Team Abu Dhabi finish with a flourish to end Delhi Bulls' top-four hopes

Bangla Tigers progress alongside New York Strikers, Morrisville Samp Army and Deccan Gladiators

Kyle Mayers top scored for Team Abu Dhabi against Delhi Bulls to round off with a win in the Abu Dhabi T10 at Zayed Cricket Stadium on Thursday, December 7, 2023. Abu Dhabi T10
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Team Abu Dhabi finally got their act together to win at the seventh attempt, ending their campaign in the Abu Dhabi T10 on a high at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Thursday.

The hosts' success was also a bitter pill for the losing team, Delhi Bulls, who missed out on a place in the play-offs, leaving Bangla Tigers to join New York Strikers, Morrisville Samp Army, and the defending champions Deccan Gladiators to battle it out for the seventh edition of the title.

The Bulls, electing to take first lease of the wicket, posted 97 for three, with Adam Lyth (39no off 24) and Rovman Powell (31 off 20) chipping in with useful scores.

In reply, Kyle Mayers and Tom Banton gave Abu Dhabi a flying start with a 52-run stand from 26 balls before the latter was forced to retire on 15 after being hit on the shoulder by Afghan quick Naveen ul Haq.

Mayers blasted away for a 30-ball 60 that included five mighty hits out of the ground and an equal number of fours. However, the left-handed opener fell to local lad Wasim Akram three runs short of the target.

With two deliveries left in that over, Alex Hales crossed over for a single and then Colin Ingram flicked a low full toss to the fine leg fence for the Abu Dhabi dugout to erupt in celebration.

“Obviously it was a relief to finally get a win. Prior to tonight, we were a good quality team with good players. I think we let ourselves down a bit, I just wanted to show we can actually play cricket,” Dwaine Pretorius, the Abu Dhabi captain, said.

“What I like and don’t like at the same time is how fast and quickly this format moves. There’s a lot of games on a lot of days.

“Unfortunately, we got on the wrong side of the fixtures this year, we had four games up front. If we had won that first game (against Chennai Braves) which we lost by three runs, then it might have been different.

“We just couldn’t change the momentum. That’s tough, but if you get on a roll, that’s what you want. The games come thick and fast. It’s awesome, fast-moving, 90 minutes, I really enjoy this format, it’s really, really cool.”

The Tigers, playing the first of the three games on the night, moved into the top four places with victory over the Braves.

They posted 126 for five with Robin Uthappa, playing his first game in the tournament, smashing three fours and a six for a 14 ball 20.

Kusal Mendis (32 off 15, two sixes and two fours) and Dasun Shanaka (34 off 15, two sixes and three fours) featured in a fine 55-run partnership for the fifth wicket for the Tigers to put a challenging score on the board.

The Tigers’ captain Benny Howell rounded off his team’s innings with a couple of sixes and a four in the three deliveries he faced.

The Braves, in reply, made 99 for eight with only Charith Asalanka showing any kind of response with a fighting 55. His 28-ball knock contained eight hits to the fence and two clearing the rope.

“We had to make sure we won the game first and foremost,” Howell said. “We got to 126 and it was a pretty good team performance with the two Sri Lankans in the middle to get a pretty good total on that wicket."

Meanwhile, in the late game, Samp Army beat the Strikers for their sixth win on the trot to finish top of the table. The two sides will now meet again in the first qualifier.

Samp Army dismissed the Strikers for 71 with Bas de Leede returning figures of 3-13, and then knocked off the runs in seven overs for the loss of four wickets.

Updated: December 07, 2023, 6:29 PM