Abu Dhabi T10: Charles, Zazai bravado floors Chennai

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Hazratullah Zazai of the Bangla Tigers plays a shot against The Chennai Braves in the Abu Dhabi T10 League on Tuesday. — Abu Dhabi T10
Hazratullah Zazai of the Bangla Tigers plays a shot against The Chennai Braves in the Abu Dhabi T10 League on Tuesday. — Abu Dhabi T10

Dubai - The openers lay into the bowlers to help the Bangla Tigers win by nine wickets and with 34 balls to spare


James Jose

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Published: Tue 23 Nov 2021, 11:15 PM

Three years ago, it was on these very shores that Hazratullah Zazai made sure that the cricketing world would come to know of him. The Afghan, a 20-year-old then, had set the stage alight at the historic Sharjah Cricket Stadium, in the inaugural Afghanistan Premier League. Then, the southpaw reeled off six sixes in an over to ensure he would be taken in the same breathe alongside the great Sir Garry Sobers and Yuvraj Singh. Over the course of that blitzkrieg, Zazai also raced to the fastest fifty off just 12 deliveries, to equal Chris Gayle and Yuvraj Singh.

On Tuesday night, the opener from the Paktia province, reminded everyone of that knock firing up the Bangla Tigers’ successful chase against The Chennai Braves in the Abu Dhabi T10 League. His ruthless and unbeaten nine-ball 34, aided with opening partner Johnson Charles’ 36 from 12 balls, meant that the Bangla Tigers hardly broke a sweat, cantering home by nine wickets with an astonishing 34 deliveries to spare.

Their bravado at the top meant that the Bangla Tigers strung together their second win on the trot. Meanwhile, The Chennai Braves were still left searching for a first win in the tournament after four matches and Dasun Shanaka’s side will have to do something really brave if they are to stay in the competition.

Put into bat, The Chennai Braves did show the intent but they didn’t quite have the results to show for it. After opener Ravi Bopara was castled by Australian pacer James Faulkner for two, his opening partner Bhanuka Rajapaksa struck a six before he offered a return catch to Luke Wood.

Shanaka was the next to go with a lone boundary being his contribution before he fell for six, becoming Benny Howell’s first of two victims. Shanaka’s Sri Lankan compatriot was defiant with a 26 off 18 balls which contained two boundaries and a six but Howell and skipper Faf du Plessis combined again to see the back of him.

Samiullah Shinwari too packed a few punches in his 14-ball 20 — two boundaries and a six, before being caught by Zazai off Isuru Udana. West Indian Mark Deyal remained not out on a seven-ball 15 that had two fours and a six as The Chennai Braves put up 90 for 6.

Charles and Zazai put the skates on in pursuit of the target and extinguished any hopes The Chennai Braves had harboured of making a match of it. Charles stroked five sixes and a boundary in his knock, while Zazai clubbed four fours and three sixes. After Charles fell leg before to Deyal, Zazai and Will Jacks (14 not out), took them past the target without much fuss.

The Bangla Tigers take on the Deccan Gladiators on Thursday, while The Chennai Braves meet the Northern Warriors, in the battle of the basement dwellers, on Wednesday.

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