Cricket match report: Tons of Hale keep Abu Dhabi Knight Riders undefeated

Alex Hales had a great century as the Abu Dhabi Night Riders got off to a poor start to their campaign at the inaugural ILT20. Hales’ tonne propelled the Desert Vipers to a commanding 219/4 before the bowlers rushed through the Knight Rider line-up and bowled for just 108.

These two teams had already met just three days ago, with the Vipers putting in a dominant performance. Nothing changed in that short span as the Vipers took control of the game behind a massive stand between Hales and Colin Munroe. Rohan Mustafa was dismissed by Andre Russell in the first over, but Hales and Munroe picked up the offense and took 61 on the power play. The Knight Riders seemed to be pulling things back with a spin, but Hales beat Matiullah Khan to hit 6 for his third 50 in three games. A 6 started flowing when the England opener hit a 1 against Dhananjaya de Silva, followed by a back-to-back 6 against Akeel Hossain. Even Russell didn’t skimp when two hitters went to borderline. Hales said he had only made 64 in a moderate chase three days earlier. This time, he went the distance, and only he had 52 pitches to make his century. Munro brought 50 and the duo added 164 for the second wicket. Sherfane Rutherford and Tom Curran put the finishing touches, leading the Vipers to his 200+. A goal of 220 has always been a huge challenge for a team where he recorded 114, 114 and 133 throughout the tournament. It’s safe to say that their punching power plummeted to new depths on Friday (January 20), as the Vipers pounced on them from the start.

Sheldon Cottrell cleared Brandon King in the first over and Kenner Lewis followed up on the wicket in the second. Wickets fell further as the Knight Riders trailed to 18/4 after five overs, effectively ending any hopes of making the total. They certainly wouldn’t have gotten anywhere near 100 if Russell hadn’t gone nuts.

Despite losing a wicket in one end, Russell faced Wanindu Hasaranga and Shiraz as he challenged Ahmed and only he scored an impressive 50 points in 25 balls. The attack did not change the bottom line, as Knight Rider was ultimately shot down with just 108.

Brief scores: Desert Vipers 219/4 in 20 overs (Alex Hales 110, Colin Munro 56; Lahiru Kumara 2/31) beat Abu Dhabi Knight Riders 108 in 15.1 overs (Andre Russell 57; Sheldon Cottrell 3/14, Benny Howell 2/6) by 111 runs

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