Deccan Gladiators bounced back from their opening match defeat with victory over the Bangla Tigers by six wickets at the Abu Dhabi T10 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
Set a target of 108 on Day 2 of the tournament, the Gladiators captain Shane Watson (41) and Anton Devcich (27) set the platform with a 62-run stand for the second wicket after losing Mohammed Shahzad (2) in the second ball of their innings.
The Afghan wicketkeeper batsman attempted a pre-mediated scoop but was bowled by a slower delivery from Liam Plunkett.
Watson was then joined by Devcich and the pair went about rebuilding the Gladiators' innings before the latter was cleaned up by Qais Ahmad for an 11-ball 27.
The Australian opener, who scored a half-century on Friday during his side's seven-wicket defeat to Delhi Bulls, hit three sixes and three fours for a 25-ball 41.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa (12 off 8) and Dan Lawrence (15 not out off 8) then chipped in with useful contributions to get them over the line with a ball to spare.
Watson insisted chasing more than 10 per over was no simple task but everyone in the team chipped in.
“I wouldn’t say it was an easy target when you have got to get over 10 runs an over,” he said.
“It is never easy in a 10-over game. Obviously, we got off to a good start with Devcich and me building a really good partnership. But even at 10 an over, you still to keep hitting the boundaries. So, it worked out well in the end.”
Every team that has won the toss so far has put the opposition to bat first and Watson had no hesitation to put the Tigers in first.
“You don’t want to tell the team that. If you lose the toss you don’t want to feel like you are out of the game,” he said.
“But there’s no doubt from a mentality point of view, to be able to understand how many you got to get and there are only 10 overs, it's definitely is an advantage.
“That’s not to say that you can’t set a really good total and then it is just too many for the opposition to be able to chase.
“But, at the moment, that hasn't been the way. But then again new conditions, new ground, the wicket played beautifully today, it was a little bit more truer.
“So, the more you get used to the conditions, batting second does help. But you don’t want it to be a fatal thing when you actually lose the toss.”
The Tigers sent in to bat first racked up the highest total of the competition so far, 108-5.
Colin Ingram hit fours sixes in a 21-ball 37 and opener Rilee Rossouw smashed two sixes and two fours in a 12-ball 26. Migael Pretorius returned with three for 10 from his two overs.
Thisara Perera, the Tigers captain, felt they missed out on a great opportunity. “It was a good score to defend but a couple of big overs in between cost us the game,” said the Sri Lankan all-rounder.
“At one stage of our innings, we thought we could get around 120 score but it was still a good target to defend. We had some good bowlers yet it didn’t go our way. This is our first game and hopefully we can return stronger for the next game.”