ANI Photo | Abu Dhabi T10: Pollard-Ali led New York Strikers to maiden title, beat Deccan by 7 wickets

New York Strikers wiped away the pain of last edition’s loss to Deccan Gladiators in the final and crowned themselves as the new champions of the Abu Dhabi T10 in the seventh edition at the Zayed Cricket Stadium by recording a seven-wicket win on Saturday.
Pakistan’s Asif Ali, known for his power-hitting skills, and skipper Kieron Pollard, put on an unbeaten 56-run partnership for the fourth wicket in 29 balls. Ali remained unbeaten on 48 off 25 balls with four sixes and two boundaries while Pollard scored an unconquered 21 off 13 balls with one boundary and a six to win the final with four balls to spare. They thus lifted the trophy and received the prize money of $100,000.
It was a creditable show from New York Strikers that had become part of the Abu Dhabi T10 only in the last edition and have reached the final in both editions and now won the title too, as per an Abu Dhabi T10 press release.
Gladiators, who were hoping to record a hat-trick of title triumphs having won the earlier two editions, received the runners-up prize money of $50,000. Their plans to post a big total was squashed by Sunil Narine who bagged two wickets for six runs from his two overs and restricted Deccan Gladiators to 91 for 5. It was the same total that New York Strikers were restricted to in the last edition’s final that Gladiators won by 37 runs.
The tale of the final unfolded with New York skipper Pollard winning the toss and electing to bowl. Gladiators’ heavy scorer and aggressive batter Tom Kohler-Cadmore, who has often hit the first ball of the innings to a boundary, did that to Mohammad Amir steering him past point. He also hit the second delivery through deep cover for another boundary. Twelve runs came off the first over.
Muhammad Jawadullah, who bowled the second over too found his first ball race to the boundary. The author of that shot was skipper Nicholas Pooran who elegantly picked the gap between gully and short third man. Pooran also hit Jawadullah’s fifth delivery over the gully to pick another boundary. The last ball of the over too went for a boundary over backward point. Twenty-four runs were scored in the first two overs.
Sunil Narine, hailed as a mystery spinner, struck to end the innings of Kohler-Cadmore on an unlucky 13 with a ball that turned and hit the middle stump. Worse was to follow. In the third over England’s right-arm pacer George Scrimshaw got Pooran out caught by Narine at extra cover for 15.
Andre Russell joined Andre Fletcher, a pair that is capable of tearing apart any attack. However, their partnership lasted only eight runs. Narine struck again with the fourth ball of his second over forcing Fletcher to pull into the hands of Odean Smith for 5. By the halfway mark, Deccan Gladiators were struggling at 37 for 3.
Imad Wasim and Russell tried hard to pull their team to a strong total. But Jawadullah strangled the runs with his accurate five deliveries and removed Wasim with the last ball of that over for 3. Asif Ali at extra cover pulled off a stunning catch diving to his right and produced a one-handed catch.
Scrimshaw was re-introduced for the seventh over and Russell hit the second six of the innings over mid-wicket off his second delivery. He also pulled him for another six over deep square leg. With only three more overs to go, Gladiators’ score read an unimpressive 57 for 4.
Akeal Hosein, who produced a hat-trick in Qualifier 1 against Samp Army, struck with the first ball of the eighth over to get Fabian Allen caught at deep mid-wicket by Asif Ali for 1. He also gave away just six runs only in that over. Half the side was back in the dugout for 63.
Russell fought a lonely battle and finally top-edged Amir’s first ball of the ninth over the wicketkeeper for a boundary. David Wiese pulled Amir’s fifth ball for a six and the last ball for a boundary.
Wiese hit Hosein, who bowled the last over, was hit for a six off the second delivery. But that is the only big hit that came of that over. The pair had put on an unbeaten 34 runs in 17 balls for the sixth wicket. Russell remained unbeaten on 30 off 18 balls with two boundaries and two sixes and Wiese unconquered on 20 off 11 balls with two sixes and a boundary for a total of nine runs short of the 100 run mark.
The chase began with Trent Bout bowling at full pace to New York openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Muhammad Waseem. With the fifth ball, he trapped Waseem on 6, leg before with a ball that nipped back. Nuwan Tushara too produced a beautiful delivery clean bowl Rahmanullah Gurbaz for 1. The ball went through his defence to hit the wicket.
Asif Ali joined Niroshan Dickwella and flicked the first ball he faced for a boundary to fine leg. The crowd whistled for the batters but Boult who bowled the third over gave away only one boundary to Dickwella. In the fourth over, Asif Ali gave the crowd what they wanted. He hit Imad Wasim for two sixes off the third and fifth ball both to deep mid-wicket. New York Strikers was 7/2 in 1.1 overs.
Russell struck in the fifth over by removing Dickwella caught by Khawaja Nafay at mid-on for 14. At the halfway mark, New York needed 50 runs off the remaining five overs. Asif Ali hit Waqar Salamkheil’s first delivery for a boundary. Pollard smashed Waqar for a six-over mid-wicket to make it anybody’s game.
Asif also hit Thushara for a six off the first ball of the seventh over to long off. Pollard and Asif also ran for quick runs and took 14 runs off Thushara’s over to turn the target into a gettable 25 for 18 balls.
UAE’s Zahoor Khan was introduced for the eighth over and Asif hit Zahoor’s fifth delivery for a six and made it 14 runs from 12 deliveries. Pollard cracked a boundary off Russell’s third delivery of the ninth over to make it five runs off the last over. The pair put on a 50-run partnership off the first ball of the last over from Zahoor to take the trophy away from Gladiators.
Brief scores:
New York Strikers beat Deccan Gladiators by 7 wickets.
Deccan Gladiators 91 for 5 in 10 overs (Andre Russell 30, David Wiese 20*. Sunil Narine 2 for 6) New York Strikers 94 for 3 in 9.2 overs (Asif Ali 48*, Kieron Pollard 22*)
Player of the Match: Asif Ali
Player of the Tournament: Akeal Hosein (12 wickets in eight matches with best figures of 5/6)
Bowler of the Tournament: Akeal Hosein (12 wickets in eight matches with best figures of 5/6)
Batter of the Tournament: Tom Kohler-Cadmore (368 runs in 10 matches at an average of 73.60, with two fifties)
UAE Player of the Tournament: Mohammad Jawadulah (10 wickets in eight matches with best figures of 2/13). (ANI)

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