The Gladiators’ batting clicked once again and overcame a minor stutter in the middle overs to pose an imposing 139.
Riding on Andre Russell’s brilliant all-round show, the Deccan Gladiators progressed to the final of Abu Dhabi T10 after clinching the first qualifier against Delhi Bulls on Friday. The Gladiators’ batting clicked once again and overcame a minor stutter in the middle overs to pose an imposing 139. The Delhi Bulls’ batting unit started strongly but the chase lost steam after the departure of Eoin Morgan in the seventh over. The loss meant that the Delhi Bulls would need to play against the winning side of the Eliminator in Qualifier 2. Gurbaz began the Bulls’ chase with the same confidence that he has exhibited throughout the season, lofting Wahab Riaz over his head for a six in the first over.
Hemraj continued the good work in the next over, finding the boundary on multiple occasions to fetch 22 runs off Sultan Ahmed’s bowling. However, the left-hander departed soon, failing to pick Smith’s slower ball. In the company of Sherfane Rutherford, Gurbaz took the team to 65 at the halfway mark of the innings but fell to Hasaranga on the first delivery of the sixth over.
Eoin Morgan raised hopes of the Delhi fans with a flurry of sixes but Andre Russell delivered the knockout punch when he had Morgan caught at deep point. With 47 to get off the final three overs and their main batsmen back in the hut, the result became a foregone conclusion. The Bulls eventually finished with 122 for the loss of five wickets to lose the contest by 17 runs.
Earlier, the Gladiators lost the toss and were put in to bat by Dwayne Bravo. Russell and Tom Kohler-Cadmore resumed from where they had left in the last match, stitching together a 58-run-partnership from just 23 balls to give the team a solid start. Russell, who dominated the partnership, fell for 39 in the fourth over.
The sixth over of the innings bowled by Dominic Drakes proved to be quite an eventful one. Gladiators began the over in a strong position with the scoreboard reading 74/1. Kohler-Cadmore lofted Drakes’ first delivery which Dwayne Bravo dropped. However, the captain showed the presence of mind and threw down the stumps from long-off to run out the non-striker Najibullah Zadran. Kohler-Cadmore went for it once again on the next ball but the mistimed shot was safely pouched by Chandrapaul Hemraj. Anwar Ali too lasted only two balls before edging one to Gurbaz. Gladiators slipped to 77/4 by the time Drakes’ over ended.
Odean Smith and David Wiese brought the innings back on track and took the total beyond 100 on the first ball of the penultimate over. Odean Smith then went on to unleash a hat-trick of sixes against Fazalhaq Farooqi’s bowling who gave away 27 runs in the over. Wiese hit Nyeem Young for a four and a six in the final over to ensure that the Gladiators ended up putting up a big score despite the setback faced in the middle overs. The duo added 62 runs from 24 deliveries.