lynn in double-quick time.
The win helped Giants register their name on the trophy in the tournament’s inaugural season. Fittingly, they were also the most successful team of the league stages, having secured seven wins amidst just a single defeat from their 10 matches.
Desert Vipers: 146-8 (20)
Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva 55 (27), Sam Billings 31 (29)
Carlos Brathwaite 3-19, Qais Ahmad 2-29
Gulf Giants: 149-3 (18.4)
Chris Lynn 72* (50), Gerhard Erasmus 30 (33)
Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva 1-28, Luke Wood 1-31
Gulf Giants won by seven wickets