Zahoor, Watson's show in vain for Gladiators
Ahmed Raza, the UAE captain, had spoken about the country's players being entrusted with more responsibility in the Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10 League.
Rohan Mustafa and Shiraz Ahmed have been impressive for their franchises Team Abu Dhabi and the Maratha Arabians respectively.
And on Thursday night at the Zayed Cricket Stadium, Zahoor Khan added his name to that list. The medium pacer's varying line and length and change of pace saw him conjure two for eight, the best figures of the match and one that included a wicket-maiden.
Zahoor's captain at Deccan Gladiators Shane Watson then produced an unbeaten 75, but astute captaincy by Northern Warriors Darren Sammy saw them fall short by 10 runs.
Earlier, Northern Warriors captain Darren Sammy had urged his side to go hard and his West Indian compatriot and opener Lendl Simmons seemed to have got the memo but the others probably didn't. Simmons' lone hand that took them to 107 for five in their 10 overs.
Simmons' opening partner and another one of his countryman Nicholas Pooran showed some spunk early on by knocking two boundaries for a four-ball 13 but Zahoor Khan nipped what could have been a threatening innings, in the bud.
Simmons and Pooran's stand was worth 33 runs in 2.1 overs for the opening wicket. Ben Cutting then saw the backs of Sam Billings and the dangerman Andre Russell.
Cutting had Billings castled after the batsman had made an eight-ball nine with a lone boundary, while Russell, the Jamaican, had one of those rare blips, as he was caught by wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad after scoring a boundary.
Zahoor then produced the over the match. He bowled a string a dot balls and the pressure that was built in that penultimate over finally weighed on Simmons.
He went for a huge heave and missed another slower delivery from Zahoor. It lit up the flying bails and disturbed the furniture at the back. And the apt reward for Zahoor was a wicket maiden.
Until then, Simmons had held sway at one end by spanking eight boundaries and four sixes in his knock from 39 deliveries.
Apart from Zahoor's outstanding figures, Cutting was equally good with two for nine from the only over that he bowled, the seventh of the innings.
Australian leg spinner Fawad Ahmed then had Sammy stumped, with the West Indian just a tad slow, but 'keeper Shahzad was on to it in a flash and whipped the bails off.
The Gladiators suffered a blow right at the start with Shahzad falling cheaply. Shahzad, who was hit on the chest off the second delivery of that second over, made room for a big slog but missed it and the ball crashed into the stumps.
The Gladiators captain Shane Watson though kept rocking it but they couldn't quite pull it off.
Northern Warriors: 107 for 5 in 10 overs (Lendl Simmons 70, Nicholas Pooran 13, Zahoor Khan 2-8, Ben Cutting 2-9) beat Deccan Gladiators: 97 for 3 in 10 overs (Shane Watson 75 not out) by 10 runs.
Man of the Match: Lendl Simmons (Northern Warriors).
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