Abu Dhabi Season 6 wrap: Deccan Gladiators’ title charge, debutants rise to occasion

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Whoosh! Abu Dhabi Season 6 flew by, didn’t it? We saw runs, plenty of them. And the bowlers delivered some brilliance too. The Zayed Cricket Stadium witnessed all the thrills and spills of cricket’s fastest format.

Missed all the riveting action? Don’t worry, we have you covered. Let us take a journey through the ADT10 Season 6, which culminated with Deccan Gladiators lifting the trophy.

New teams, richer entertainment!

Morrisville Samp Army and New York Strikers – two new franchises from the United States entered the fray this season. But it didn’t take much time for them to settle in.

The Strikers, led by West Indies’ Kieron Pollard, fell short against the Bangla Tigers in the opening game. However, it was their only blip in the league stage. One after the other, the Strikers racked up wins to strengthen their position in the points table. Chasing stiff targets or defending totals? New York Strikers managed it all, winning six games on the bounce in the group stage to top the table.

Eoin Morgan’s blitzkrieg against Northern Warriors produced one of the most thrilling games of the season. The Warriors had put on 143 on the scoreboard, but Morgan’s 87 off 35 sealed a last-ball victory for the table-toppers.

Meanwhile, Morrisville Samp Army weren’t far off either. After winning their first three matches, Moeen Ali and Co. lost on consecutive occasions. But with two thrilling victories in a row, Samp Army finished second on the points table.

While Team Abu Dhabi, powered by their pace battery of Andrew Tye and Naveen-ul-Haq, fended off the other challengers and made their way to the playoffs.

Although it was a rough ride for reigning champions Deccan Gladiators, big wins against Team Abu Dhabi, Northern Warriors, Delhi Bulls and Bangla Tigers paved their road to the eliminator. And who can forget the sheer explosiveness of Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Nicholas Pooran with the bat. The duo took a liking to the longer boundaries at Abu Dhabi this season, tonking the ball even further back.

While Delhi Bulls failed to make the playoffs, they produced one of the most exciting games of the tournament. The Bulls’ Shiraz Ahmed defended seven runs in the final over against Northern Warriors, conceding just ONE!

The playoffs drama

Two Qualifiers and an Eliminator! The stage was set for two of the four teams to make the final.

New York Strikers extended their winning streak to seven in Qualifier 1. A five-star bowling performance restricted the Samp Army to 81/9 before Muhammad Waseem’s 36 off 16 charged the team over the line.

In the Eliminator, where Team Abu Dhabi faced Deccan Gladiators, Odeon Smith’s late dash with the bat helped the defending champions to 94/6. However, it was Josh Little’s mighty spell (2/12) that sealed a Qualifier 2 spot for Nicholas Pooran and Co.

Andre Russell, the inevitable match-winner, stepped up to the plate in the Qualifier 2. Skipper Moeen Ali’s 29-ball 78 seemed to have put Samp Army on the driver’s seat to the final.

Save that thought! Russell had other ideas as he opened the batting and took control. His fiery 63 and Nicholas Pooran’s 38-run blitz proved to be the undoing of Moeen Ali’s side.

However, Morrisville Samp Army sealed third place after a convincing win over Team Abu Dhabi. Proteas wicket-keeper Andries Gous guided Samp Army to 127/2. But Kashif Daud grabbed the headlines, taking three wickets for just three runs, to reduce Chris Lynn and Co. to 48.

Deccan Gladiators make history

A debutant winning the title or back-to-back championships! The stakes were high for the grand finale of Abu Dhabi Season 6.

Skipper Pooran, who made a habit of dominating the opposition bowlers, once again battered the Strikers. However, it was the David Wiese show (43 off 18) that caught the eye.

In the run chase, New York Strikers’ magical touch seemed to have worn out as Josh Little made the ball talk. Despite Jordan Thompson and Kieron Pollard’s efforts, the Strikers fell short by 37 runs.

Historic, magnificent, brilliant! Deccan Gladiators, the Season 5 winners, were crowned the Season 6 champions.

Debutants make Qualifier 1, Team Abu Dhabi take on Deccan Gladiators in Eliminator – Season 6 playoffs preview
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