Andre Russell and Nicholas Pooran led Deccan Gladiators to an eight-wicket thriller over Morrisville Samp Army to book their place in Sunday’s final in the Abu Dhabi T10.
Russell came good in the decisive game with a 32-ball 63 before Pooran took his side over the line with a 12-ball 38 not out at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
Russell smacked four sixes and seven fours and was second out at 105. Pooran then took charge to steer the defending champions home with two deliveries to spare and set up a meeting with New York Strikers.
Moeen Ali had earlier hit a blazing 29-ball 78 not out after the Samp Army were sent into bat. The England all-rounder clubbed half-a-dozen sixes and the same number of fours.
Moeen belted Russell for three sixes in the eighth over and Tabraiz Shamsi for a couple in the next, before taking 12 off Zahoor Khan to take his team’s score to 119 for two.
Earlier, the Strikers overcame Samp Army by four wickets with nine balls to spare to book their spot in the final.
Sent into bat first, the Strikers attack got on top to restrict Samp Army to 81 for nine. Akeal Hosein, Ravi Rampaul, Jordan Thompson and Wahab Riaz took two wickets apiece.
Hosein started the slide by taking two wickets in two deliveries in the first over. The left arm spinner castled both Johnson Charles (1) and Karim Janat (0) with his fourth and fifth balls.
Rampaul then struck twice in the third over to send back Moeen Ali (12) and Basil Hameed (9) and Samp Army at 26 for four.
The Strikers didn’t have it easy either. They lost Paul Stirling (1) in the second over to Maheesh Theekshana, who returned with three for 12, before UAE international Muhammad Waseem guided them home with a 16-ball 36 not out.
Team Abu Dhabi’s hope of an elusive T10 title ended in the eliminator round when they went down to Deccan Gladiators by five runs in the second match of the night.
The hosts did well to restrict the Gladiators to 94 for six but they fell short of the chase to finish on 89 for eight.