Chris Gayle and Paul Stirling provided the fireworks on the opening day of season 5 of the Abu Dhabi T10 to carry Team Abu Dhabi to a resounding victory.
Opener Paul Stirling made 59 off 23 balls and ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle also joined in the fun, making an unbeaten 49 to take Team Abu Dhabi to 145/4.
Marchant De Lange’s double strike in the second over snuffed the momentum from Bangla Tigers’ chase as they ended up losing by 30 runs.
All four teams in action scored more than 100 in their allotted 10 overs.
We briefly recap the two matches on the opening day of season 5 of the Abu Dhabi T10.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz opening blitz wins it for Delhi Bulls | Full Scorecard
In a rematch of the season 4 final, Delhi Bulls got one over defending champions Northern Warriors, beating them by 6 wickets.
Dwayne Bravo called it right at the toss for Delhi Bulls and put the Northern Warriors in to bat.
Northern Warriors got off to a slow start, losing Kennar Lewis in the first over and scored their first boundary in the third over, a six from Samit Patel’s bat.
The defending champs were 46/2 before Moeen Ali and captain Rovman Powell took 23 runs off Dwayne Bravo in the sixth over to give the innings a push. However, Delhi Bulls did not concede any boundaries in the final two overs as Northern Warriors finished with 107/4.
For Delhi Bulls, Rahmanullah Gurbaz hit a six and a four off the first two balls of the innings and then hit three consecutive sixes off Imran Tahir in the second over before being dismissed off the last ball to end with a rapid 10-ball 30.
Delhi Bulls’ next big over was the sixth as their icon player Mohammad Hafeez hit three fours off Chris Jordan to take 16 runs.
Mohammad Hafeez kept ticking along, Sherfane Rutherford hit a short cameo and Romario Shepard hit two fours in the ninth over to finish off the chase with an over to spare.
Brief scores: Northern Warriors 107/4 (Rovman Powell 38, Shiraz Ahmed 1-16) lost to Delhi Bulls 110/4 (Rahmanullah Gurbaz 30, Abhimanyu Mithun 1-16) by 6 wickets
Stirling, Gayle blow Bangla Tigers away | Full Scorecard
Faf du Plessis won the toss on his debut in the Abu Dhabi T10 for Bangla Tigers and opted to bowl. He seemed to be vindicated when Bangla Tigers took two wickets in the first two overs.
From then on though, it was the Paul Stirling and Chris Gayle storm which hit the Zayed Cricket Stadium.
Paul Stirling took 14 runs off Luke Wood in the third over and the Universe Boss cut loose in the fifth over – smashing 29 runs off Sabir Rao, hitting three sixes and a four.
It was the turn of Stirling in the next over, as he blitzed three sixes and a four off Qais Ahmed to make it consecutive 29-run overs and Team Abu Dhabi ended with 145/4.
The Bangla Tigers seemed to have the perfect response as Andre Fletcher took 18 runs off the first over from Sheldon Cottrell.
However, Marchant de Lange took out Faf du Plessis for a duck and dismissed Fletcher off the last ball to make it a double strike in the second over.
Team Abu Dhabi captain Liam Livingstone picked Johnson Charles in the third over to completely halt Bangla Tigers’ chase.
Benny Howell and Hazratullah Zazai took 17 runs in the sixth over for Bangla Tigers but Marchant de Lange came back in the seventh over to take three wickets to complete his five-wicket haul and reduce them to 81/7.
Bangla Tigers then trundled along to finish on 105/8 and lost the match by 40 runs.
Brief scores: Team Abu Dhabi 145/4 (Paul Stirling 59, Chris Gayle 49*, Isuru Udana 1-14) beat Bangla Tigers (Andre Fletcher 24, Marchant de Lange 5-23) by 40 runs.