Bangla Tigers beat Qalandars to win third place
Bangla Tigers players celebrate the dismissal of David Malan. - Photo by Ryan Lim
Abu Dhabi - Malan hails fantastic campaign for Qalandars
Bangla Tigers captain Thisara Perera smacked a straight six off the fourth delivery of the last over bowled by Peter Trego, to see his side through in a dramatic fashion against the Qalandars in the Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10 League.
The six-wicket triumph, at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Sunday night, saw the Bangla Tigers finish third in the competition.
And while, it was a nice ending for the Tigers, who were the dark horses of the tournament, it was a heartening show by the Qalandars after all that they had gone through.
The Qalandars, coached by Aaqib Javed, was hurriedly scrambled at the last moment after their Pakistan contingent of players were not issued NOCs by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
It left them depleted and it was admirable that they managed to put a team on the park in itself.
And captain Dawid Malan, who himself was a late inclusion, reckoned it was a fantastic campaign, considering the circumstances.
"I think we had a fantastic campaign considering what we were going through, especially with the injuries that we had," Malan said after the third-place playoff.
"I think if we had finished fourth without the injuries, I think we would have been disappointed with the way we played. If we had had Mujeeb Ur Rehman and Chris Jordan, Banton, Seekkuge Prasanna. If we didn't have those four guys who were injured, obviously, we lost (Lahiru) Kumara, we lost him for today's game. But if we had all four of them available for the whole tournament, I would have been a bit disappointed to finish fourth with the way we played. But that's the way it is, that's what tournaments are about. You have to perform with what you have got. Other teams had injuries as well," he added.
Nonetheless, the Englishman was proud of his lads.
"But I'm extremely proud with the way the boys played to get us to second in the group. And then, obviously disappointed we didn't win one of those two games. We had two bites at the cherry and we just didn't take the opportunity. But overall, it was a good campaign, disappointed we didn't get closer," said Malan.
Meanwhile, Colin Ingram, the Bangla Tigers vice-captain said it was a bitter-sweet ending for his team.
"It is bitter-sweet. Obviously, really happy we won today. We had a really good momentum coming into the last couple of days and last two vital games, which obviously put us out of contesting for the trophy. We operated really well the whole tournament. We played real consistent cricket and we are happy with our performance. Obviously, we would have liked to have been competing for the final," said Ingram.
Qalandars: 109 for 3 in 10 overs (Philip Salt 30 not out, Dawid Malan 24, Peter Trego 23 not out, Luke Ronchi 19, Prabath Jayasuriya 2-14) lost to Bangla Tigers: 113 for 4 in 9.4 overs (Andre Fletcher 52, Rilee Rossouw 31, Thisara Perera 6 not out) by 6 wickets.
Man of the Match: Andre Fletcher (Bangla Tigers).