Nicholas Pooran’s breezy unbeaten 77 lifts Deccan Gladiators past Team Abu Dhabi

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Nicholas Pooran cracked a breezy unbeaten 77 runs studded with eight sixes and five boundaries to give Deccan Gladiators an impressive total of 134 for 6. Team Abu Dhabi’s batting failed to rise to the challenges and got restricted to 99 for 6 in the second match of the first day of the Abu Dhabi T10 at the Abu Dhabi Zayed Cricket Stadium. Deccan Gladiators won by 35 runs.

Deccan Gladiators had won the toss and elected to bat. They lost an early wicket when Naveen Ul Haq got Will Smeed clean bowled with the second ball of the first over.  Opener Nicholas Pooran began aggressively hitting Naveen Ul Haq’s fifth and sixth deliveries for sixes.

In the second over, Pooran hit Andrew Tye’s fourth, fifth and sixth balls for boundaries. Tom Kohler-Cadmore, who joined Pooran, hit Mustafizur Rahman’s first delivery of the third over for a six over long-on. He also hit the second for a boundary. Eighteen runs came off Mustafizur’s first over.

The fourth over turned out to be eventful with Peter Hatzoglou striking twice. He first clean bowled Kohler-Cadmore for 13. One ball later he had Indian allrounder Suresh Raina caught by Tye at long on for a duck. But Pooran continued to hit sixes and got another one over the extra cover off Fabian Allen.

However, David Wiese got run out for 1 in that over. At the end of the fifth over, Deccan Gladiators were in an uncomfortable 61 for 4.

Hatzoglou did not let the batsmen hit any boundaries or sixes in the sixth over. Pooran could not be tied down for long and he hit Tye for two sixes in the seventh over. He reached his half century in 26 balls through a boundary off Mustafizur.

The ninth over saw Pooran at his aggressive best hitting Mustafizur for three sixes and two boundaries to take 27 runs off that over. This also helped Deccan Gladiators go past the 100-run mark.

Fabian Allen who bowled the last over was hit for a six by Odean Smith, but he fell to the next ball brilliantly caught and bowled by Allen for 23. He also got Sultan Ahmed out for a duck to the next ball. In the end, Deccan Gladiators posted an impressive 134 for 6 in 10 overs.

Alex Hales, fresh from his heroics in the recent ICC Twenty20 World Cup, opened with Chris Lynn for Team Abu Dhabi. The first six of the innings came from Hales off Josh Little over deep point.  UAE’s Sultan Ahmed who bowled the second over was hit by Lynn for three boundaries.

Another UAE bowler and pacer Zahoor Khan took the prize wicket of Alex Hales in the third over caught by Little at deep point for 8.  James Vince who came in began by hitting two consecutive boundaries off Zahoor.

Deccan Gladiators also got rid of Lynn in the fourth over bowled by Tabraiz Shamsi for 14. It was a brilliant over from Shamsi as he gave away just four runs and even took a wicket. James Vince lit up hopes with two sixes and a boundary off Wiese in the fifth over to take 19 runs. At the half way stage,Team Abu Dhabi were 58 for 2 needing some big hits to reach the target.

Sultan Ahmed was re-introduced for the sixth over and Fabian Allen hit him for two consecutive boundaries. A lot rested on James Vince who was batting at 33 when 63 runs were needed from the remaining 24 balls. Little bowled a brilliant seventh over trapping Vince leg before for 37 and giving away just six runs. Team Abu Dhabi’s required run rate mounted to 19.

Deccan Gladiators took a firm grip on the match by the eighth over when Helm got Brandon King out with his first ball caught by Little at deep mid-wicket for 1. He too gave away just seven runs. With 50 runs needed in 12 balls, Deccan Gladiators went for the kill and restricted them to 99 for 6 in 10 overs.

Brief scores:

Deccan Gladiators 134 for 6 in 10 overs (Nicholas Pooran 77*, Odean Smith 23, Peter Hatzoglou 2/12, Fabian Allen 2/18) beat Team Abu Dhabi 99 for 6 in 10 overs  (James Vince 37, Fabian Allen 26n*, Zahoor Khan 2/21, Tom Helm 2/11)

Player of the match: Nicholas Pooran

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