Tom Kohler-Cadmore waged a lone battle out in the middle to get Deccan Gladiators’ Abu Dhabi T10 title defence off to a perfect start on Tuesday.
The Somerset wicketkeeper-batter used the experience of playing in his fifth tournament to score more than half his team’s total of 118, guiding his side to a 22-run win over New York Strikers in the opening night of the seventh edition of the tournament at Zayed Cricket Stadium.
Opening the innings, Kohler-Cadmore slammed a 33-ball 68 not out that included half-a-dozen sixes and four fours.
He then kept striking to round off the team’s innings in style, using sheer muscle-power to cart pacer Ali Khan’s first delivery over the long-on fence and playing the final delivery inside-out to send it sailing over wide long-off for the maximum.
“Tonight, it was about not panicking and getting off to a slow start. I know I could hit sixes and if I could get a couple of them, I thought I could catch up,” Kohler-Cadmore said of his innings.
“The pitch was two-paced, some skidding away and some coming hard with the keeper taking them head high. I found it to be a bit tricky to get used to that but, yes, I got them right as the game progressed. So, it was a good pitch to bat on.”
The Gladiators were 11-2 in the third over Kohler-Cadmore said Andre Russell’s nine-ball 17, with a six and couple of fours, got the momentum back.
“That was the turning point,” he said. “It gave us the momentum to set the 120-run target. I thought that was a good total to defend.”
The Strikers in reply lost their openers Rahmatullah Gurbaz (nought) and Kusal Perera (11) to Trent Boult and Zahoor Khan, respectively, before a little cameo 13-ball 26 from the UAE captain Muhammad Waseem took them to 47-3 at the halfway mark.
Asif Ali (24 off 15) kept their chase alive but his run out, followed by the fall of captain Keiron Pollard (eight), all but ended their hopes as they finished on 96-6. The UAE international Zahoor Khan was the pick of the Gladiators bowling with 2-12 from his two overs.
In the late game, Angelo Mathews claimed a hat-trick after James Neesham and Abhimanyu Mithun grabbed two wickets apiece to lead Northern Warriors to a resounding nine-run victory over Morrisville Samp Army.
Northern Warriors made 103 for 5 before Morrisville Samp Army posted 94 for 8 in reply.