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Five memorable T20s in the UAE

Two IPL thrillers, drama in the Pakistan Super League and a Super Over between Pakistan and Australia back in 2012

Himanshu Agrawal
Umar Akmal completes the winning run in the Super Over, Pakistan v Australia, 2nd T20I, Dubai, September 7, 2012

An exciting 2012 T20 between Australia and Pakistan ended with drama on the final ball of the Super Over  •  AFP

The UAE has hosted 466 T20s, with the first played in 2009. This year will be the second time IPL matches will be played there - in 2014 part of the tournament was held in the UAE. These are five of the most exciting T20s played in the UAE.
Pakistan v Australia, bilateral series match, Dubai, 2012
Match tied; Pakistan won the Super Over
Two days after crumbling for 89 in the first T20I of a see-saw limited overs tour of the UAE, Australia nearly levelled the series. Kamran Akmal's late fireworks pushed Pakistan to 151. Australia started the chase aggressively before Saeed Ajmal flummoxed both David Warner and Shane Watson to spark a collapse. George Bailey's 42 off 27 kept Australia in it, and it came down to seven needed from two balls. Pat Cummins hit Abdul Razzaq for a six, but then spooned the next ball to mid-off to leave the scores level.
In the Super Over, Australia scored 11. Cummins, then just 19, was chosen to defend it. Umar Akmal hit his second ball for four, and then Razzaq got another boundary off the fourth. Pakistan were left with two to get off the last ball, and Cummins' attempted bouncer was called a wide. Akmal tapped the next ball to cover and sprinted for the single. There was a run-out chance, but Dan Christian failed to collect the throw at the non-striker's end and Pakistan took the series.
Kolkata Knight Riders v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL, Sharjah, 2014
Kolkata Knight Riders won by 2 runs
The Royal Challengers had begun the tournament with two wins and were favourites to chase 151, with Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Yuvraj Singh and Albie Morkel in their batting line-up. Kohli and Yuvraj scored slowly in a partnership of 55 but they still required only 29 from 25 balls when Kohli was dismissed. The runs would not come for Yuvraj, who had faced a similar predicament in the T20 World Cup final less than three weeks before. He struggled to 31 off 34 balls before holing out in the 19th over. RCB needed nine off the final over, bowled by Vinay Kumar. After three singles, Chris Lynn took a sensational catch at deep midwicket to dismiss de Villiers. Morkel had to get six from two deliveries, but Vinay Kumar allowed only three to complete a remarkable comeback win for KKR.
Kolkata Knight Riders v Rajasthan Royals, IPL, Abu Dhabi, 2014
Match tied and Super Over also tied; Royals won on boundary count
Ajinkya Rahane's 72 and cameos from Shane Watson and Steven Smith helped the Royals to 152. In reply, Gautam Gambhir limped to 45 off 44. With 16 needed from 11 balls, James Faulkner foxed Suryakumar Yadav, Robin Uthappa and Vinay Kumar in the same over, making Royals favourites to clinch the win. But Shakib al Hasan struck a boundary and two doubles in the last over to tie the match.
In the Super Over, Manish Pandey's six off Faulkner set the Royals 12 to get. Sunil Narine conceded four off the first three, then Watson slogged him to deep midwicket for four. Watson then took a single to leave Smith with three to get. Knowing two would be enough since Royals had the boundary advantage, Smith pushed the ball to deep extra cover for an easy double.
Peshawar Zalmi v Quetta Gladiators, PSL qualifying final, Sharjah, 2017
Gladiators won by 1 run
In the first qualifying final of the 2017 Pakistan Super League, Ahmed Shehzad and Kevin Pietersen led an early onslaught, taking the Gladiators to 121 in the first 10 overs. Zalmi were able to pull things back a bit, but were still left chasing 201. They were 3 for 2 in the chase, but Dawid Malan and Mohammad Hafeez kept them in it with rapid fifties. That set the match up for Boom Boom Shahid Afridi. Just three days before, he had smacked 45 off 23 to deliver a win against the same opposition. This time, his team needed 59 off 6.1 overs, and he clattered 34 from 13 deliveries. He was out in the 19th, but Zalmi needed just seven off the final over with four wickets in hand and Daren Sammy still batting. Sammy scored five off the first three balls, but then couldn't get back on strike as Zalmi lost three straight wickets, the final two run-outs. It was a remarkable collapse. Zalmi did manage to make it to the final after winning the next qualifier, beating Gladiators comfortably to win the cup.
Islamabad United v Lahore Qalandars, PSL, Sharjah, 2018
Match tied; Islamabad United won the Super Over
A low-scoring thriller in which spinners dominated before an Andre Russell special finished the game. Yasir Shah and Sunil Narine, whose four overs went for just 10 runs, kept Islamabad United to 121. The Qalandars were cruising in the chase at 77 for 2 in the 12th over, but then collapsed, losing a wicket in nearly every over. Brendon McCullum watched from one end as his team-mates fell. Eventually, he was left with seven to get off the final over with just two wickets remaining. He was run out on the second ball, but No. 10 Salman Irshad slashed a six over deep point to tie the scores. He holed out to the next ball, and the match went to a Super Over.
The Qalandars batted first, and McCullum and Umar Akmal hit a six each to get to 15. Asif Ali and Russell chased for Islamabad. McCullum dropped Asif at long-on second ball, and the ball went over the rope for six. Russell was left with eight to win off two balls. A top-edged four, a six over long-on, and Islamabad were celebrating. For the Qalandars, it was a sixth straight defeat.

Himanshu Agrawal is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo