Qais Ahmed and Salman Irshad fire Samp Army to victory against Bangla Tigers

Thushara and Kohler-Cadmore star in Deccan Gladiators triumph over Northern Warriors

Powered by automated translation

Morrisville Samp Army and defending champions Deccan Gladiators stayed on course to reach the last four with comfortable victories over Bangla Tigers and Northern Warriors in the Abu Dhabi T10 on Tuesday.

Samp Army are on a roll. They produced another superb performance to outplay the Tigers to complete their fourth win from five games at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.

Electing to field first, Samp Army skittled out the Tigers for 82 with leg spinner Qais Ahmed (3-14), and the seamers Salman Irshad (3-12) and Karim Janat (2-4) doing the main damage.

Opener Andries Gous then led the chase with a 20-ball 42, and useful contributions from the captain Moeen Ali (12 not out) and Najibullah Zadran (13 not out) saw them home for the loss of four wickets with 10 balls to spare in the first of the three games on the night.

“We are playing well and getting better, like I said the last time,” Moeen said of his team’s fourth successive win after losing their opener to Northern Warriors on match day 1.

“I think the environment we are in is really good and that’s something important and really special. Taking wickets and bowling as many dot balls is the key to our success.

“We have taken a lot of wickets in every game, and when batting, to have as few dot balls as we can. We are just playing well and we have some good guys and everyone is contributing, and that makes a big difference.”

Before the match, Samp's veteran South Africa batter Faf du Plessis spoke about a possible return to international cricket.

With India due to tour South Africa for three T20Is in December and the ICC Men's T20 World Cup set to be played in June, there have been rumours that Du Plessis might make an international comeback.

On Tuesday, Du Plessis said: "I believe that I can return to international cricket as well. We have been speaking about this for the last couple of years. It's just figuring out the balance of the T20 World Cup next year. It's certainly something we have spoken about with the new coach. Watch this space.

"I do a lot of hard work to ensure I look after my body to be able to play this brilliant game we love so much. When you do get a little bit older, you have to make sure you put in the work. Otherwise, the hamstring and other body parts do not work that well.

"There is a lot of fast running and a lot of stuff to make sure that level where you can play against the best players in the world.”

Du Plessis, playing in his second stint at the Abu Dhabi T10, also praised the competition as a platform for developing young talent.

"I think for me the most exciting thing is that there are so many players that surprise you so much. When you play against someone you have not played across. The effectiveness can happen on any day no matter what the name is because the format is so short, you have to be on top of your end game to compete with the skill set there is," he said.

In Tuesday's second game, Tom Kohler-Cadmore blasted an unbeaten 69 in 19 balls for the Gladiators to clinch an eight-wicket triumph over Northern Warriors.

The Englishman pummeled Angelo Mathews’ first over for 26, including four sixes. He sent the first ball sailing over the midwicket fence and the last three deliveries for the maximum.

Kohler-Cadmore continued to torment the Warriors bowling when he carted the last three deliveries of Azmatullah Omarzai for three boundaries to take their score to 39 in two overs.

He reached his half century in 13 balls, just one short of joining Chris Gayle, Mohammad Shahzad and Muhammad Waseem in the elite club for being the fastest half century off 12 balls in the tournament.

However, the early damage was done by Nuwan Thushara. The Sri Lankan with his slinging deliveries returned with four for 12 from his two overs to restrict the Warriors to 100 for six.

“The ball swung when it was new and I used my skills to good use in the first over,” Thusara, the player of the match, said of his deliveries that hit the middle stumps of the openers Kennar Lewis and Hazratullah Zazai.

“The T10 format is difficult as it gives the players less time to think. We gel well as a team and everyone on the field is very supportive. Some of the work I have been doing with the coach.”

The win took the Gladiators' tally to eight points, tied with Samp Army but above them on a better run-rate.

In the late match, Team Abu Dhabi remained winless after six games, this time going down by 24 runs to New York Strikers, who also joined the Gladiators and Samp Army on eight points each.

Chasing 111 to win, Abu Dhabi were three down for 14 in 3.3 overs and they were always behind even as Asif Khan (39 off 20 with 4 sixes and 2 fours) made a valiant effort to briefly keep his team in the hunt. They eventually ended up at 86 for five.

Updated: December 05, 2023, 6:30 PM