Abu Dhabi T10: Overton, Stirling guide Team Abu Dhabi to play-offs
Team Abu Dhabi, who finished fourth, take on the Qalandars in Eliminator 1 on Friday night
English pacer Jamie Overton snapped up four wickets and Irish opener Paul Stirling fired an unbeaten half-century as Team Abu Dhabi held it all together to get the better of the Bangla Tigers and qualify for Alubond Abu Dhabi T10 League play-offs on Thursday night.
In a face-off between the fourth and fifth-placed teams, Team Abu Dhabi ground out a 21-run win in the last Super League fixture at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.
Team Abu Dhabi held on to their spot in fourth to make the play-offs. They will now take on the Qalandars, who finished third, in Eliminator 1, on Friday night.
The Delhi Bulls, who finished on top of the table, face-off against the Northern Warriors in the Qualifier. The winners of the Qualifier will go straight to the final, while the losers meet the winners of Eliminator 1, in Eliminator 2.
The losers of Eliminator 1 and the losers of Eliminator 2 will be involved in the third place play-off on Saturday. The final also takes place on Saturday.
Overton returned with 2-24, while Stirling biffed an unbeaten 64 from 32 deliveries, studded with five boundaries and four sixes.
“At the halfway stage, we felt we had left 15-20 runs out there. It was damp out there and it wasn't easy to hang onto the catches,” said Wright.
Earlier, Bangla Tigers skipper Andre Fletcher invited Team Abu Dhabi to have a first go on the surface but there was to be no ‘Gayle Storm’ this time.
The ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle had smoked a whirlwind 84 from 22 deliveries on Wednesday night but the towering Jamaican was unable to follow that up, falling leg before to English pacer George Garton for one.
But Gayle’s opening partner Paul Stirling ensured that it was just a blip as he took the fight back to the opposition. The burly Irishman joined forces with captain Luke Wright and the duo came up with an explosive stand of 88 runs of the second wicket.
Team Abu Dhabi reached the 100-mark in 8.2 overs before Sri Lankan Matheesha Pathirana struck twin blows.
The young Sri Lankan pacer had Wright holing out to substitute fielder Adam Hose at long-on and then had Joe Clarke caught by Fazal Haque at third man after the Englishman had attempted an uppercut.
Jamie Overton, who had made a match-winning unbeaten 38 against the Pune Devils, the other night, came up with a handy 12 from six balls with a lone boundary, to swell Team Abu Dhabi’s score.
The Bangla Tigers got down to the chase with opener Johnson Charles putting the skates on to chip 25 runs off the target in two overs. The West Indian had made 22 from seven deliveries during which he had smacked seven boundaries, while his partner and compatriot Fletcher was on two from five balls.
But Fletcher was dismissed after he miscued West Indian left-arm pacer Obed McCoy to Najibullah Zadran at long-on. UAE batsman Chirag Suri too didn’t last long enough, falling leg before to Overton for two.
Bangla Tigers were 60 for two in five overs with Charles on 46 from 16 balls with seven boundaries and two sixes, while Tom Moores was on a run-a-ball five.
And UAE off-spinner Rohan Mustafa bowled a tidy second over, giving away just three runs in the floating powerplay. He had conceded just six runs from his first over.
With 46 needed from 20 balls, Moores was castled by a back-of-the-hand slower delivery from McCoy after the southpaw had danced down the strip and missed.
Team Abu Dhabi: 116-3 in 10 overs (Paul Stirling 64 not out, Luke Wright 27, Jamie Overton 12 not out, Matheesha Pathirana 2-9) beat Bangla Tigers: 95-9 in 10 overs (Johnson Charles 59, Tom Moores 12, Jamie Overton 4-24, Obed McCoy 2-10, Naveen-ul-Haq 2-20) by 21 runs.
Qualifier: Delhi Bulls vs Northern Warriors, 4 p.m
Eliminator 1: Qalandars vs Team Abu Dhabi, 6.15 p.m
Eliminator 2: Losers of Qualifier vs Winners of Eliminator 1, 8.30 p.m
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