David Wiese and James Vince take Gulf Giants to ILT20 final as they crush MI Emirates
Gulf Giants set up a fourth meeting of the season with Desert Vipers as they raced into Sunday’s DP World International League T20 final following a crushing win over MI Emirates.
Chris Jordan starred with the ball, James Vince with the bat, and there was more all-round excellence by David Wiese as the Giants claimed a four-wicket win in the last-chance eliminator.
The Giants and the Vipers — who had beaten them in the qualifier playoff on Tuesday night — had finished the league phase of the competition as the top two sides in the points table.
However, MI had had their spirits revived by the arrival for the playoff phase of Rashid Khan. The Afghan spinner had been playing in the SA20 until Tuesday, but jetted to the UAE to help out after MI Cape Town failed to make the knockout phase of that competition.
They breezed past Dubai Capitals on Wednesday night to set up the fixture against the Giants a day later, but they rarely got close to matching them.
The Giants might have coasted to victory even more rapidly had they been more clinical in the field. They had their opponents where they wanted them at 67 for four midway through the innings, but sloppiness released some of the pressure on MI.
Nicholas Pooran dropped was twice in successive balls off Qais Ahmed’s leg spin when on only three. Carlos Brathwaite’s slip catch off the first was perhaps forgivable, Sanchit Sharma’s on the boundary off the next, less so.
Pooran proceeded to belt three huge sixes, and was given another life when on 19 off. This time Brathwaite was the bowler who was anguished by a grassed chance, after Colin de Grandhomme and Shimron Hetmyer nearly collided in the outfield.
Given how destructive Pooran can be, the Giants were lucky the three reprieves only cost 29 from the 25 balls the left-hander faced. But he was at the crease long enough to share 71 with Kieron Pollard.
Pollard was at his brutal best. From the 35 balls he faced, three bounced over the boundary foam, four went directly, and one monstrous effort ended up halfway up the massive branding canvas which covers the seats in the second tier. He ended unbeaten on 57, and took his side to 165 for seven.
Chris Jordan was the standout of the Giants’ bowling effort. He extended his lead at the top of the wicket-taking charts ahead of his teammate Wiese, as he dismissed Lorcan Tucker and Muhammad Waseem.
Jordan also started the innings with a typically adept one-handed slip catch to get rid of Andre Fletcher.
Wiese also took two wickets. And the fact he conceded just 31 runs from his four overs was a triumph given that his first was savaged by Tucker, to the tune of 18 runs.
Wiese made a handy contribution to the run chase, too, hitting a six and a four in his late cameo.
The important work had been done by that point, though, with Vince leading from the front. The captain made 83 not out, including four to win it, as the Giants sealed victory with 11 balls to spare.