Delhi Bulls were bundled out for just 31, the lowest total in the history of Abu Dhabi T10, by New York Strikers at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Monday.
Akeal Hossein grabbed three wickets to give Strikers early momentum before Chamika Karunaratne struck three times in one over to lead them to a comprehensive 67-run win which moves them top of the table after a third win in four games.
The previous lowest total was when Northern Warriors were skittled out for 46 by Qalandars in 2019.
Chasing 99, the Bulls were in big trouble from the off with Hossein setting the platform for the Strikers. The West Indian left arm spinner struck with his second and third deliveries, trapping Johnson Charles in front and the next ball crashing into the top of James Vince’s middle stump.
Rilee Rossouw skied Mohammad Amir straight down to Karunaratne at mid-on to leave them eight for three in the second over.
Hossein struck again in his second over, sending Usman Khan back to the dugout with an arm-ball that hit the middle stump, leaving the Bulls reeling at 12 for four.
Karunaratne then joined the party with a triple strike. The Sri Lankan pacer had Quinton de Kock caught off his own bowling, and then had Powell and Dwayne Bravo dismissed, both caught behind by Rahmanullah Gurbaz in successive deliveries as the Bulls slumped to 15 for seven in the fifth over.
Gurbaz, who held the Strikers innings together with a battling 49 not out, said everything was possible in the fastest format of cricket.
“We discussed at the team meeting that someone should bat long if we lost wickets early, and that’s the role I played when we were four down for 35 into the sixth over,” the Afghan opener told The National.
“Defending a score of 98 was possible if you look at the bowling we have. Akeal opened the bowling and provided the start we wanted. He was outstanding on the night.
“In this format, everything is possible. Delhi Bulls had a strong batting line-up and still they were bowled out for the lowest total in this tournament. It could happen to any team. But I think we bowled really well for this win.”
Earlier in the day, Fazalhaq Farooqi bowled a tidy opening over, conceding just three runs, after the Bulls had elected to field first.
Naveen ul Haq went for four and a maximum but gave his side the breakthrough when he had Mark Deyal caught by Rovman Powell at mid-on for 11, with the score 15 for one after two overs.
Wasim Akram struck twice in the third over. The left arm pacer had Muhammad Waseem trapped in front and Kusal Perera caught by Farooqi at short third man to pile the pressure on the Strikers at 17 for three.
Gurbaz, who watched wickets fall and batters struggling at the other end, cut loose by hoisting the third and fourth deliveries of Akram’s second spell over the mid-wicket fence for the maximum, yet it turned out to be a pretty decent over, conceding only 13 runs.
The Afghan opener and Odean Smith kept the scoreboard ticking in the second half of their innings for the Strikers to eventually end up at 98 for four.
Gurbaz thumped five sixes and two fours in a 24-ball 49 not out and Smith struck a 15-ball 25 not out with a boundary and two more going all the way. The two men featured in an unbeaten 63-run stand in 27 balls.
In the late game, Jordan Cox hammered an unbeaten 56 in 23 balls for Bangla Tigers to send Team Abu Dhabi to their fifth defeat.
Abu Dhabi were bundled out for 65 with only two batters reaching double figures. Runman Raees, batting at No 11, smacked three successive sixes off Carlos Brathwaite for an eight-ball 20 not out and Dwaine Pretorius struck 15 off 13.
Cox smashed 10 fours and a couple for the maximum to take the Tigers over the line with more than half the overs to spare.
Daniel Sams was the pick of the Tigers bowling with three for 11 while Shannon Gabriel and Benny Howell picked up two each.