Andre Russell and Nicholas Pooran combined to smack 21 runs off fellow West Indian Sheldon Cottrell in a crucial moment on Saturday at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.
Their exploits played a huge role in swinging the balance towards the Deccan Gladiators against Morrisville Samp Army in the second Qualifier of Abu Dhabi T10 Season 6.
Russell storm ends Samp Army’s dream run
Andre Russell opened the innings in the run chase and he chipped in with a terrific 63 off 32 deliveries. With 44 runs needed in the final three overs, Cottrell was brought into the attack but was taken for 21 runs.
Russell struck back-to-back boundaries with terrific cut shots and when Pooran was on strike, he hooked the left-arm pacer for a six over fine-leg.
The skipper took it upon himself to finish the game in style. With 13 runs to win, Pooran smashed a four, six and a four to take the Deccan Gladiators to their second successive final.
Earlier in the match, Mooen Ali opened the innings for the Samp Army and smashed a terrific half-century. In the last three overs, they accumulated 50 runs to finish with 119/2 in 10 overs. Ali remained unbeaten on 78 off 29 deliveries.
Bowlers take Strikers into the final
A scintillating bowling display from the New York Strikers in the first Qualifier took them straight into the final. Morrisville Samp Army were no match to the table-toppers and were forced to take a second shot to reach the final in Qualifier 2, which they lost to the Gladiators.
Akeal Hossain and Ravi Rampaul picked up two wickets each, reducing Samp Army to 26/4 in four overs. The batting side was offered no room to break free in the death overs as well, as Wahab Riaz (2/10) and Jordan Thompson (2/17) restricted Samp Army to 81/9 in 10 overs.
Maheesh Theekshana’s incredible spell of 3/12 made things interesting briefly, but Muhammad Waseem’s (36 in 16 balls) vital cameo ensured the Strikers chased down target with nine balls to spare.
Odeon Smith magic earns Gladiators a shot at the final
Earlier in the day, Deccan Gladiators defended the lowest total of ADT10 Season 6 to win the Eliminator against Team Abu Dhabi and set up a Qualifier 2 clash vs Morrisville Samp Army.
The Gladiators lost their top run-scorer Tom Kohler-Cadmore and skipper Nicholas Pooran early on in the innings and Andre Russell followed soon after. Reeling at 28/4, the Gladiators needed some magic to stay alive and Odeon Smith delivered.
The Caribbean batter smashed 32 runs in 15 deliveries and was well-supported by David Wiese and Sultan Ahmed towards the end. Gladiators finished with 94/6 in 10 overs. For Abu Dhabi, Naveen-ul-Haq returned with impressive figures of 2/10 in his two overs.
Pooran’s men kept picking wickets at regular intervals, not letting any Team Abu Dhabi batter settle in. Sultan Ahmed and Zahir Khan picked up early wickets in the powerplay and Tabraiz Shamsi did the damage in the middle overs with a spell of 2/12.
Joshua Little bowled two crucial overs in the second half of the innings and picked up a couple of wickets as well. Adil Rashid tried to keep Team Abu Dhabi in the hunt with a couple of sixes, but the Gladiators edged their opponents by five runs.