At the Zayed Cricket Stadium in this city on Wednesday, Bangla Tigers stunned New York Strikers by a score of 19 runs in the opening game of the Abu Dhabi T10.
The Bangla Tigers were led to victory by opener Evin Lewis, who scored 58 runs off just 22 balls while hitting seven sixes and two boundaries to contribute to an outstanding total of 131 for 5 in just 10 overs. Despite skipper Kieron Pollard’s unbeaten 45 off 19 balls, which included three boundaries and four sixes, New York Strikers were unable to reach their target.
The New York Strikers chose to field after winning the toss. Evin Lewis and Hazratullah Zazai started the game for the Bangla Tigers. Zazai smacked the third ball from Romario Shepherd past the short fine leg for the first goal of the competition. Lewis also scored another boundary by sending the final ball over the extra cover.
Zazai was dismissed for 10 runs on the second ball Wahab Riaz delivered, forcing him to top edge to Jordon Thompson at fine leg. Thompson made a spectacular catch while diving to full depth. One-drop Joe Clarje was caught by Eoin Morgan at extra cover after falling to the first ball he faced from Riaz.
In addition to opener Lewis, Colin Munro blasted the final ball of Riaz’s over for a six over long leg. Munro persisted in going for it, connecting with Jordan Thompson for a long-off boundary and a fine-leg six. When Munro entered the game for the fourth over, Ravi Rampaul’s third ball was fiercely sliced to the backward point boundary. Lewis hit a six to midwicket to end that over.
Lewis’ two sixes from Nav Pabreja in the fifth over—the first off the second ball over mid-wicket and the second off the fourth ball over long off—made it a thrilling over. Lewis added a sixth over long-on on the final ball. Bangla Tigers were in good shape during the halfway point of the game.
Munro was only able to hit one boundary in a stunning sixth over from Jordan Thompson, who also claimed the prized wicket of Munro with the penultimate ball of the over. NavPrabeja made a great grab at short third man, jumping and bringing off the catch on the bounce, ending Munro’s innings as well. For the seventh over, Riaz was reintroduced, but he was unable to stop Lewis from attempting his massive strokes. He was struck over deep square leg twice for sixes. Lewis hit Shepherd over square leg for a six to bring up his half-century in 18 balls.
He added another boundary by sending the subsequent ball over point. By the end of the eighth over, the sum had surpassed $100.
Rampaul got Lewis out on the first ball of the ninth over, caught by captain Pollard at long on, ending his impressive 58-ball innings. Powell’s second catch at long-off allowed Rampaul to also make the following man, Benny Howell, out for one. Rampaul’s ninth delivery only produced five runs, and he claimed two wickets.
Shakib Al Hasan made good use of the final over from Nav Pabreja by hitting a boundary off the second ball, two sixes, one off the fourth ball and the other off the last ball, for an impressive total of 131 for 5.
Chasing a run rate of 13.10, New York Strikers lost an early wicket when UAE’s Muhammad Waseem got out to Shakib Al Hasan’s third ball of the first over for a duck , caught by his UAE teammate Rohan Mustafa at deep square leg. It was another superb catch of the day as he jumped in time inside the boundary line for the catch. The second over was sensational with Jake Ball being hit for 25 runs. Azam Khan began by hitting the first ball for a boundary to short third man, second delivery pulled for a six and the fourth, fifth and sixth deliveries were also hit for boundaries.
Shakib bowled another brilliant over giving away only five runs, tying down opener Paul Stirling and Azam Khan. The fourth over began with Azam Khan hitting another six over square leg but fell to the fifth ball of that over hitting to Cutting at mid-off. Azam’s 13-ball knock of 34 had four boundaries and two sixes.
Eoin Morgan, who joined Howell, lasted only four balls to score seven runs as Matheesha Pathirana had him caugrht by Howell at long-on. The fall of wickets mounted pressure on New York Stirikers, and they were 54 for 3 needing to score at over 15 runs an over. All eyes turned towards Kieron Pollard to lift the team to the target. He hit Rohan Mustafa’s third delivery of the sixth over for a six over long on. Mustafa struck to clean bowl Paul Stirling for 7. Pathirana bowled tightly and had Romario Shephered bowled for four runs. Thompson hit Pathirana’s fifth delivery for six to keep the runs coming.
Everything changed after a fine over from Rohan Mustafa who clean bowled Thompson out for 7. Though Mustafa was hit for a six and a boundary by Pollard, 46 runs were needed from the last two overs.
UAE’s Umair Ali was called to bowl the ninth over. Pollard hit his third delivery for a boundary and fourth for a six. The fifth ball saw Akeal Hosein getting run out by Hazratullah but Pollard hit the last ball for a boundary. Fans now moved to the edge of their seats with 28 runs needed off the last over. Jake Ball gave away a leg bye single to Wahab Riaz off the first delivery.
Pollard hit the third ball for a six to keep hopes alive but Ball bowled a brilliant fourth delivery giving no runs and only a single to Pollard off the fourth ball. Riaz got run out off the fifth ball and Ball gave away no run to Pollard after that thus restricting New York Strikers to 112 for 8 in 10 overs.
Bangla Tigers bt New York Strikers by 19 runs. Bangla Tigers 131 for 5 in 10 overs (Evin Lewis 58, Colin Munro 30, Wahab Riaz 2 for 24, Ravi Rampaul 2 for 16) New York Strikers 112 for 8 in 10 overs (Azam Khan 34, Kieron Pollard 45, Matheesha Pathirana 2 for 22, Rohan Mustafa 2 for 20)