Abu Dhabi T10: Raging Gurbaz steers Bulls to opening win over Warriors

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Mohammad Hafeez of the Delhi Bulls plays a shot against Northern Warriors in Abu Dhabi on Friday. — Abu Dhabi T10
Mohammad Hafeez of the Delhi Bulls plays a shot against Northern Warriors in Abu Dhabi on Friday. — Abu Dhabi T10

Abu Dhabi - Afghan opener smokes 10-ball 30 in six-wicket win over the defending champions


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Sat 20 Nov 2021, 12:22 AM

Delhi Bulls thrashed defending champions Northern Warriors by six wickets in the opening match of the Abu Dhabi T10 League at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Friday.

Electing to bowl, the Bulls restricted the Warriors to 107-4 from 10 overs. Rovman Powell (19-ball 38) and Moeen Ali (21-ball 35) showed intent but the Bulls kept taking regular wickets to keep the Warriors in check. In reply, the Bulls began with a bang as teenage sensation Rahmanullah Gurbaz smoked a 10-ball 30, and Sherfane Rutherford (15-ball 29) and Mohammad Hafeez (18-ball 31) ensured the target was scaled with six balls to spare.

Man of the match Gurbaz was satisfied with his outing and said: “A good start is very important for every player and team. I am happy with my performance. I will try to do well. It is difficult to play every ball as you try to hit every ball. You don’t have too much time to spend there. I tried to play my natural game.”

Bowling first, left-arm pacer Shiraz Ahmed castled Kennar Lewis (2) with a peach of a delivery to rock Northern Warriors to 4 for 1. Dominic Drakes kept up the pressure with a tidy over. Samit Patel finally got Warriors on their way by smashing Ahmed for a towering six. Ravi Rampaul knocked Patel (10-ball 15) with a straight full delivery. Moeen Ali was dropped on nine off Romario Shepherd. Warriors rubbed salt to the wounds as Rovman Powell hammered Shepherd for a six and Ali hit a boundary. At the half-way stage, Warriors lost two wickets for 46 runs. And pushing the accelerator, the duo blasted 23 runs from Dwayne Bravo’s first over, including two sixes and a four. Rampaul, after gifting five extras, bowled a tight over. At 80-2 after seven overs, the Powell-Moeen pair went after Drakes knocking 18 runs from his over. Shepherd got his revenge by getting Powell and bowling a three-run penultimate over. Moeen (21-ball 35) mistimed Bravo as Warriors finished at 107-4.

Chris Jordan pointed out that the Warriors fell short by 10 to 20 runs.

“And then the dew came into play. We will return stronger. This is a long tournament,” said Jordan. “The team, which fields well, will go a long way in this tournament,” he pointed out as there were a couple of dropped catches.

In response, the Bulls went raging from the start and Gurbaz yanked Josh Little for a six and a four. And in the second over of the innings, he smacked Imran Tahir for three consecutive sixes. But the South African spinner trapped the Afghan run-machine after a quick-fire 30. Abhimanyu Mithun snared Rilee Rossouw (6) as the Bulls slipped to 37-2. Rutherford creamed Tahir and Umair Ali for a six each and Mohammad Hafeez cracked Jordan for a couple of boundaries as the Bulls reached 72-2 after six overs.

Mithun took a good catch off Little to end Rutherford’s blitz. But Hafeez continued in the same vein, yanking Mithun for a maximum. Jordan managed to induce an edge out of Hafeez but Shepherd came and struck two boundaries to bag two points for the Bulls.

Bulls skipper Bravo said it is a “very satisfying” start to the tournament.

“It was an all-round team performance. We needed to get a good start and that is when Gurbaz stamped his authority and put pressure straight away on the opposition. I look forward to next match,” Bravo said.

Brief scores:

Delhi Bulls beat Northern Warriors by six wickets.

Northern Warriors: 107-4 in 10 overs (Rovman Powell 38, Moeen Ali 35, Samit Patel 15) vs Delhi Bulls: 110-4 in 9 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 31, Rahmanullah Gurbaz 30, Sherfane Rutherford 29).

MOM: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Delhi Bulls).


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