Former India left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan’s magical spell turned back the clock and the UAE’s Waheed Ahmed took his cue, but it just wasn’t enough to stop the Qalandars from moving into the play-offs of the Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10 League.
Zaheer, popularly known as ‘Zak,’ snapped up two wickets in an over for the Delhi Bulls to remove the wheels of the chase at the Zayed Cricket Stadium. And although UAE medium pacer Waheed Ahmed too chipped in with two wickets, the Qalandars got home with three wickets in hand and off the penultimate ball of the match on a packed Friday.
The Delhi Bulls wrapped up their campaign with a win, four defeats and a tie and captain Eoin Morgan said that they were not lacking in department but perhaps lost some key moments.
“On paper, we looked really strong at the beginning of the tournament. We sort of lagged a little bit probably from the game that we tied (against the Bangla Tigers). That hurt us a lot,” said Morgan.
“But like we talked about at the beginning of the tournament, T10 cricket can be unpredictable and you are dealing with form, games come thick and fast, you need to play very aggressive cricket and that’s not always easy,” he added.
Morgan said that better execution and the powerplay would be their focus next season.
“I don’t think we lacked in any department. Like I said, on paper, we are really strong, it was a matter of execution and we didn’t execute it in the key moments of the game. We didn’t execute as well as we would’ve hoped probably with the bat and the ball and the powerplay is an area hopefully we will improve on,” said the 33-year-old.
About Zaheer Khan, he said: “We have had two big blows injury-wise in the last day. Ali Khan and Chameera, two of our main bowlers went down. So, they weren’t fit to play today so Zaheer came in and did a fantastic job.”
Meanwhile, Qalandars captain Dawid Malan hoped to carry the momentum forward.
“Hopefully, we can build on this and move to the next game and take that confidence we picked up in the last two games,” said Malan.
Delhi Bulls: 98 for 8 in 10 overs (Mohammad Nabi 48, Kusal Perera 14, George Garton 2-9, Mujeeb Ur Rahman 2-9, Lahiru Kumara 2-26) lost to Qalandars: 104 for 7 in 9.5 overs (Tom Kohler-Cadmore 27, Jordan Clark 13 not out, Laurie Evans 11, Seekkuge Prasanna 11, George Garton 10 not out, Zaheer Khan 2-8, Waheed Ahmed 2-18) by 3 wickets.
Man of the Match: Tom Kohler-Cadmore (Qalandars).