It was a total team effort, says Bangla Tigers captain Fletcher

Bangla Tigers batsmen on to victory against Maratha Arabians during the Abu Dhabi T10 match at Zayed Cricket Stadium. — Supplied photo
Bangla Tigers batsmen on to victory against Maratha Arabians during the Abu Dhabi T10 match at Zayed Cricket Stadium. — Supplied photo

Abu Dhabi - Bangla Tigers take on the Northern Warriors in their final Group A fixture on Sunday



By James Jose

Published: Sat 30 Jan 2021, 6:41 PM

Bangla Tigers captain Andre Fletcher was delighted to get the team’s first victory in the Abu Dhabi T10 League on Saturday and hoped that they could replicate the performance against the Northern Warriors.

Handy contributions from the West Indian himself (31), his opening partner and compatriot Johnson Charles (23), Afif Hossain (22) and UAE batsman Chirag Suri, who scored a seven-ball 19 with two sixes and a boundary, saw the Bangla Tigers bounce back from their opening loss to get the better of defending champions the Maratha Arabians.

Chasing a target of 104, the Bangla Tigers won comfortably, by six wickets and with two overs to spare, at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.

“We needed that win. It was a total team effort and I’m so happy for the guys,” Fletcher said at the post-match presentation.

“We have a game tomorrow (Sunday) so hopefully we can repeat the performance and win that game and make ourselves available for the play-offs,” he added.

The Bangla Tigers take on the Northern Warriors in their final Group A fixture on Sunday. And the 33-year-old hoped to keep them down to a low score.

“We will be playing against the Northern Warriors. They have a very strong batting line-up so, if we can get through them as fast as possible and restrict them to a low total, then we have a great chance of scoring,” said Fletcher.

Meanwhile it was a second defeat on the bounce for the Arabians, who had gone down to the Delhi Bulls previously.

Earlier, Mohammad Hafeez’s unbeaten half-century saw the Arabians post 103 for no loss after being inserted in by Fletcher. But that total was under par considering that the Maratha Arabians hadn’t lost a wicket.

The Pakistan all-rounder, who had come in at No.4 in the previous two games and had scored 19 and five against the Northern Warriors and the Delhi Bulls respectively, opened the batting with the UAE’s Abdul Shakoor.

And the 40-year-old was in sublime form against the Bangla Tigers bowling attack. Hafeez, who had scored an unbeaten 99 and 41 in the T20 International series last December, made full use of the reprieve when on 20 to get to his fifty.

Hafeez reached his half-century with a boundary off England left-arm pacer George Garton. Shakoor, who had become the first UAE player to score a half-century in the competition, played the ideal foil. But, in hindsight, he could have upped the tempo with his unbeaten 34 coming from 30 balls. He had three boundaries and a six in his knock.

Three of the five bowlers went for runs with only leg spinner Qais Ahmed and medium pacer Karim Janat returning with decent figures of none for nine and none for 13 in their two overs.

The Bangla Tigers began the chase with the openers Fletcher and Johnson Charles putting on 33 runs in three overs before Muktar Ali got the Arabians the breakthrough.

Charles could only manage an edge off the Bangladeshi pacer and wicketkeeper Shakoor held on to the offering.

Fletcher and Afif Hossain then added 30 runs for the second wicket before the former was caught by Hafeez off off-spinner Sohag Gazi.

The Bangla Tigers didn’t lose sight of the target though with southpaw Hossain and UAE batsman Chirag Suri coming up with a 28-run stand. And although they lost Hossain and then Suri to a run out, the Bangla Tigers got home without much sweat.

Brief scores:

Maratha Arabians: 103-0 in 10 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 61 not out, Abdul Shakoor 34 not out) lost to Bangla Tigers: 105-4 in 8 overs (Andre Fletcher 31, Johnson Charles 23, Afif Hossain 22, Chirag Suri 19) by 6 wickets.

james@khaleejtimes.com


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