Abu Dhabi [UAE], February 2 (ANI): Deccan Gladiators crashed before the effortless power-hitting by Delhi Bulls’ openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Evin Lewis in the third Super League match of the Abu Dhabi T10 at the Abu Dhabi Zayed Cricket Stadium on Monday.
Chasing Gladiators total of 118 for 7, the opening pair put on 90 runs in 4.5 overs and guided their team to an emphatic eight-wicket win with 11 balls to spare. Gurbaz cracked 47 runs off 20 balls with seven boundaries and two sixes. Lewis hit 35 off 14 balls with four sixes and one boundary.
Although Deccan Gladiators lost four wickets in the first five overs, they posted a challenging 118 for 7 mainly due to Kieron Pollard’s 47 off 18 balls with four sixes and four boundaries.
The match began with Delhi winning the toss and opting to field. Gladiators openers Mohammad Shahzad began in his aggressive style hitting two consecutive boundaries off Amad Butt. Opener Sunil Narine fell to the fifth ball of the over when Butt clean bowled him for a duck. Cameron Delport, who joined Shahzad, lasted only two balls before being yorked by Fidel Edwards for 4.
Azam Khan joined Shahzad and picked two boundaries off Edwards. Shahzad too did not last long as he lifted Ali Khan into the hands of Dwayne Bravo for 13. The fifth over was bowled by Shiraz Ahmed and he was hit on his left hand by Kieron Pollard’s powerful shot and had to leave the field after his second delivery. Amad Butt was called in to complete the over, and he forced Azam Khan to play on to his wicket for 22. Pollard punished Tom Abell in the sixth over by hitting a six to the sightscreen and another one over long-off to take 22 runs off the over. Pollard hit Bravo over deep square leg for a six too. He went on to pick two more boundaries off Bravo.
Shiraz Ahmed returned to bowl the eighth over and had Sharafuddin Ashraf caught by Bravo at extra cover for 11. Gladiators went past the 100-run mark in the ninth over when Anwar Ali lifted Bravo over mid-wicket. Unfortunately, he fell to the very next ball caught at extra cover for 7. Pollard then hit a one-handed six over the covers off Bravo.
Ali Khan ended Pollard’s knock by having him caught at long-off by Mohammad Nabi for 47 of the first ball of the last over. Khan gave away just two runs in that over to return with figures of two wickets for just four runs from his two overs. For Gladiators who had lost four wickets in the first five overs, to be able to post 118 for 7 was indeed impressive.
Chasing the target, Rahmanullah Gurbaz hit Imtiaz Ahmed’s first three deliveries of the first over for three consecutive boundaries. Twenty runs came off the first over. In the second over, Evin Lewis hit Ravi Rampaul for two sixes and a boundary to pick another 20 runs off the second over.
Runs came at a brisk pace when Gurbaz too hit Anwar Ali for a six and a boundary of the first two deliveries off the third over. The pair’s 50 runs partnership came in just 2.2 overs. Gurbaz continued to hit two more boundaries and pick 18 runs off that over.
Sunil Narine, who bowled the fourth over, was also not spared by Gurbaz. He hit him for a boundary and slog-swept him for a six. When Imran Tahir was introduced for the fifth over, Lewis hit him for two consecutive sixes. Attempting another big hit, Lewis hit straight to Imtiaz Ahmed at deep mid-wicket for 35.
So breezy was the opening partnership of 90 runs that Delhi needed only 29 more runs from the last five overs. Tahir struck again in the seven other to get the wicket of Gurbaz having him caught at long-on for 47. Sherfane Rutherford through a quick 13-ball 28 runs ensured the victory with 11 balls to spare.
Brief scores: Deccan Gladiators 118/7 (Azam Khan 22, Kieron Pollard 47, Ali Khan 2-4); Delhi Bulls 122/2 (Rahmanullah Gurbaz 47, Evin Lewis 35, Imran Tahir 2-30). (ANI)
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