Dubai Capitals, owned by the GMR Group, got their ILT20 campaign off to a dominant start with a 73-run victory over Abu Dhabi Knight Riders in the opening fixture at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday, January 13.

Rovman Powell shone with the bat and ball as he registered a 29-ball 48 and 2/15. Robin Uthappa (43), Joe Root (26, four catches) and Mujeeb Ur Rahman (2/16) were the other standout performers for the Capitals.

Meanwhile, Paul Stirling (54) and Ravi Rampaul (2/36) excelled for the Knight Riders.

Abu Dhabi Knight Riders won the toss and opted to bowl first. Fahad Nawaz and Zawar Farid are the local players for the Knight Riders, while Dubai Capitals have selected Hazrat Luqman and Akif Raja.

Joe Root and Robin Uthappa got the Dubai Capitals’ innings underway with 35 runs in 5.4 overs until the former was dismissed for 26.

Root mistimed a pull shot off Ali Khan’s short delivery, but it found Zawar Farid at deep backward square leg.

Dubai ended their powerplay overs at 42/1, with Uthappa hitting a six on the final delivery bowled by Khan. The Capitals breached the 50-run mark in 7.1 overs.

After Robin Uthappa’s confident cameo of 43 runs off 33 balls, skipper Rovman Powell steered Dubai Capitals to 105/3 at the end of the 13th over.

The West Indian showed his hard-hitting prowess as he slammed three boundaries and three sixes. He fell short of a well-deserved 50 as his compatriot Ravi Rampaul grabbed his wicket for 48.

Sikandar Raza (26), Ravi Bopara (12) and Isuru Udana (11) hit some quality shots and helped the Dubai Capitals end the first innings at 187/6. 

Chasing 188, Abu Dhabi Knight Riders lost their first wicket in the opening over. Isuru Udana’s slight back-of-a-length delivery took an outside edge off Colin Ingram’s willow and went straight towards Joe Root at slip.

Akif Raja became the first UAE bowler to claim a wicket in the ILT20 as he dismissed Brandon King for eight runs. Wicket-keeper Robin Uthappa took the catch at the back after Raja’s delivery took an edge and flew straight towards him.

The Knight Riders registered a score of 44/2 in the opening six overs, but they eventually lost another wicket following the conclusion of the 10th over.

Abu Dhabi Knight Riders lost Paul Stirling (54 runs off 38 balls) and Sunil Narine (4) in five deliveries between the 12th and 13th over, meaning the chasing run rate approached 16 runs per over.

Wickets kept falling at intervals for Andre Russell’s Knight Riders, who lost the game by 73 runs having managed just 114/9 in 20 overs.