ABU DHABI 17 November 2019: The second match day of the Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10 has brought audiences fast-paced, twisting cricket, leaving fans spell bound after watching a total of 576 runs and 36 wickets across the course of the day’s three matches.
The Bangla Tigers were cornered by the mercurial Deccan Gladiators in a tight opening match; the bowlers of the Karnataka Tuskers rampaged over Eoin Morgan’s Delhi Bulls, and Team Qalandars crushed the Northern Warriors, who collapsed on 46 all out in the eighth over of the game.
Match Report 1: Deccan Gladiators vs. Bangla Tigers
The Deccan Gladiators won the toss, electing to chase down the Bangla Tigers. Andre Fletcher and Rilee Rossouw opened the Tiger’s batting, but Fletcher lost his wicket to Migael Pretorius for a short two runs in the second over. Colin Ingram joined fellow South African Rossouw at the crease, and the pair probed the defences of the Gladiator’s field before hitting the ball long distances.
The Gladiators’ Mason Crane struck back however, and took the wicket of Rossouw on 26. The Tigers’ Thomas Moores and Ingram worked hard to push the score higher, scrambling at each opportunity for a run and finding six after six to fans’ delight. However, paceman Pretorius pulled the big wicket of Ingram, who gathered 37 off 22 balls.
Tigers’ Captain, Thisara Perera, replaced Ingram briefly, before losing his own wicket for 3. Moores and David Weise sought to push the Tigers’ score higher and higher, but spinner Fawad Ahmed found two wickets in the final over, dismissing Weise on the last ball, leaving the Tigers to post 108 for the Gladiators to chase.
Afghan Mohammad Shahzad and Deccan Gladiators’ captain Shane Watson started the Gladiators’ chase, but England’s Liam Plunkett struck with pace on the second ball to remove Shahzad for 2. Anton Devcich joined Watson, and the duo pulled the Gladiators to 64, before Qais Ahmed ripped Devcich’s stumps from the ground for 27 runs off 11. Watson fought with Banuka Rajapaska to push the Gladiators higher, but Weise pounced with the consecutive scalps of Rajapaska for 12 and then Watson for 41. The Gladiators were 24 balls away from victory, however, leading to Ben Cutting and Dan Lawrence inching the Gladiators to a winning 109, which they scraped with the final ball.
Winning captain of the Deccan Gladiators, Shane Watson, said: “We got off to a good start, and Devcich and I built a really good partnership. But even when you get off to a really good start, you have to keep hitting boundaries. It worked out well in the end.
“New conditions, new ground, and the wicket played beautifully today. It was a little truer today, so I think there’s going to be bigger scores tonight with the way the wicket is.”
Bangla Tigers’ captain, Thisara Perera, commented on the match: “This was our first game, so we hope to flesh it out. We take every positive from this game, and I hope that we can do something special next match. It was a really good atmosphere to play cricket, and we’re looking to giving our 100% next match.”
Match Report 2: Karnataka Tuskers vs. Delhi Bulls
Legendary South African batsman Hashim Amla and West Indies’ Johnson Charles opened the Karnataka Tuskers’ innings, after being placed into bat by the Delhi Bulls. Hashim Amla brought his trademark leg side boundary to the fray, but lasted only into the second over. Despite the first wicket, Delhi Bulls continued to leak boundaries from Charles and Upal Tharanga, just joined at the crease.
Following Charles’ dismissal for 13, Tharanga and Shafiqullah built a strong partnership for the Tuskers, capitalising on inaccurate bowling from the Bulls. A calamitous breakdown of communication led to Tharanga’s run out, but he posted a blistering 48 runs in 22 deliveries to push the Tuskers’ score higher.
The Bulls’ bowlers restricted the Tuskers in the final overs, but still allowed Pathan and Shafiqullah to bring up a century for the Tuskers. Shafiqullah played the shot of the innings with a delicate reverse sweep chip towards backward point for four in the final over, leading the Tuskers to finish on 110 for five.
Delhi Bulls’ chase got off to a stuttering start, and it wasn’t until the second over that Delhi Bulls’ openers Paul Stirling and Kusal Perera found their first boundary. However, that joy was short-lived following Stirling’s dismissal, with Nathan Rimmington’s thunderous delivery rearranging his stumps, leaving his team 20/1 after two overs.
The UAE’s very own Muhammad Usman powered his first ball for a six, before falling on the next delivery. Consecutive wickets stemmed the Bulls’ flow of runs, but the team found comfort in Eoin Morgan and Angelo Mathews building a steady partnership of singles, dotted with the occasional boundary. The Bulls needed runs, however, and the two men desperately sought shots over the boundary, but disaster struck on Morgan’s dismissal for 21, leaving his team requiring an increasingly impossible target of 44 off 17 deliveries.
The Tuskers’ bowlers went into rampage, knocking the wickets of Mathews, Adil Rashid and Ali Khan in quick succession, with a final fiery over from England young gun Pat Brown leaving the Tuskers winning by 19 runs, and becoming the first team of the 2019 Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10 to successfully defend a first innings lead.
Speaking after his team’s victory Hashim Amla said: “I think with this performance we proved that a total of over a 100 runs is defendable, even though in most games the run chase has gone down to the wire.”
Delhi Bulls’ Coach, Stephen Fleming, said: “The T10 format means that every ball counts and the mood can change really quickly within the space of a short time. You have to be as accurate as you can within the 60 deliveries. Something we need to work on as a team moving forward is eradicating those small mistakes from our game”.
Match Report 3 – Northern Warriors vs. Team Qalandars
Qalandars’ openers, rising England star Tom Banton and Kiwi Luke Ronchi, tentatively opened the innings after being placed into bat by the Northern Warriors’ Captain Darren Sammy. The pair found singles and doubles, with occasional boundaries, before Ronchi was caught behind for 14. Captain Dawid Malan stepped out of the changing room and promptly found himself back in, after being dismissed for 1 on his second ball.
Welshman Phil Salt and Banton found a steady pace with singles and tentative boundaries that left crowds in rapturous admiration. Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Pradeep celebrated after taking Salt’s wicket, but Banton continued to power the Qalandars over the century mark whilst celebrating his own half-century in just 26 balls. The loss of Jordan Clark could not stop the Qalandars pushing their score higher and higher, posting a final of 112 for four to defend against the Warriors.
Sam Billings and George Munsey opened the Northern Warriors’ batting line up, looking to recreate the reigning champions’ victory from the previous night of play against the Maratha Arabians. The opening pair played steadily against the Qalandars’ bowling fierce attack, but only added slim figures to the Warriors’ total. The partnership lasted (for what is deemed long in this format) 28 balls, before Munsey lost his wicket for 9.
Munsey’s wicket brought out West Indian big hitter Andre Russell to inject some much needed runs into the Warriors’ total. Russell strode out to bat, and faced two deliveries until Seekkuge Prasanna took his first wicket, although by no means his last, capturing the vital wicket of the match. Billings followed Russell back into the changing room for 14, leaving the Warriors requiring 81 runs off 27 balls.
The increasingly despondent Captain of the Warriors, Darren Sammy, tried to stem the tide of wickets, but soon succumbed to the current when he was caught by Prasanna. By the start of the eighth over, victory was mathematically impossible for the Warriors, with the team requiring 71 off 12 deliveries, and the only question was whether they would run out of balls first or wickets. The answer was wickets, as Lahiru Kumara took three in the final over, leaving the Northern Warriors on a dismal 46 for 10, and the Qalandars to enjoy a victory of 66 runs.
Team Qalandars and winning Captain, Dawid Malan, commented: “We were disappointed that we didn’t win yesterday, but we’ve learned from that experience and applied it today, and in T10 cricket, I don’t think you could put in a better performance. I certainly think we have set the bar high for ourselves in this tournament.
“The nature of the pitch in Abu Dhabi makes it even more challenging, and interesting, for batsman to find their fluency, but that’s all part and parcel of the game. We knew that if we score 110, we put ourselves in a great position to go on and win the game, because bowlers win you games but batsmen set up the victory.”
Sammy said: “We played poor cricket today. We let them score too many runs, and in return we didn’t execute our plans very well. But credit to the opposition, because they knew our batsmen, and bowled according to their weaknesses. The main tactics comes in as a bowling unit, putting the opponents under pressure in the field. We just need to focus on the next game, and put it in a better performance.”
Team Abu Dhabi will return to Zayed Cricket Stadium to face off against a Northern Warriors’ side which is looking to regroup. The Bangla Tigers will be seeking to pounce on the powerful team of Hashim Amla, the Karnataka Tuskers. Meanwhile, Team Qalandars will face down the Maratha Arabians, who will be desperate for a match win to keep their hopes of victory in the Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10 alive. The tournament, which will run through to 24 November, is being broadcast in India on Sony Six and Sony Ten 3.