MCL 4th Match Review: Gemini Arabians register a comprehensive win

MCL 4th Match Review: Gemini Arabians register a comprehensive win

Brad Hodge MCL
(Photo Source: Getty Images)

Gemini Arabians produced a commanding performance to beat Leo Lions at Dubai International Cricket Stadium. The Lions’ skipper Brian Lara won the toss and decided to bar first however his team managed only 132/7 in the allotted 20 overs. In reply, the Arabians gunned down the target rather comfortably in 18 overs with the loss of just 2 wickets.

Hamish Marshall was looking good for the Lions batting on 16 off 9 striking 3 fours however his run out in the 3rd over gave the Arabians the opening they were looking for. The last ball of the same over also witnessed another wicket as Robin Peterson (6 off 9) was cleaned up by Kyle Mills. Brendon Taylor (23 off 16) struck 5 fours and took his team to 50 but his wicket proved the turning point in the 7th over as Muttiah Muralitharan began to weave his magic.

Murali cleaned up Lara (0) off the next delivery and 7 runs later had Herschelle Gibbs (2) to leave the opposition wobbling at 57/5 in 8.3 overs. The Sri Lankan legend finished with figures of 4/19 from 4 overs and was rightly adjudged the man of the match award later in the evening. He was well supported by Saqlain Mushtaq (0/18 from 4) and it was great to watch the two great off-spinners bowling in tandem.

James Franklin (35 off 37) tried his best to give some respectability to the total along with Scott Styris (32 off 31) and did reasonably well. The acceleration didn’t arrive however the Arabians posted a score that could have given them a chance to win. The Lions bowlers bowled tight lines and didn’t leak any runs in a disciplined bowling performance.

The Gemini outfit started the proceedings with skipper Virender Sehwag and Richard Levi. The two batsmen look comfortable however both were dismissed in quick succession that put the game in the balance. Sehwag (12 off 11) tried to go inside out against Peterson, however, missed the ball to hear the dreaded sound of timber while Levi (13 off 13) was caught by Marshall off the bowling of off-spinner Ramesh Powar.

This proved the last moment of success for the Lions as two classy batsmen, Kumar Sangakkara and Brad Hodge took their team home from 28/2 in 5.1 overs. The Sri Lankan struck 3 fours in an unbeaten run-a-ball 41 while the Aussie hammered 5 fours and 2 sixes in a 65 not out off 43. The bowlers of Leo outfit failed to make any inroads and at times bowled too many loose balls. Fidel Edwards gave 29 in his 3 overs while Heath Streak conceded 18 off 2. Styris bowled 4 overs for 25 and reasonably well with Johan Botha who gave 24 off 4. Peterson’s 1/23 in 3 and Powar’s 1/14 in 2 was a disappointment on a spin-friendly surface.

Brief Scores:

Leo Lions: 132/7 in 20 overs (J Franklin 35; M Muralitharan 4/19)

Gemini Arabians: 133/2 in 18 overs (B Hodge 65; R Powar 1/14)

Man of the match: M Muralitharan (Gemini Arabians)