Another low scoring contest and, this time, it is the Sagittarius Strikers who had the last laugh against Virgo Super Kings. There is either something wrong with the pitch or the former legends need some match practice. We have seen them all struggling, especially in the batting.
Earlier the Sagittarius Strikers won the toss and decided to bat first. It was a wise move by A Gilchrist, who knew that batting second in Dubai is always a tricky business. Sometimes you pass and sometimes you fail. Gilchrist himself couldn’t do well with the bat. The left-hander was back to the pavilion after scoring 13 runs. Azhar caught the edge of Gilchrist’s bat and Foster did the rest with his hands.
Once Jayawardene walked in as number 3 for the Strikers, the whole game shifted towards him and the Strikers. Jayawardene was as classic as he was in his playing days. Strikers bench and the audience thoroughly enjoyed another Jayawardene classic. His 69 off 47 balls had 3 big sixes and 7 fours.
Jayawardene started with Azhar driving him smoothly down towards the covers and then he just kept on hitting the ball till he got out. Carberry gave a handy support to Jayawardene with his 27 off 24 with 4 boundaries.
The two took the Strikers to 96 in 11.3 overs and then Carberry fell out to Batty. Jayawardene then added 37 runs with Trott before hitting the ball straight to Bandara off Oram. After the fall of Jayawardene, the Strikers could not gain many runs in the death overs. Trott was cleaned up by Lee on 22. Strikers ended up their innings at 156. Lee Picked up 2 wickets for Virgo Super Kings.
Strikers when entered the ground to the field, Shane Bond had some special plans and he immediately implemented all of them in his first spell. Bond rattled the Super Kings top order and later his former teammate Vettori snatched a couple of wickets in the middle to put Strikers right on the top of the Super Kings.
Bond took out Smith and McKenzie first and few overs later it was Shah who became his third victim. Smith edged the ball to Gilchrist in the first over of Bond for zero. McKenzie looked good with his 3 boundaries in 14 runs that he made, but then Bond caught the edge of his bat and Trott did the rest. Shah went in the same manner like McKenzie after making 9.
Vettori then with Hauritz took over from Bond for the Strikers. Vettori trapped Rhodes LBW than Hauritz made Oran caught in the slips. Vettori then took Raza down with another edge and Super Kings fell apart at 43 for the loss of 6 wickets in 9.3 overs.
There was only one resilient element Strikers came across in the second half and it was Azhar Mehmood. Azhar after giving a decent bowling performance was absolutely breathless to watch with the bat. He was right out there hitting the ball as per his choice. With 3 towering sixes and 3 flashing boundaries, he reached his fifty in 30 balls. Azhar fireworks could not help Super Kings much against the Strikers. Lee gave a useful hand to Azhar with his 21 but by that time the game was all over and Strikers won the game by 26 runs. Shane Bong gets the man of the match award.
(Jayawardene 69, Carberry 27, Lee 2-19) beat
Virgo Super Kings