The Abu Dhabi T10, which produced 10 days of breathtaking, world-class cricket action, came to a glorious end with the Northern Warriors overcoming all challenges to lift the trophy.
From January 28 to February 6, the Zayed Cricket Stadium provided unparalleled entertainment, filled with drama, thrill, joy and action. After 29 matches and several top-notch performances, the 2020 ADT10 was nothing short of a blockbuster.
While the veterans made their mark, new gems were also unearthed. There were some outright wins but there were also some last-ball thrillers.
Here’s how, amid all the drama, Northern Warriors waded through to emerge champions.
Group Stage: Five sixes in an over
The tournament got off to a flyer with Maratha Arabians’ opener Abdul Shakoor proving why the T10 format is the most entertaining one. The UAE international lit the stadium with his dazzling fireworks and reached his half-century in only 14 deliveries.
The defending champions Maratha Arabians started their campaign with style but slipped down from there, struggling to get positive results.
The world witnessed another batting masterpiece on the second day, this time in the form of Delhi Bulls’ raging batsman Evin Lewis. The West Indian almost pulled off a Yuvraj Singh, smacking five sixes in an over against the Arabians.
But it wasn’t all about the big-hitting. The bowlers had their moments too, which made life difficult for the batters and ensured that the battle between the blade and the leather was a balanced one. Northern Warriors’ Wayne Parnell headlined it by picking up a hat-trick against Delhi Bulls.
The Group stage proved to be an evenly-matched contest as every team picked up a victory and set up mouthwatering fixtures for the next stage.
Super League: Gayle Storm arrives
With only the top four set to move on to the next round, teams came out blazing and left no stone unturned to seal a playoffs berth.
The highlight of the Super League stage was undoubtedly the batting masterclass by the Universe Boss Chris Gayle who turned up for Team Abu Dhabi.
It’s a well-known fact that when Chris Gayle gets going, there can only be one thing – absolute carnage. The Jamaican reminded the world why he’s still one of the most dangerous hitters going around when he struck the joint-fastest fifty in the history of the tournament, reaching the milestone in just 12 deliveries.
The record books continued to be rewritten as Northern Warriors’ Waseem Muhammad joined Chris Gayle in hitting the fastest half-century of Abu Dhabi T10.
A few clear favourites emerged from this stage as well as a few disappointments.
The Maratha Arabians crashed out which meant we would have a new name on the trophy this season.
The top three teams, Delhi Bulls, Northern Warriors and Qalandars, tussled for the top rank but 10 points each brought the net run-rate into play.
The battle for the remaining spot went down to the wire as Team Abu Dhabi scraped through to the playoffs by beating Bangla Tigers in the last match of the Super League stage,
Playoffs: Fiery four-fer
The Northern Warriors and the Delhi Bulls stood out as the top two teams, getting two opportunities to make it to the finals, while the remaining two, Qalandars and Team Abu Dhabi needed to play two do-or-die matches to reach the finals.
Although the Delhi Bulls had lost to Northern Warriors in the Group Stage, they made a remarkable turnaround, romping to a huge win over the Warriors and becoming the first finalist of this season.
Team Abu Dhabi also came out all guns blazing in Eliminator 1 to knock the Qalandars out of the tournament but failed to go past Northern Warriors in Eliminator 2.
Fabian Allen’s four-wicket haul, complemented by Rovman Powell’s gritty 49 made sure the Warriors got a shot at redemption in the finals.
Final: Title No. 2 for Warriors
The final was unarguably ruled by the Warriors’ bowlers, especially Maheesh Theekshana and Dhananjaya Lakshan, who trumped the Bulls’ batsmen with their sly variations. After the Bulls were restricted to a below-par 81/9, it was an easy sail for the Warriors.
The Warriors made history by becoming the first team to win the title twice.
Meet the stars of Abu Dhabi T10
Player of the Tournament: Nicholas Pooran
Batsman of the Tournament: Sohail Akhtar
Bowler of the Tournament: Chris Jordan
UAE Player of the Tournament: Muhammad Waseem