Delhi Bulls to meet Deccan Gladiators in Abu Dhabi T10 final

Dominic Drakes’ four for sends Team Abu Dhabi crashing to 60 all out

Dominic Drakes, left, celebrates a wicket with Rahmanullah Gurbaz. Photo: Abu Dhabi T10

Deccan Gladiators and Delhi Bulls, the teams that finished in the top two spots in the league phase, will meet in the Abu Dhabi T10 final at Zayed Cricket Stadium on Saturday.

The Gladiators lead the Bulls 3-0 in the competition having beaten them in both league matches and in Friday's qualifier.

The Bulls booked their place in the final after defeating Team Abu Dhabi by 49 runs in the second qualifier, leaving the latter team to meet Bangla Tigers in Friday's third place play-off that precedes the final.

Dominic Drakes with 4-13 from his two overs sent Team Abu Dhabi crashing to 60 all out in 8.3 overs after the Delhi Bulls had posted 109-7.

Phil Salt and Paul Stirling began Team Abu Dhabi's innings in typical fashion, flaying 23 off the first over.

Salt struck two boundaries and a six off the first three deliveries and Stirling smacked consecutive boundaries off Chanderpaul Hemraj.

However, Drakes brought the Bulls back into the match by taking the wickets of Salt and Captain Liam Livingstone in the second over.

Fazalhaq Farooqi made matters worse when he dismissed Stirling in the fourth over before Romario Shepherd completely tilted the match in the Bulls' favour when he removed Chris Gayle and Danny Briggs in consecutive deliveries in the fifth over.

Earlier, Sheldon Cottrell got Team Abu Dhabi off to a perfect start by removing Rahmanullah Gurbaz on the first delivery of the Bulls' innings.

Sherfane Rutherford tried to gain momentum for the Bulls as he struck a four and a six in the second over, however, he was dismissed by Livingstone for an eight-ball 19 in the next over.

Team Abu Dhabi continued to put pressure on their opponents by picking up wickets at regular intervals. Livingstone led from the front with 2-7.

Deccan Gladiators, powered by a fine all-round effort from Andre Russell, got the better of the Bulls in the first of the three matches on the night.

The Gladiators’ batting clicked once again and overcame a minor stutter in the middle overs to post an imposing 139-4.

Russell and Tom Kohler-Cadmore resumed from where they had left off in the last match, putting on 58 from 23 balls to give the team a solid start.

West Indian all-rounder Russell, who dominated the partnership, fell for 39 in the fourth over.

The Gladiators were 74-1 in the sixth over when Kohler-Cadmore lofted Drakes’ first delivery which Dwayne Bravo spilled.

However, the captain showed the presence of mind and threw down the stumps from long-off to run out the non-striker Najibullah Zadran.

Kohler-Cadmore went for it once again on the next ball but the mistimed shot was safely pouched by Hemraj. Anwar Ali lasted only two deliveries before edging one to Gurbaz. Gladiators slipped to 77-4 in that eventful Drake over.

Odean Smith and David Wiese brought the innings back on track and took the total beyond 100 on the first ball of the penultimate over.

Smith then went on to unleash three successive sixes against Fazalhaq Farooqi’s bowling who gave away 27 runs in the over.

Wiese hit Nyeem Young for a four and a six in the final over to ensure that the Gladiators ended up putting up a big score despite the setback in the middle overs. The duo added 62 runs from 24 deliveries.

Gurbaz began the Bulls’ chase with the same confidence that he has exhibited throughout the tournament, lofting Wahab Riaz over his head for a six in the first over.

Hemraj continued the good work in the next over, finding the boundary on multiple occasions to fetch 22 runs off Sultan Ahmed’s bowling. However, the left-hander departed soon after, failing to pick Smith’s slower ball.

Gurbaz and Rutherford took the team to 65 at the halfway mark but the latter fell to Wanindu Hasaranga on the first delivery of the sixth over.

Eoin Morgan raised hopes of the Delhi fans with a flurry of sixes but Russell delivered the knockout punch when he had England captain caught at deep point. The Bulls eventually finished with 122-5.

Updated: December 4th 2021, 5:56 AM