New York Strikers claim maiden Abu Dhabi T10 title with victory over Deccan Gladiators

Asif Ali and Kieron Pollard star with match-winning partnership in seven-wicket triumph

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The New York Strikers denied the Deccan Gladiators a hat-trick of Abu Dhabi T10 titles as they won the competition for the first time at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Saturday.

They restricted the Gladiators to 91 for five and knocked off the winning runs with four balls to spare with Asif Ali and captain Kieron Pollard sharing an undefeated 54-run stand for the fourth wicket to take their side over the line with four balls to spare.

The Strikers didn’t have it easy after Trent Boult struck with the fifth delivery of the opening over. The New Zealand quick bowler had Muhammad Waseem (six) trapped in front when the score was seven.

Nuwan Thushara knocked back Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s (one) middle stump with his first delivery in the next over.

Andre Russell bowled a fine over, removing Niroshan Dickwella and conceding just four runs that left the Strikers on 38 for three at the halfway mark of their innings.

Needing 50 from the last 30 balls, Ali and the Strikers captain Pollard set about their job to take their side to their first Abu Dhabi T10 title.

Ali hit an unbeaten 48 in 25 deliveries and finished in style with a six over off Zahoor Khan and the deep-midwicket fence. Pollard chipped in with a useful 22 off 13 with a six and four.

After the toss, the Gladiators were sent into bat and got off to a decent start. Tom Kohler-Cadmore sent the first two deliveries he faced from Mohammad Amir to the point and deep cover boundaries for 12 in the first over.

Nicholas Pooran smashed three fours off Muhammad Jawadullah to take the score to 24 in the next before Sunil Narine provided the breakthrough when he spun one that pitched outside the off stump to hit the top of Kohler-Cadmore’s leg stump and leave the score at 28 for one.

Pooran departed two balls later. The Gladiators captain, going for a big shot, ended up skying one for Narine to hold a high catch at extra cover off George Scrimshaw’s first delivery.

Narine was among the wickets again when he had Andre Fletcher caught by Odean Smith at midwicket. Ali grabbed a stunning one-handed catch dive to his right to send Imad Wasim back to the dugout off Jawadullah, 41 for four in six overs.

Akeal Hosein, the hero of the previous night when he took five wickets for six runs including a hat-trick, struck from his very first ball in the next over. Fabian Allen hit the left-arm spinner straight down to Ali at deep midwicket, five for 57.

Andre Russell and David Wiese then got them to 91 for five with a 34-run partnership in 17 balls.

Russell hit a couple of sixes and two fours in an unbeaten 30 in 18 balls and Wiese struck a four and two to the maximum in a 11-ball 20.

After the match, winning captain Pollard said: “I would say congratulations to the entire New York Strikers team, support staff, owners and players for supporting us.

“We were runners-up last year so we understand the feelings. We are very happy with the franchise.

“A lot of planning goes into the opening partnership between Pooran and TKC in the entire tournament. They had been doing well as openers in the entire tournament.

“We had to be precise to get them. At the end of the day, we made sure our guys are in strategic positions to get them early.

“The kudos must go our bowlers. I thought they played fantastically well, each one of them played a part in any given situation hence we are the champions. For batting, these pitches aren’t conducive, but we need to hang in there.”

Gladiators captain Pooran said: “It’s unfortunate to be on the losing side tonight. We were 10-15 runs short there. The Strikers bowled really well throughout the tournament. It’s a game of cricket, somebody has to win, somebody has to lose.

“We are really happy for them as well, this is what cricket is all about. We’ll just have to come back next year and try to be better.

“It doesn’t matter what the situation was, we fought really hard. Took the game to the last over. I’m really proud of the guys, can’t really complain too much. We took the hard way to the finals. It was unfortunate that it didn’t work out.”

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister for Tolerance and Coexistence and the Chairman of the Emirates Cricket Board, spoke before the match began.

“We have seen great talents this year in Abu Dhabi T10 who have reminded us of the joy and demands of competition and brought us all closer together in the spirit of enjoyment and celebration.” he said.

“Cricket is an international sport that is quite at home in the global community of the United Arab Emirates. With the support of leaders and people of our country, we at Emirates Cricket Board, are proud to bring this tournament to cricket fans everywhere.

“The sport of cricket encourages important values that are essential for us in the United Arab Emirates. Cricket demands dedication, patience, collaboration, balance, alertness, concentration, technique, judgment, discipline, daring, civility and teamwork. In the light of the leadership of the President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, we at Emirates Cricket Board, embrace all the values and principles.

“I stand in gratitude to all who have enabled the smooth running of the competition. We thank the sponsors, team members, umpires, referees, and commentators for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to making Abu Dhabi T10 a great success. I wish you all continued enjoyment. Please, enjoy the match. Good luck to everybody.”

Updated: December 11, 2023, 6:07 AM