Bangla Tigers secure 3rd place in 2019 Abu Dhabi T10 by beating Qalandars by 6 wickets
The Bangla Tigers have secured third place in the 2019 Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10, consigning Team Qalandars to fourth in the competition, in a thrilling match that saw Andre Fletcher lift his team to victory with a spirited 52 off 30 deliveries.
The Qalandars sought to use a tight field and a restrictive bowling line-up to defeat the Tigers, but the Bangla boys secured a victory by six wickets.
The Tigers opted to field having won the toss, leaving Dawid Malan and Luke Ronchi to enjoy a probing, tentative opening to the Qalandars’ attempt to snatch third place. Prabath Jayasuriya conceded only three runs to the men in green in the opening over, before Kiwi left hander Luke Ronchi found the boundary rope five times until his wicket at the hands of Prabath for 19. Prabath brought further destruction to the Qalandars’ top order with the stumping of Amjad Khan, provided courtesy off the gloves of wicketkeeper Thomas Moores.
A disconcerted Qalandars sought calm after calamity, as Farhad Raza offered Peter Trego and Malan freedom to play some sweeping shots, before the young prodigal Sri Lankan bowler, Kevin Kothigoda, claimed the big scalp of the innings by removing the stumps of Malan for 24. It fell to the middle-order batsmen Phil Salt and Trego to rescue the Qalandars, and the two men squared up to the challenge, finding the boundary rope against a Qalandars’ side seeking for one final wicket in the tournament. Whilst the two men remained strong against the Tigers’ prowling advances, they could not overcome the death bowling of David Weise and Captain Thisara Perera, leaving the Tigers to score 110 runs to secure third place.
The Bangla Tigers were not going to let go of their ambitions easily. Andre Fletcher and Rilee Rossouw, whose opening partnership have anchored the Tigers’ innings throughout the tournament, used their understanding to drive big and to drive strong for victory in the penultimate match of the tournament. The pair powered past the strength of the Qalandars’ bowlers and charged for the boundary rope, using both powerful and inventive shots to surge forward to victory.
Rossouw was caught by Phil Salt on 31, providing a small relief to the Qalandars, but Tom Moores joined Fletcher, who continued to delight the crowd with charismatic shots into the Abu Dhabi night sky. Moores was taken for an athletic catch by George Garton, yet the Qalandars could not shake the power-hitting Fletcher from his crease. Fletcher crossed his half-century, shortly fell as he lofted a huge shot into the air presenting an easy catch to Garton, his second of the evening.
In spite of Fletcher’s wicket for 52, the Tigers were still well placed to overcome a tiring Qalandars’ bowling line-up. South African big hitter Colin Ingram took to the crease for the final eight balls of the match, smashing two hefty sixes to bring his team closer to the total, requiring only seven runs from six balls.
In spite of Colin Ingram being caught by Phil Salt, the Tigers could not be stopped as Captain Perera played a match-winning six that soared through the air to clinch third place for the Bangla Tigers, winning by six wickets.
Speaking after his team’s victory, vice-Captain of the Bangla Tigers, Colin Ingram, commented: “The pressure factor of T10 leads to every ball becoming an event. If you miss one, or hit one straight to the field, you really feel it. Abu Dhabi has always been one of my favourite grounds to come to. The way the pitch has held up through the twelve days has been outstanding. It’s been a great venue, and really well run event.”
Captain of Team Qalandars, Dawid Malan, commented in the post-match press conference: “I’m very proud of the way the team has performed throughout the tournament. To come here and play well in the T10 you have to be skilled and cricket smart, and any weakness is quickly found out. I’ve really enjoyed my time playing in this tournament and hope that I can do it again.”
©Cricket World 2019