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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 5 March 2021

Paul Stirling hits superb half century to guide Team Abu Dhabi into knockout stage of Abu Dhabi T10

Irishman hits an unbeaten 64 in side's 21-run victory over Bangla Tigers

Paul Stirling's unbeaten 64 for Team Abu Dhabi, in their win over Bangla Tigers, came off 32 balls. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Cricket
Paul Stirling's unbeaten 64 for Team Abu Dhabi, in their win over Bangla Tigers, came off 32 balls. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Cricket

Paul Stirling continued his remarkable start to 2021 by scoring a half century to guide Team Abu Dhabi into the knockout phase of the Abu Dhabi T10.

The Irish opener was nominated along with Joe Root and Rishabh Pant for the first ICC player of the month award because of his excellence in the capital in January.

He scored three centuries in the space of five one-day internationals against UAE and Afghanistan, during which time he was snapped up as a late recruit for the T10.

In the late game on Thursday night, he made his highest score of this season of the 10-over competition to date. His 32-ball unbeaten 64 set up a 21-run win over Bangla Tigers.

Stirling later held the catch that dismissed Johnson Charles, who was leading the run chase for the Tigers.

The victory gave Team Abu Dhabi a place in the eliminator match, against Qalandars, starting at 4.30pm on Friday.

The losers of that fixture will exit the tournament, with the winners set to face the losers of the first qualifier play-off, which is the opening match on Friday.

Delhi Bulls ended the group stage on top of the table, after inflicting the first defeat of the tournament on Qalandars in Thursday’s second match.

The Bulls are led by the captain and coach – Dwayne Bravo and Andy Flower, respectively – who oversaw Maratha Arabians’ title win last season.

The duo have clearly brought the winning formula with them. They will play in the qualifier play-off against Northern Warriors in the first match on Friday, after their comprehensive nine-wicket win over Qalandars.

Despite giving away 12 wides and a no ball, Delhi held the side representing the Lahore-based PSL franchise of the same name to 107 for six from their 10 overs.

They made short work of the run chase. Evin Lewis, continuing the tradition of West Indian excellence in this competition, hit 48 not out in 18 balls to hasten the Bulls to victory with 16 balls to spare.

“We did what we have been doing, we batted well as a team, and we have one of the best bowling line ups in the tournament as well,” said Ravi Bopara, who hit the winning runs for Delhi.

“[Qalandars] have had a really good run, but at some point in the tournament you are going to have to lose a game. Every team has lost one somewhere.

“We are tough opposition at the moment, so we are difficult to beat as well.”

Published: February 4, 2021 10:49 PM

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