T10: Hope my knock will inspire more UAE players, says Shakoor after his 73 off 28 balls

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Abdul Shakoor (right) celebrates his half-century. (Supplied photo)
Abdul Shakoor (right) celebrates his half-century. (Supplied photo)

Dubai - Shakoor became the first UAE player to score a half-century in the star-studded T10 tournament


Rituraj Borkakoty

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Published: Thu 28 Jan 2021, 9:04 PM

Last updated: Thu 28 Jan 2021, 9:16 PM

Displaying the range of his shots with which he has been tormenting bowlers in local club cricket over the years, Abdul Shakoor of the UAE put the Northern Warriors to the sword.

On an unforgettable opening day of the Abu Dhabi T10, the wicketkeeper-batsman rewrote the record books and gave the defending champions Maratha Arabians a flying start.

Shakoor became the first UAE player to score a half-century in the star-studded T10 tournament as his stunning 73 off 28 balls helped the defending champions beat former champions Northern Warriors by five wickets in the opening match of the tournament at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.

Chasing 128 off 60 balls for victory, the champions reached home unscatched, thanks to the brilliant shot-making of Shakoor who opened the batting and launched a brutal assault on two seasoned international bowlers, Wayne Parnell and Wahab Riaz, hitting seven fours and five sixes during his extraordinary knock.

Despite losing his opening partner Javed Ahmad (6) in the first over, Shakoor’s counter attack stunned the hugely experienced bowling attack of the Northern Warriors as he scored 18 runs off Parnell’s first over before turning his attention to Pakistan left-arm pacer Wahab who was hit for 23 in his first over.

Shakoor’s dismissal in the 19th over did bring the Warriors back into the contest, but the Maratha Arabians captain Mosaddek Hossain kept his composure, hitting the final two balls off Parnell for fours to clinch the victory.

The 35-year-old Shakoor, who has played three one-day internationals and six T20Is for the UAE, hoped his match-winning knock would inspire more UAE players to perform in this high-profile tournament.

“It’s a very big achievement for me and the UAE cricket because there are some other players who can also do well in the upcoming matches. The franchises are now going to look for more UAE players. They should give them the chance, so they can prove themselves,” Shakoor said.

The Pakistan-born player now hopes to force his way back into the UAE team.

“I can’t really tell you in words how happy I was after scoring the half century because it’s a big achievement for me and for my family and my team. Now I hope to do better when I get a chance to play for the UAE again,” he said.

“It’s a very big achievement for me because it’s tough to be in quarantine. It’s very difficult, you know, to be in your room for four days and then to come out and do a performance like this against a big team like the Northern Warriors,” said Shakoor who hoped to build on his knock.

“It gives you a boost for the next matches. If you score in the first match, then the second match will be little bit easier for you to play. It’s good that I scored today and I hope to continue this form for my team.”

Earlier, West Indian opener Lendl Simmons hit an unbeaten 54 off 31 balls as the Warriors scored 127 for two in 10 overs.

“The Marathas batted really. We didn’t bowl in the right areas. Out batsmen played really well. I think the batsmen, the way they played, was a big positive for us today,” said Northern Warriors captain Nicholas Pooran.

Brief scores:

Maratha Arabians beat Northern Warriors by five wickets. Northern Warriors 127 for 2 in 10 overs (Brandon King 29, Lendl Simmons 54, Rovman Powell 22) Maratha Arabians 131 for 5 in 10 overs (Abdul Shakoor 73, Fabian Allen 2 for 11) Man of the match: Abdul Shakoor.

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