Hasaranga, Hales hand Abu Dhabi Knight Riders third straight loss

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Desert Vipers picked up a comfortable win over Abu Dhabi Knight Riders in a low-scoring game in Dubai on Wednesday (January 18). The seven-wicket win was Vipers’ second in two games whereas Knight Riders now find themselves in a delicate situation having now lost all three games.

They didn’t make the greatest of starts with the bat losing two wickets in the opening three overs. Even though Brandon King and Colin Ingram followed it up with a few boundaries to round off the powerplay in fine fashion, the left-hander didn’t last long. King then joined forces with Charith Asalanka to resurrect the innings and added 49 for the fourth wicket.

After 13 overs, Knight Riders were actually pretty well placed at 101/3 after 13 overs and could have pushed for a score over 160 had they batted sensibly. However, Wanindu Hasaranga came back for another spell and pegged them back big time with the wickets of Asalanka and Andre Russell off successive deliveries. With Russell dismissed for a golden duck, Knight Riders didn’t have a reliable batter to help them land some lusty blows at the death. Hasaranga then followed it up with a stunning wicket maiden at the death that saw him dismiss Sunil Narine.


King managed to help himself to a fifty but all those wickets at the other end drained them of any momentum as Knight Riders posted only 133 on the board. Vipers’ openers then gave their side a dream start in the chase with Rohan Mustafa hammering five boundaries to race to 23 off just 10. Akeal Hosein ended his rampage and Russell caused a flutter with Colin Munro’s wicket immediately but Sam Billings and Alex Hales ensured there were no hiccups in the chase.

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Guiding their side to 75/2 at the halfway mark, the duo turned on the heat with Hales doing the bulk of the damage. The England opener fetched back-to-back boundaries off Russell and brought up a fifty off just 36 balls and then added two more boundaries off Lahiru Kumara to pretty much kill the chase. Even though Narine cleaned him up for 64 in the very next over, the damage was already done as Vipers romped him with 26 balls left.

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