Karnataka Tuskers became the first team in five games to defend a total in the Abu Dhabi T10, registering a 19-run win over Delhi Bulls on Saturday.
The Tuskers racked up the highest total of the tournament so far – 110-5 – and restricted Delhi Bulls to 91-8 on day 2 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.
Australia quick Nathan Rimmington grabbed 3-28 while the UAE captain Ahmed Raza (2-11) finished with man-of-the-match figures. Raza went for less than six an over, which is unheard of in the format, and also dismissed top-scorer Angelo Mathews.
Bulls lost three wickets for 29 in the fourth over and never recovered even though Eoin Morgan and Mathews tried to keep their hopes alive with a 44-run stand.
On Friday, the pair had came together with a match-winning 65-run stand to take them past the Deccan Gladiators in the opener but this time around they fell short.
“I think 100-110 were the par scores we were seeing in the last four five games, so not too bad,” said the Bulls coach Stephen Fleming.
“A little bit comes down to just a start. We stuttered at the start and we really didn’t get going. We started to close in later but then started to lose wickets at key times.
“It’s really the nature of the game. One ball one player can make all the difference. I also thought they bowled really well, particularly the two left armers (Shapoor Zadran 0-13 and Raza).
“They put a lot of pressure at the start and they adjusted to the conditions well.”
The Tuskers lost both openers early – Hashim Amla (6) in the second over and Johnson Charles (13) in the next.
However, Upul Tharanga and Shafiqullah Shafiq put on 60 for the third wicket to get their innings on track.
Tharanga hit five fours and two sixes, but was run out after a mix up two runs short of his half century. Shafiq struck a 21-ball 31 and fell with two deliveries left in the innings.
“T10, obviously is quite exciting and even if you post a score close to 100 or above, it is defendable,” Tuskers captain Amla said.
“As I said during the toss most teams who have chased well took the game quite deep. It wasn’t really an easy chase. Fortunately, our bowlers bowled really well, we fielded really well and we managed to defend a good total.
“We only had five bowlers, so all five had to bowl. There’s no one else unless I try and bowl a couple in. But, other than that, decisions are made for you. But for me, it was all credit to Upul and Shafiqullah.
“They batted really well to get us to that total. And in the fielding, catches that Shafiqullah and Johnson Charles took were fantastic to keep us in the game.”