Dubai: A brilliant captain’s knock from Sohail Akhtar and a fine display of tight bowling helped Qalandars inflict a 33-run defeat on Deccan Gladiators in the 12th match of the Abu Dhabi T10 at the Abu Dhabi Zayed Cricket Stadium.
Akhtar cracked 71, and that came off 31 balls with five sixes and six boundaries. He was well supported by opener Tom Banton with 36 runs off 20 balls that included five boundaries and a six. Together they helped Qalandars posted a challenging total of 118-3.
Chasing the target, Deccan struggled against Qalandars’ accurate bowling led by Chris Jordan, who bagged three wickets for eight runs, and UAE’s left-arm spinner Sultan Ahmed who took two quick wickets in his second over, which included the dangerous Kieron Pollard’s wicket. Deccan could muster only 85-8 in their reply.
Earlier, Deccan won the toss and promptly elected to field. Ravi Rampaul bowled a tight first over giving away just five runs. Sunil Narine, who bowled the second over, got opener Sharjeel Khan to edge on to his foot and into the wicket for 5. Banton then scored two boundaries off Narine. He also picked a boundary off Anwar Ali who bowled the third over. Skipper Sohail Akhtar hit Imran Tahir for two sixes in the fourth over to get 13 runs.
Gladiators introduced UAE’s Zahoor Khan, the hero of their last match win over Team Abu Dhabi, to bowl the fifth over. He gave away 10 runs in his over. At the halfway mark, Qalandars were 54-1, needing some big hits.
Zahoor, who was introduced for the eighth over, trapped Banton leg before for 36. Akhtar reached his half-century in 23 balls hitting Anwar Ali for a six to long-off. He also hit the next ball for a six over midwicket to steer his team past the 100 mark. Akhtar punished Rampaul by hitting the first two balls of the last over for boundaries. Rampaul dismissed Asif Ali, brilliantly caught by a diving Sharafuddin Ashraf at fine leg for 2 in the same over.
Chasing a run rate of 11.80, opener Mohammad Shahzad picked two boundaries off Sultan Ahmed’s first over. Cameron Delport too got two boundaries off Sohail Tanvir. Shahid Afridi was introduced for the third over and Shehzad hit him powerfully to the long-off boundary. The battle for runs continued as Shehzad glided Ahmed Daniyal for a six over third man.
In the fifth over from Afridi, Delport got run out for 19 from a direct hit to the bowler’s end by Azmatullah Omarzai at point. With the fifth delivery, Afridi got Shehzad stumped for 27. With only two runs coming off that over, Gladiators needed 72 runs from the next five overs.
When Sultan Ahmed had Azam Khan stumped for a duck and also clean bowled Kieron Pollard for 3, the match tilted in Qalandar’s favour. Sunil Narine too quickly followed hitting Chris Jordan to Asif Ali at deep cover for a duck. With half the side back in the dug-out for 52, Qalandars went for the kill and sailed to an easy victory.
Qalandars beat Deccan Gladiators by 33 runs
Qalandars 118 for 3 in 10 overs: Sohail Akhtar 71*, Tom Banton 36
Deccan Gladiators 85 for 8 in 10 overs: Mohammad Shehzad 27, Sultan Ahmed 2-14, Chris Jordan 3-8