Deccan Gladiators beat Bangla Tigers to progress to Play Off against Qalandars in Abu Dhabi T10
Deccan Gladiators have comfortably beaten the Bangla Tigers by five wickets as they cruised through a run chase that was kicked off with the explosive Mohammed Shahzad.
Shane Watson and his team now have the hurdle of Team Qalandars in their way towards a place in the final as the Bangla Tigers, despite the support of huge crowds in the stadium could not get the win the desperately needed for their chance of lifting the Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10 trophy in 2019.
The Bangla Tigers were placed into field by the Deccan Gladiators who were looking to restrict the Tigers from big runs, alongside securing big wickets. The Gladiators’ Sheldon Cottrell filled that objective in the first over, taking the wicket of fellow West Indian Andre Fletcher for seven, before snatching the scalp of South Africa’s Colin Ingram for one, treating crowds to his much-loved saluting celebration.
Rilee Rossouw was however made of stronger stuff than to be flummoxed by the belligerent Gladiators, and worked with UAE’s Chirag Suri to manoeuvre balls to the ropes. The Gladiators were clearly frustrated as two dollies were dropped by young Mason Crane, but their bowling helped keep the Tigers’ run rate below 10 an over.
Suri was caught by Cottrell, bringing Captain Thisara Perera to the crease, needing to play a steely innings to keep the Tigers’ hopes for the final and the tournament alive. The two men were able to find six fours in the final two overs, as Rossouw powered his way to a half century off 26 balls. The Tigers closed on 107, leaving the Gladiators a required run rate of 10.80 to win.
The Gladiators sought to cement their victory with a solid opening partnership of Mohammad Shahzad and Captain Shane Watson. Shahzad brought his iconic clumping big hitting to the crease, taking consecutive four fours out of David Weise’s bowling. However, Shahzad mishit a ball into the heavens, gracefully accepted by the hands of Ferhad Reza. Kieron Pollard joined Watson and the two men carried on, confident of victory, but Kevin Koththigoda snapped Watson’s off stump with a wicked delivery for 16 and Pollard was caught by Captain Perera two balls later.
Sri Lanka’s Bhanuka Rajapaksa and England’s Dan Lawrence sought to continue the chase, but the Tigers were prowling for wickets, and Colin Ingram provided, running in from deep midwicket to catch Rajapaska for seven.
Looks of concern peppered the Gladiators’ faces, particularly after Lawrence’s wicket in the ninth over from Perera after a spirited knock of 33 off 13 balls from the Englishman. However, the Gladiators were left only requiring a short four balls in the final over, and Ben Cutting was happy to oblige with a shot to backward square for four.
Speaking after his team’s exit from the tournament Thisara Perera said: “Throughout the tournament we could execute our game plan consistently enough. I want to thank my teammates and show appreciation to all the fans who have supported us this year. We have all enjoyed our experience in Abu Dhabi but it’s not over yet, we will work hard to make sure we finish third tomorrow”.
The final match of the qualifiers brings the Deccan Gladiators face to face with Team Qalandars at 20:00, both vying to join Maratha Arabians in Sunday’s final.
©Cricket World 2019