Brathwaite earns Player of the Match award as Gulf Giants lift title

February 13, 2023
Carlos Brathwaite
Carlos Brathwaite

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CMC):

Measured bowling, led by former West Indies Twenty20 International captain Carlos Brathwaite, set things up, and purposeful batting, led by Caribbean Premier League recruit Chris Lynn, led Gulf Giants to a breezy seven-wicket win against Desert Vipers in the final of the inaugural ILT20 yesterday.

Watched by a crowd that included outgoing Cricket West Indies President Ricky Skerritt, Barbadian Brathwaite grabbed three wickets for 19 runs from his allotted four overs to earn the Player of the Match award and helped restrict Vipers to 146 for eight from their 20 overs after they were put in to bat at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Australian Lynn followed up with an unbeaten 72 off 50 balls that included nine fours and one six, and embattled Windies batsman Shimron Hetmyer was not out on 25, as the Giants completed the run chase with seven balls remaining.

Lynn formalised the result when he pulled a short delivery from West Indies left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell through mid-wicket for his final boundary to seal the deal for the Giants, who had topped the preliminary phase of the tournament.

Brathwaite and New Zealander Colin de Grandhomme were miserly in their opening spells, and the Vipers limped to 30 for three at the end of the Power Play.

Brathwaite made the breakthrough in the second over when he got England batsman Alex Hales caught at mid-off for one, and he completed the run out of Rohan Mustafa four balls later, when the Vipers batsman got into a mix-up with English left-hander Adam Lyth.

De Grandhomme followed up with the scalp of Lyth, caught by Brathwaite at deep fine leg for 13 in the fifth over, but the Vipers consolidated and reached 62 for four at the half-way stage, after Barbados-born England pacer Christopher Jordan held a return catch to send South African Vipers captain Colin Munro packing for six in the ninth over.

Sri Lankan Wanindu Hasaranga, whose 55 off 27 balls, including six fours and two sixes, was the top score, and England international Sam Billings with a run-a-ball 31, added 72 for the fifth wicket to beef up the Vipers' total.

Brathwaite returned for his third over and got Billings at mid-off in the 15th over. The Vipers could not find the impetus to finish the innings strongly, losing three more wickets - two to Afghanistan leg-spinner Qais Ahmad - in gathering only 30 in the final five overs.

Giants had a shaky start and stumbled to 34 for two at the end of the Power Play, losing England international James Vince for 14 and de Grandhomme for one in successive overs.

Namibian Gerhard Erasmus came to the crease and shared 73 with Lynn to get the Giants on track for victory, before he fell with 47 needed from the final 33 balls.

Hetmyer cracked five fours from 13 balls to tilt the balance towards the Giants, while Lynn remained unflappable until the end to reach over the finish line.

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