The Desert Vipers Sustainability Match, held to highlight the team’s commitment to the environment, was a great success not just for the numbers that attended the match and the exciting initiatives on display, but also because of the victory achieved by Colin Munro’s side.
Player of the Match Azam Khan scored the fastest half-century in DP World ILT20 history, off just 18 deliveries, to lead the Vipers to a sensational six-wicket triumph against the Gulf Giants. Captain Colin Munro weighed in with 51 while Alex Hales contributed with a valuable 44.
Speaking to the Vipers Voices podcast afterwards, batter Alex Hales was delighted with the team’s win and said if the side can click like that again in the future, there was no reason why they could not go on to win the trophy. Quotes from that interview and from Player of the Match Azam Khan are included below.
Match Scores:

Toss: Desert Vipers won the toss and elected to field first

Gulf Giants:160/7 (20 overs)

Top scorer: Shimron Hetmeyer 40* (23)

Desert Vipers: 161/4 (16.5 overs)

Match Result: Desert Vipers won by six wickets with 19 balls remaining.

Player of the Match: Azam Khan 50(20)
Here are some quotes from a post-match interview with Desert Vipers player Azam Khan:

“I really enjoyed the game. I always have this belief that I can change the game at any moment. (In this match) I was out in the middle and I knew I could finish the job and I am happy about the win.
“The middle-order is a place where you cannot be consistent all the time. When you hit a purple patch, you tend to perform throughout. But at the end of the day, what is most important for the team is the strike rate. The better the strike rate the better it is for the team.
“This win gives us a lot of happiness and confidence and we will try to perform like this to take the team forward. I will not be available for some of the matches later on, because of my commitment to the  Pakistan Super League (PSL) but I think our team is very good, and they are in a great zone. We have had a few defeats but, after today, we have all got a great boost.
“Sustainability is a good cause. We are all aware that global warming is a problem affecting all of us across the world. So, this is a really good initiative from the Desert Vipers. Global warming is happening around the world, and this is an important cause that the Desert Vipers are supporting.
“One of the steps we have taken is to not use plastic bottles on the ground. Instead, we have a water filter which supplies our drinking water (from which we refill our reusable bottles). It is good for the team and for the environment.
“I did find the crowd inspiring, because when the crowds are there, you (feel you) have to perform well and showcase your talents, I was there (batting) till the end and I am happy I managed to finish the game for my team.”
Here are some quotes from the Vipers Voices post-match podcast featuring Desert Vipers batter Alex Hales:
“We have not been at our best in this tournament, to be honest, but to come out like that in a must-win game for us, against the defending champions, was very impressive. Now is when it counts in tournament cricket; you want to play your best cricket towards the end of it, and that is exactly what we did today. It was very convincing, it looked like it could be close, but the way Azam Khan and Colin Munro batted was brilliant and it took all the pressure off.
“I think to chase 160 was around par for a day game, and I thought we batted really well. It was a bit tricky during the powerplay and I had a little bit of luck with edges and inside edges, but sometimes you need that when you are trying to score some runs.
“I think there has been a little bit of swing and a little bit of seam and a little bit of slow bounce off the pitch and I think it is important to give yourself a few balls to get used to what the pitch is going to do, whether there is swing or seam. And there actually was a bit of nibble out there. I just wanted to rein it in, and there were a couple of edges to help keep the scoreboard ticking along and then I expanded a little bit in the middle when it got easier.
“It was amazing hitting from Azam Khan. I was sitting in the changing room after I got out, and I was saying to Tymal Mills that this could be a tricky chase, and that it could be hard work and a tight game. And then Azam came out, when two wickets had fallen in the same over, and he popped it (the final delivery of that over) back over the bowler’s head for six. When he did that, we all thought that he could do something special here.
“He is that kind of player; he is one of the best hitters I have played with, a very good player of spin and a very powerful man. To have him in our ranks like that is very important.
“It (the competition amongst the teams to qualify for the next stage) is very tight. All the teams can still qualify, I think. We are confident, and we feel like we have reached here having played nowhere near our best cricket. I think it is an exciting place to be as a team, knowing that if we click and start improving then there is no reason why we cannot go on and win the trophy.”
The Desert Vipers are back in action on Sunday, February 4, when they take on MI Emirates at the Dubai International Stadium.  
Tickets for all Desert Vipers matches are now on sale and can be purchased via the official DP World ILT20 website or at any Virgin Megastore across the UAE.