T10: Pune Devils beat Deccan Gladiators by seven wickets

Kennar Lewis of the Pune Devils plays a shot. (Supplied photo)
Kennar Lewis of the Pune Devils plays a shot. (Supplied photo)

Dubai - Kennar Lewis hit an unbeaten 57 from just 28 deliveries to shepherd the Pune Devils to a seven-wicket victory

By James Jose

Published: Thu 28 Jan 2021, 9:20 PM

Last updated: Thu 28 Jan 2021, 9:33 PM

West Indian star Kieron Pollard has run riot on bowling attacks in various franchise leagues the world over and won many matches with his bowling alone. But he was at the receiving end on Thursday night from his unheralded countryman.

Kennar Lewis, a 29-year-old Jamaican, hit two successive sixes off Pollard in the final over to take the Pune Devils over the line against the Deccan Gladiators in the second fixture of the Abu Dhabi T10 League.

The opener biffed an unbeaten 57 from just 28 deliveries that was spiced with six sixes and three boundaries, to shepherd the Pune Devils to a seven-wicket victory and with four deliveries to spare, at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.

“I feel pretty good shepherding the team’s chase,” said Lewis, who was named Man of the Match.

“I just wanted to come out and express myself today. And I’m so happy that I could win this game for my team. The wicket was so good, and the ball was coming on to the bat. I was trying to keep my shape and trying to hit through the line,” he added.

Earlier, the decision of Pune Devils captain Nasir Hossain to have a bowl worked like a charm as they kept the Deccan Gladiators down to a modest total.

Hoosain himself walked the talk with the off-spinner snapping up three wickets and Omani pacer Munis Ansari took two, including the prized scalp of opposition skipper Kieron Pollard as the Deccan Gladiators stuttered to 104 for five in their allotment.

“This is my first year in the Abu Dhabi T10 and I feel proud to win my first match as captain. I hope we can carry the momentum in the next match,” said Hossein, who played 19 Tests, 65 ODIs and 31 T20Is for Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, Ansari, who has represented Oman in 11 T20 Internationals, was chuffed to take Pollard’s wicket.

“It is the biggest wicket of my life. It was the first time that I was playing a T10 game, and I was hoping to get Pollard out. It was a dream come true for me. I’m speechless and I don’t have words to say,” said Ansari.

The Deccan Gladiators were in all sorts of trouble at 15-3 and could have finished up well below 100 if not for a defiant knock from Azam Khan. The 22-year-old Pakistani smashed an unbeaten 13-ball 37 which was peppered with four sixes and a boundary to take the Gladiators to that total.

Azam and Imtiaz Ahmed came up with a 27-run stand at the end after they were 77 for five with 11 balls left in the innings. Prior to that, Azam and India’s Prashant Gupta put on 21 runs for the fourth wicket with the latter making 17 from 11 balls with three boundaries.

Cameron Delport too played a good hand up with the South African left-hander making 25 from 17 deliveries that had two sixes, as the wickets fell around him.

Afghanistan’s Mohammad Shahzad and West Indian Sunil Narine walked out to open and Pakistan's pace ace Mohammad Amir started well with the left-arm quick bowling a tidy over, giving away just two runs.

The Pune Devils got the breakthrough in the second over with Narine attempting a heave at Hossain, but the southpaw missed it completely and was castled.

The burly Shahzad went on his knees and smacked Hossain for a six over midwicket but the bowler got his revenge immediately. Shahzad attempted a slog sweep at the next ball but Hossain foxed him by flighting it and taking the pace off. And Shahzad’s top edge was gobbled by Asif Khan at square leg.

The Deccan Gladiators were 11 for two in two overs with Hossein’s figures reading 1-0-9-2.

Pollard joined Delport but South African Hardus Viljoen bowled well to keep the West Indian quiet.

The Deccan Gladiators were then left tottering at 15 for three with the dangerous Pollard back in the dug-out. Ansari came into the attack and struck first ball with his slingy action. Pollard tried to work Ansari towards the on-side but his inch-perfect yorker had enough pace on it and the 33-year-old was adjudged leg before.

Ansari, who has a similar action to Lasith Malinga but has a bald pate compared to the frizzy-haired Sri Lankan, later went on to remove Delport, to finish up with two for 11. Hossain returned with three for 18.

Brief scores:

Deccan Gladiators: 104-5 in 10 overs (Azam Khan 37 not out, Cameron Delport 25, Prashant Gupta 17, Nasir Hossain 3-18, Munis Ansari 2-11) lost to Pune Devils: 106- 3 in 9.2 overs (Kennar Lewis 57 not out, Chadwick Walton 18, Tom Kohler-Cadmore 12) by 7 wickets.


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