Abu Dhabi T10: Northern Warriors clinch high-scoring thriller

Rovman Powell won the man-of-the-match award for his half century. (Supplied photo)
Rovman Powell won the man-of-the-match award for his half century. (Supplied photo)

Dubai - The Warriors beat Deccan Gladiators by three runs



by

Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Tue 2 Feb 2021, 11:17 PM

Last updated: Tue 2 Feb 2021, 11:30 PM

An hour before the start of their game on Tuesday, Northern Warriors batsmen circled Mohammad Azharuddin, their team mentor who, with a bat in hand, was showing them how to play the ball late with that beautiful turn of the wrists.

It remains to be seen if the Northern Warriors batsmen would ever show that delicate touch with which the former India captain dazzled cricket fans across the world in his heyday.

But on Tuesday, their batsmen just stepped on to the wicket and did what they do best, hitting the ball hard all over the wicket.

It was that aggressive approach from the bat that helped the Warriors overcome the challenge of Deccan Gladiators on Tuesday, as they won a high-scoring Super League game of the Abu Dhabi T10 by three runs.

Put into bat at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in what was the last match of the day, a day that saw bowlers enjoy their share of glory in the first two matches, the Warriors batsmen batted with absolute freedom, setting the Gladiators a daunting target of 144.

Waseem Muhammed (26, 10 balls, 3 fours, 2 sixes), whose brilliant 76 off 34 balls had stunned the star-studded Team Abu Dhabi on Monday, once again showed his skills, giving the Warriors a fantastic start.

Captain Nicholas Pooran (29, 16 balls, 1 four, 3 sixes) looked set for a big score, but Anwar Ali had him in the fine leg in the sixth over.

It was then the turn of another explosive West Indian batting talent, Rovman Powell (51 not out, 23 balls, 4 fours and 4 sixes) to punish the Gladiators bowlers, scoring a fantastic half-century and giving his bowlers a big total to defend.

While the Gladiators bowlers struggled in the face of some aggressive batting from the Warriors, Zahoor Khan (1/13) was the lone bright spot as the UAE pace bowler impressed once again with his variations and that beautiful slower ball.

The Gladiators, who reached the final in the 2019 edition of the tournament, fought tooth and nail while chasing the big score.

Their thrilling chase was inspired by the 22-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Azam Khan, the son of former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman and captain Moin Khan.

Khan’s ball-striking ability came to the fore in his brilliant half-century (54, 22 balls, 4 fours, 5 sixes), but the Gladiators lost their way when the burly right-hander fell to West Indian left-arm spinner Fabian Allen.

Pakistan all-rounder Anwar Ali (35 not out, 10 balls, 3 fours, 3 sixes) kept the thin hopes alive with some late blows, but eventually the Warriors reached the finish line, thanks to some fine bowling from Wahab Riaz (2-0-15-1) and Junaid Siddique (2-0-16-2).

Brief Scores:

Northern Warriors beat Deccan Gladiators by three runs.

Northern Warriors 143/4 in 10 overs (Rovman Powell 51 not out, Nicholas Pooran 29, Waseem Muhammad 26; Zahoor Khan 1/13). Deccan Gladiators 140/6 in 10 overs (Azam Khan 54, Anwar Ali 35 not out; Wahab Riaz 1/15, Junaid Siddique 2/16)

Man-of-the-match: Rovman Powell


More news from Cricket