Team Abu Dhabi are left with a daunting task to stay in the race after they suffered their fourth straight loss on Saturday in the Abu Dhabi T10.
They were annihilated by defending champions Deccan Gladiators by 63 runs in the first of the three games at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.
The Gladiators, sent into bat, posted 141 for six and Abu Dhabi could muster only 78 for five in reply after looking down the barrel at 26 for three at the halfway mark of their innings.
Nicholas Pooran smashed the ball around for a 17-ball 30 and his opening partner Tom Kohler-Cadmore struck 35, also in 17 balls, before Andre Fletcher set off the fireworks with a brilliant 41 off 12 balls that included five sixes and a four. David Weiss struck a couple of sixes in a six-ball 15 to consolidate the total.
“The wicket was stopping a bit but I kept my shape and looking at the ball as long as possible and it helped,” Fletcher said of his entertaining knock.
“I always believe the bowlers are under pressure in this format. As batters, we just have to go out there and have fun and that’s what I did.
“The way we bounced back after the two losses was very good. Now we just have to keep the momentum and continue to do the good things as long as possible.”
The Gladiators bowlers got into their act straightaway by removing Kyle Mayers (1), Alex Hales (8) and Tom Banton (4) to reduce them to 16 for three in 4.1 overs. Nuwan Thushara was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets for five runs from his two overs.
Having won the second game in four outings, the Gladiators captain Pooran felt they still had a lot of work ahead if they must reach the play-offs.
“We are very proud of the performance tonight,” he said. “We sat and spoke about being brave when we had our backs against the wall after the two losses. Our batting was brilliant with Tom and Andre firing for the team to reach 141, and our bowlers were fabulous to come out and complete the job for us.”
Delhi Bulls notched up their third win in four games. They outplayed Bangla Tigers in the second match of the night to move on top of the table.
Richard Gleeson grabbed three wickets for four runs in two overs to restrict the Tigers to 81 for seven.
The Bulls captain Rovman Powell came in at No 5 and hammered 37 not out off 11 deliveries that included four maximums and a couple of fours to take his side home with four overs to spare. Rilee Rossouw chipped in 21 not out off 11 with a six and four.
In the late game, Chennai Braves riding on a couple of knocks from Charith Asalanka (22 not out off 16) and Sikandar Raza (27 off 10) pipped Northern Warriors by five wickets with two deliveries to spare for their second win in the tournament.