Abu Dhabi T10 season 5’s matchday 10 witnessed three intense matches.
Team Abu Dhabi became the first team to qualify for the playoffs this season. This after a game-changing over from captain Liam Livingstone with the ball and a sensational 15-ball half-century, the fastest this season, by opener Philip Salt helped them down The Chennai Braves by seven wickets.
The second contest of the night saw Deccan Gladiators ride an exceptional collective bowling performance, spearheaded by captain Wahab Riaz, to beat reigning champions Northern Warriors.
Put into bat by the Bangla Tigers in the third and final match of the day, Delhi Bulls only managed 100/7 in the first innings but successfully defended their score thanks to a four-wicket haul by Dominic Drakes.
Following today’s results, Deccan Gladiators, Team Abu Dhabi, Bangla Tigers and Delhi Bulls were confirmed as the four teams for the playoffs.
Captain Liam Livingstone turns game-changer for Team Abu Dhabi | Full Scorecard
In the opening match of the day, the coin toss favoured Team Abu Dhabi captain Liam Livingstone’s way, who elected to bowl first.
Though Jamie Overton removed Bhanuka Rajapaksa early, Mohammad Shahzad (53 off 30 balls), The Chennai Braves’ other opener, and Dasun Shanaka (11 off 11 balls) steadied the ship. Shahzad, in particular, looked dangerous.
With The Chennai Braves cruising at 75/1 after seven overs, Team Abu Dhabi needed a breakthrough. They got just that and more, courtesy captain Livingstone in the eight over.
The part-time spinner dealt the Braves a triple blow, removing Shanaka and Samiullah Shinwari in consecutive deliveries to start his over. Livingstone capped off the game-turning over with Shahzad’s scalp in the final delivery to reduce the Braves to 82/4.
The Chennai Braves couldn’t recover from there on as their innings wrapped up for 107/6 in their regulation 10 overs.
The Chennai Braves, captained by Angelo Perera, needed a solid bowling performance to defend their total and did manage to get early wickets as Mark Deyal sent back Paul Stirling and Livingstone in the second over.
Team Abu Dhabi opener Philip Salt, however, was in mesmerising form at the other end. The wicketkeeper-batsman scored a 15-ball half-century, the fastest of the tournament so far, en route to 63 off just 20 balls. Nuwan Pradeep faced the full wrath of Salt’s heavy-hitting, conceding 46 in his two overs.
Curtis Campher finally removed Salt from the crease, but Chris Gayle (30* off 16 balls) and Colin Ingram (8* off 3 balls) made sure Team Abu Dhabi crossed the finish line with three overs and seven wickets to spare.
The win took Team Abu Dhabi to 12 points from eight matches and sealed their spot in the playoffs.
Brief Scores: The Chennai Braves 107/6 (Mohammad Shahzad 53, Liam Livingstone 3-17) lost to Team Abu Dhabi 111/3 (Philip Salt 63, Mark Deyal 2-16)
Deccan Gladiators bowlers strangle Northern Warriors out of the game | Full Scorecard
In the second match, Northern Warriors captain Rovman Powell guessed the coin toss correctly and put in Deccan Gladiators.
The Northern Warriors bowlers picked up wickets at regular intervals, but a solid 39 off 19 deliveries by Tom Moores and 22 off 11 from Andre Russell in the middle order gave the Gladiators a decent launch-pad for the final overs.
Oshane Thomas managed to send both back in the eighth over but a late flurry by Odean Smith (32* off 11 balls) guided Deccan Gladiators to a respectable total of 134/5.
Northern Warriors, the defending champions, made a solid, yet unimpressive start, with all the top four batsmen, Kennar Lewis (22 off 10 balls), Moeen Ali (22 off 12 balls), captain Rovman Powell (25 off 18 balls) and Ross Whiteley (26* off 13 balls), crossing their twenties.
The Deccan Gladiators bowlers, however, did well to keep it tight and ensured none of the opposition batsmen could break free. Gladiators captain Wahab Riaz led the way, conceding just 13 runs in his allotted 2 overs, whilst taking out the dangerous Moeen Ali.
The Gladiators’ miserly bowling ensured the required run rate kept climbing and the Northern Warriors eventually baulked despite having wickets in hand. They ended with a score of 115/4 in 10 overs.
Brief Scores: Deccan Gladiators 134/5 (Tom Moores 39, Oshane Thomas 3-19) beat Northern Warriors 115/4 (Ross Whiteley 26*, Wahab Riaz 1-13)
Dominic Drakes haul help Delhi Bulls tame Bangla Tigers | Full Scorecard
The final contest began with Bangla Tigers captain Faf du Plessis getting one over his Delhi Bulls counterpart Dwayne Bravo at the coin toss and, predictably, electing to have a bowl first.
The bowlers backed up their captain’s decision with conviction, picking up wickets at regular intervals and restricting the Delhi Bulls to a modest 100/7.
Mohammad Amir, James Faulkner and Luke Fletcher picked up two wickets each while Luke Wood registered the remaining wicket. Only Eoin Morgan put on some resistance from the Bulls’ batting line-up, scoring 35 off 19 deliveries.
Delhi Bulls needed a special performance with the ball to defend their score and it was none other than captain Dwayne Bravo who showed the way.
The West Indian sent the dangerous Hazratullah Zazai (8 off 6 balls) and Johnson Charles (3 off 3 balls) in the second over of the innings. Adil Rashid raced in to support his skipper in the very next over, picking out Will Jacks and Karim Janat cheaply.
With his team struggling at 25/4, Faf du Plessis came to the crease and arrested the collapse, albeit briefly. The South African scored 26 off 16 deliveries before being caught off Dominic Drakes.
Another collapse followed as Drakes picked up James Faulkner, Luke Wood and Vishnu Sukumaran cheaply to end the Bangla Tigers innings at 88/9 in the 10 overs.
Brief Scores: Delhi Bulls 100/7 (Eoin Morgan 35, Mohammad Amir 2-13) beat Bangla Tigers 88/9 (Faf du Plessis 26, Dominic Drakes 4-9)