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New York Strikers restricted Bangla Tigers to 101 for 7 in 10 overs and recorded an impressive eight-wicket win in the fifth match of the Abu Dhabi T10 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium. Kusal Perera’s unbeaten 50 and Mohammad Waseem’s 41 ensured New York Strikers their first win with 14 balls to spare after they had lost the opening match to Deccan Gladiators.
New York Strikers’ Chamika Karunaratne with a fine spell of 3 for 22 backed by Muhammad Jawadullah (2 for 21) bowled brilliantly to check Bangla Tigers’ run flow. For Bangla Tigers, Jordan Cox top scored with 38 runs from 17 balls with six boundaries and a six. Skipper Kusal Mendis chipped in with 29 runs from 12 balls with four boundaries and two sixes.
New York Strikers won the toss and elected to field. The match began on a sensational note with New York Strikers’ UAE bowler Muhammad Jawadullah clean bowling Chris Lynn with the third ball of the first over for 1. Kusal Mendis joined opener Jordan Cox and hit Mohammad Amir for a six over mid-wicket in the second over.
Cox took on Ali Khan and hit him for four consecutive boundaries while Mendis hit the last ball of this third over for a six. Twenty-three runs came off that over. Cox greeted Sunil Narine with a six and a boundary in the fourth over. Jawadullah, who bowled the first over and bagged the only wicket to fall, was re-introduced for the fifth over. He struck by clean bowling Cox for 38. His knock off 17 balls had six boundaries and a six. This brought in David Miller to the crease.
Mendis, who was striking well, fell to Narine well caught by substitute Deyal at deep mid-wicket for 29. His knock off 12 balls had four boundaries and two sixes. Daniel Sams joined Miller but the pair did not last long as Chamika Karunaratne got Miller to pull to Muhammad Wasim at mid-wicket for 3.
Hard-hitter Carlos Brathwaite lasted just six balls to score one run befor hitting Akeal Hosein to Karunaratne at long on. It was a brilliant tumbling catch. Amir bowled an excellent ninth over giving away just three runs. Karunaratne who bowled the last over had Benny Howell caught by Pollard at long-on. Dasun Shanaka hit Karunaratne for six but fell to the next ball caught by Pollard again at long-on. Dominic Drakes hit the last ball for six to ensure that the total crossed the 100-run mark.
New York Strikers began their chase through two of the finest hitters Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Muhammad Waseem. Waseem picked the first boundary to fine leg off Josh Little. Gurbaz fell to a well-judged high catch by Benny Howell off Daniel Sams for 7.
Kusal Perera hit Brathwaite for two boundaries. Waseem too picked another off the fourth ball from Dominic Drakes. He then hit Sams for a six and hammered the next ball to long-on for a boundary. At the half way mark, New York Strikers needed 45 runs to win.
Waseem hit Haider Ali for a six to deep mid-wicket while Kusal Perera picked two boundaries to make it 27 runs for victory from 24 balls. Waseem, who was playing well, got clean bowled for 41 to Howell. His knock off 22 balls had five boundaries and two sixes. Perera hit Howell for a mighty six to deep square leg and two boundaries, and accelerated the race to the target. He reached his half century with a six off Little and recorded the winning run too with his skipper Kieron Pollard unbeaten on 2.