The Sharjah Cricket Stadium, so steeped in history, has traditionally favoured the batsmen. It has more to do with the dimensions of the ground as well as the surface where the batsman can make hay.
But it is not to say that the bowlers are out for the count. If you respect the pitch and put in the hard yards, there are rich rewards for the bowler too.
And David Wiese did so admirably well that he perhaps might want to take a slice of Sharjah back home. The Namibian all-rounder, who previously turned out for South Africa, sent the Sharjah Warriors crashing out of the DP World ILT20 on Monday.
The 37-year-old T20 globe-trotter conjured the tournament’s best figures of 5-20 to help the Gulf Giants defeat the Sharjah Warriors by seven wickets.
His fifer saw the Warriors crumble miserably to 107 all out and the Giants knocked off the runs with 21 deliveries to spare.
It was the second five-wicket haul of the tournament after Warriors’ Naveen-ul-Haq had taken 5-38 against the Giants in their earlier match-up on January 23. Wiese also moved past teammate Chris Jordan to the top of the wicket-takers list with 15 scalps.
Their seventh victory in 10 matches saw the Gulf Giants displace the Desert Vipers at the top of the table. That meant that the Gulf Giants will take on the Desert Vipers in Qualifier 1 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
CAPITALS SNEAK THROUGH
The Giants, Vipers and MI Emirates had already qualified for the playoffs and Sharjah Warriors’ sixth loss saw the Dubai Capitals sneak into the playoffs. The Capitals had beaten MI Emirates in Dubai on Sunday to keep their hopes alive.
Meanwhile, the Eliminator will see MI Emirates square off against the Capitals at Sharjah on Thursday.
Qualifier 2 will take place in Dubai on Friday with the loser of Qualifier 1 meeting the winner of the Eliminator. The final is in Dubai on Sunday.
Put into bat by Giants captain James Vince, it all went horribly wrong for the Warriors despite opener Tom Kohler-Cadmore blitzing a 19-ball 32 that had six boundaries and a six.
After young UAE pacer Sanchit Sharma removed opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Tom Helm halted Kohler-Cadmore’s run spree and Carlos Brathwaite accounted for opposition skipper Moeen Ali, Wiese took the reins.
IMPECCABLE LINE AND LENGTH
The lanky pacer was impeccable with his line and length as he scythed through the Warriors middle order. Wiese had Evin Lewis leg before striking triple blows in the 11th over — removing Joe Denly, Marcus Stoinis and Chris Woakes. He came later on to have Mohammad Nabi leg before to wrap up his five-wicket haul.
Colin de Grandhomme struck 35 and Vince made 27 as the Giants got home easily despite UAE pacer Junaid Siddique taking two wickets. Young UAE bowling all-rounder Aayan Afzal Khan, who came in at No.4 struck Nabi for a six over midwicket to seal the win.
Gulf Giants beat Sharjah Warriors by 7 wickets
Sharjah Warriors: 107 all out in 18.3 overs (Tom Kohler-Cadmore 32, Mohammad Nabi 21; David Wiese 5-20, Carlos Brathwaite 2-15)
Gulf Giants: 108-3 16.3 overs (Colin de Grandhomme 35, James Vince 27; Aayan Afzal Khan 14 not out, Gerhard Erasmus 10 not out; Junaid Siddique 2-27)
Player of the Match: David Wiese
Wednesday: Qualifier 1: Gulf Giants vs Desert Vipers, Dubai International Cricket Stadium, 6 pm
Thursday: Eliminator: MI Emirates vs Dubai Capitals, Sharjah Cricket Stadium, 6 pm
Friday: Qualifier 2: Loser of Qualifier 1 vs Winner of Eliminator, Dubai International Cricket Stadium, 6 pm