Deccan Gladiators stamped their dominance over Delhi Bulls to clinch the Abu Dhabi T10 season five title at Zayed Cricket stadium on Saturday.
Deccan outclassed Delhi for the fourth time in the competition, twice when they met in the league round and again in Friday’s play-off, before rounding off with the biggest win by 56 runs.
Fazalhaq Farooqi bowled a solid opening over for the Bulls, conceding 10 runs that included two boundaries, one each from Andre Russell and Tom Kohler-Cadmore.
Romario Shepherd did slightly better, restricting Deccan to nine in the next, but Dominic Drakes went for 15 in the third over, Russell hitting him over the mid-wicket fence and guiding one over the fine leg ropes for two maximums, to take the Gladiators to 34-0.
Russell and Kohler-Cadmore built on that start to increase the tempo in the next couple of overs, taking 15 off Ravi Rampaul and Dwayne Bravo going for 18 as Gladiators reached 68 at the halfway mark.
Russell reached his half century off 18 balls when he cut Drakes’ first delivery of his second spell to the backward point fence.
The hundred came in 40 balls, as Kohler-Cadmore lofted Farooqi straight over his head for the maximum, and the runs kept flowing from the bats of the two openers.
Russell thumped seven sixes and nine fours in a 32-ball 90 and Kohler-Cadmore struck five sixes and three fours in a 28-ball 59 to guide the Gladiators to a tournament-leading 159 for no loss.
At that point it appeared the Gladiators had batted the Bulls out of the final. And so it proved.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Chandrapaul Hemraj got the Bulls quickly out of the blocks, scoring 23 from seven balls but suddenly it all went wrong.
Gurbaz pulled Odean Smith straight to Najibullah Zadran at backward square leg and Sherfane Rutherford top edged the next for the bowler to run across to take the catch, leaving Delhi on 24-2.
Wanindu Hasaranga grabbed the wickets of Eoin Morgan (13) and Hemraj (42) to take his tally to 21 for the tournament and on top of the bowling charts.
Tymal Mills knocked back Drakes’ middle stump and had Bravo caught by Kohler-Cadmore in the next over to leave the Bulls reeling on 76-6 and the game as good as over.
Shepherd was then cleaned bowled by a Russell yorker, and while Adil Rashid - who claimed a hat-trick on Thursday - struck a nine-ball 15, Delhi ran out of overs.
The play-off match between Bangla Tigers and Team Abu Dhabi ended in a tie but the latter took third spot having finished above their opponents in the league table.
The Tigers required seven to win from the last over from Naveen ul Haq but Will Smeed and Qais Ahmed could muster only six as the two teams finished on the same score, 98-5.