DUBAI – Shimron Hetmyer helped mastermind Gulf Giants’ fourth win of the International League T20, the leaders producing a clinical run chase to beat Sherfane Rutherford’s Desert Vipers by five wickets and keep intact their unbeaten status.
In a clash of the two unbeaten teams at Dubai International Stadium in the United Arab Emirates, Giants chased down a difficult 196 with three balls to spare, Chris Lynn top-scoring with 71 off 42 balls and the left-handed Hetmyer hammering 70 from 35 deliveries.
With the innings in turmoil at 30 for three at the start of the fifth over, Lynn and Hetmyer combined in a 117-run, fourth wicket stand to guide Giants out of their predicament.
Englishman Alex Hales had earlier perished for 99 off 57 balls as Vipers gathered 195 for four off their 20 overs, captain Colin Munro chipping in with 39 from 23 balls and the left-handed Rutherford blasting a 15-ball unbeaten 27.
Hales, who lashed 10 fours and five sixes, put on 72 with Rohan Mustafa (23) for the first wicket, 67 for the second wicket with Munro before adding 34 for the third wicket with Rutherford, who then lashed a couple of fours and sixes to provide the momentum at the back of the innings.
In reply, West Indies left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell (2-24) helped shock the top order when he claimed danger man, captain James Vince for four, with the fourth ball of the chase.
But Hetmyer arrived to hit five fours and five sixes while Hales counted eight fours and three sixes, the partnership eroding Vipers’ initial advantage.
Cottrell struck a key blow in the 14th over when he had Hetmyer caught at the wicket but David Wiese (22 not out) and Liam Dawson (19 not out) calmly saw Giants home in an unbroken fifth wicket stand of 34.