Odisha News Hour

Watch as Sikandar Raza displays steely nerves to win the Dubai Capitals game with a last-ball six

<p>In an exciting five-wicket victory against Desert Vipers in the ILgt20 encounter on Friday, Zimbabwean all-rounder Sikandar Raza calmed down to knock a six off the last ball to boost his tea. At the Dubai International Stadium, Raza hit a game-winning 60 runs* off 45 balls, complete with five fours and two sixes.</p>
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<p>UAE’s 19-year-old medium bowler Ali Naseer bowled a gutsy over with 13 runs required off the last over, and he did manage to put Dubai Capitals on the back foot on the first five deliveries.</p>
<p>Sikandar did, however, strike a crucial six late in the game to help his side pull off an incredible victory.</p>
<p>With a partnership of 79 runs in 54 balls for the fourth wicket with Sam Billings (who hit 57 off 36 balls with five boundaries and two sixes) and a partnership of 40 runs in 23 balls with Dasun Shanaka (10) for the fifth wicket, the Zimbabwe all-rounder masterminded his team’s triumph.</p>
<p>Raza, who has won the most Player of the Match honours in T20 cricket this year—11—than any other player in the globe gave an account of his final-ball six. “I don’t think he will go short because I hit one out of the ground earlier,” I told myself. I’ll attempt to strike it as hard as I can while holding my form in the air.</p>
<p>With Alex Hales hitting 66 off 37 balls with four boundaries and six sixes, and his opening partnership of 66 runs with Phil Salt (26), Vipers had amassed a formidable 171 for 7. Everybody else failed to score runs, with the exception of Michael Jones’s 20-minute cameo.</p>
<p>Tom Banton and Max Holden’s opening partnership lasted only 16 runs as they chased a run-rate of 8.55. Adam Hose made a fantastic leaping grab of Holden from Sam Curran at covers for eight points. Ben Dunk was also dismissed clean with a ball that smashed the top of his off stump for one run. The Capitals were in danger when Banton pulled Ali Naseer to Daniel Lawrence at deep square leg for fifteen.</p>
<p>The Capitals needed 111 more runs before the midway point. Billings took only 29 balls to get his 50. Raza gave him very good assistance. With the partnership growing to perilous proportions, Matheesha Pathirana ended it in the fifteenth over by trapping Billings’ leg with a yorker.</p>
<p>With just 29 runs required from the last 18 balls, Dasun Shanaka and Raza brought the goal closer. In 38 balls, Raza achieved his half-century. Sam Curran bowled Shanaka for ten to break the 40 runs in 23 balls that Raza and Shanaka had shared.</p>
<p>Earlier, the fifth-place Vipers were facing the bottom-placed Capitals, who had won the toss and chosen to bowl first. By going for their strokes, openers Philip Salt and Alex Hales gave the innings a good start. Hales amassed 26 runs in the second over by hitting Richard Ngarava for three sixes and two boundaries. Hales scored 40 of their 50 runs in 3.1 overs during their 50-run partnership. Roelof van der Merwe ended the partnership at 66 runs in the fifth over, forcing Salt to reverse sweep him for 26 runs to Ngarava at short third man.</p>
<p>Hales blasted his sixth six and two boundaries on route to reaching his half century in 25 balls. The Vipers crossed the 100 run threshold at the conclusion of the eighth over. Dan Lawrence and Hales put up 34 runs for the second wicket before Van der Merwe fell prey to a second victim, Rahul Chopra catching him at far off for 15. Colin Munro, the captain, was bowled out for six by Olly Stone when he delivered a ball that passed through the bat-pad gap. Hales’s excellent knock was likewise interrupted by Stone, who forced him to attempt a pull shot but ultimately sent the ball to Ngarava at short fine leg.</p>
<p>The likelihood of a massive score was diminished by the fast wicket falls. Adam Hose’s leg was caught by Sikandar Raza before he was seven, and he also choked the run flow. Sam Curran’s leg was previously caught by Haider. For 38 balls, there were no boundaries scored. With 20 runs in the game, Michael Jones cut Scott Kuggeleijn to Shanaka at point to put the Vipers up to a formidable total.</p>
<p><strong>Quick scores:</strong></p>
<p>Desert Vipers lost to Dubai Capitals by five weeks. (Phil Salt 26, Alex Hales 66, Michael Jones 20, Olly Stone 2 for 31, Roelof van der Merwe 2 for 19) Desert Vipers 171 for 7 in 20 overs Sam Billings 57, Sikandar Raza 60n.o, and Sam Curran 2 for 39 put Dubai Capitals at 172 for 5 in 20 overs.</p>