Team Abu Dhabi cement their first victory of the T10 League Championship
The latest addition to the Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10, Team Abu Dhabi, has cemented their first victory of the championship, with Captain Moeen Ali leading the team to a crushing victory over the Northern Warriors in the tournament’s third day.
The Northern Warriors won the toss, electing to bat, being the first to choose to do so in the tournament. Former opener George Munsey was left in the dressing room, allowing Sam Billings and Darren Sammy to open the batting. The pair found an easy rhythm of quick runs, before Sammy was dismissed for 17 by Ben Laughlin.
Andre Russell replaced his fellow West Indian at the crease, but struggled to get balls past Team Abu Dhabi’s restrictive, but at times sloppy, fielding. With the Warriors at 59 by the seventh over, Russell and Billings fought to bring some big shots to the Warriors’ advantage, but struggled to find the distance against Abu Dhabi’s pace powerhouses of Laughlin, Gurney and de Lange, leaving the Warriors to defend a low 91.
Team Abu Dhabi began their chase in earnest, with Sri Lanka’s Niroshan Dickwella bringing the home-side eight runs in the first over, before losing his wicket in the second. The English pair Luke Wright and Moeen Ali didn’t allow Dickwella’s wicket to stop them, playing expressive and confident drives that found the boundary rope time and time again.
As the Arabian sun sunk over the capital city, Team Abu Dhabi crossed their half century at the 28th ball.
Wright and Ali opened up their arms, and in spite of Warriors’ bowlers such as Russell and Rayad Emrit, whirred balls far and wide. In spite of dismissing Wright for a run out on 48, and then Lewis Gregory for a duck, the Warriors seemed powerless to stop Team Abu Dhabi sealing their victory, who won by six wickets with nine balls remaining.
Captain of Team Abu Dhabi, Moeen Ali, said: “We were outstanding with the ball today. I couldn’t have asked for anything more for Russell to be not out but not to have got as many he would have liked to. I thought we were amazing.”
Speaking after the match, Darren Sammy said: “We’re disappointed. We still have an opportunity to finish in the top four, and make a run for the playoffs. The tournament is not over for us.”
The action of the evening continues with the Bangla Tigers squaring off against the Karnataka Tuskers at 17:45, before Team Qalandars meet the Maratha Arabians at 20:00.
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