ILT20 2023: Twitter reacts as Alex Hales and Sam Billings guide Desert Vipers to big victory over Sharjah Warriors

Sharjah Warriors suffered a seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Desert Vipers while defending 145 runs.

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Alex Hales and Sam Billings
Alex Hales and Sam Billings. (Photo Source: Twitter/ILT20)

Desert Vipers started their International League T20 2023 (ILT20) campaign with a big seven-wicket win over Sharjah Warriors in the fourth match on Sunday (January 15). Sharjah's batters struggled from the beginning and managed to score just 145/5 while batting first with Joe Denly scoring 36* off 33 and Mohammad Nabi scoring 34* off 23. Then Alex Hales and Sam Billings scored big knocks to guide Vipers to an easy win with 20 balls remaining.

Colin Munro won the toss and asked Sharjah Warriors to bat first at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. His decision proved very effective as the Vipers' pacers took three big wickets in the powerplay overs. English left-arm pacer Tymal Mills proved very effective with the opponent's captain Moeen Ali's wicket and Warriors at once stage were struggling at 68/5 in 11 overs.

But Joe Denly and Mohammad Nabi dominated the last few overs and dragged Warriors to a respectable total of 145/5 with an unbeaten 77-run partnership. English pacers Mills, and Benny Howell took a wicket each and also proved economically impressive for Vipers.

The Vipers struggled to get off to a good start as they lost opener Rohan Mustafa in just the first over. They lost captain Munro for a duck on Chris Woakes' delivery in the next over and looked under pressure in their chase.

But Alex Hales and Sam Billings avoided the further fall of wickets with a match-defining partnership of 128 runs for the third wicket. Billings was caught out on 49 runs but Hales remained unbeaten at 83 off 52 balls to guide Vipers to a crucial opening win in ILT20. Junaid Siddique proved to be the best bowler for Sharjah with a wicket at an economy rate of 6.37 but Afghanistan pacers Naveen-ul-Haq and Nabi struggled for the wickets.

Here is how Twitter reacted to Desert Vipers' big win over Sharjah Warriors in ILT20 2023:

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