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Northern Warriors’ skipper Rovman Powell’s power-packed unbeaten 76 ensured a six-wicket win over Bangla Tigers in the first match of the fifth day in the Abu Dhabi T10 at the Abu Dhabi Zayed Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
Powell’s captain’s knock came off 28 balls with nine sixes and one boundary. He was well backed by Sherfane Rutherford, who hit 22 runs, and Northern Warriors won the match with four balls to spare. Bangla Tigers were restricted to 117 for 4 in 10 overs.
Bangla Tigers had won the toss and elected to bat. Hazratullah Zazai began in his usual style driving the second ball from Mohammad Irfan powerfully through the covers for a boundary.
Off the second over from Junaid Siddique, Zazai hit the third ball for a boundary and fourth for a six over long-off. Sixteen runs were scored off that over. Joe Clarke too started hitting freely and scored a boundary off Isuru Udana’s first delivery of the third over and also hit a six off the fourth delivery to square leg. Fifteen runs came off that over.
Zazai and Clarke kept hitting big shots with Rayad Emrit being hit to the long on fence for a boundary by Zazai and Clarke hitting a six over mid-wicket.
The pair kept scoring at a run rate of 13 per over. Wayne Parnell was called to bowl the fifth over hoping to get a breakthrough and check the run flow. Zazai hit him too to mid-wicket for a six.
At the half way stage, Bangla Tigers were well placed at 62 for no loss with both the openers scoring freely. Irfan provided the breakthrough in the sixth over when Clarke mistimed his shot and got caught behind by wicketkeeper Kennar Lewis for 25. His knock off 15 balls had two sixes but no boundaries.
Iftikhar Ahmed joined Zazai but Zazai fell in the seventh over, brilliantly yorked by Udana for 37. His knock off 21 balls had four boundaries and two sixes. The fall of two quick wickets, that too of two settled batsmen, upset the run flow. Udana made it tougher by having Lyth catch an upper cut played by Iftikhar for 3. It was a brilliant over that yielded only six runs and two wickets.
Evin Lewis hit Junaid Siddiqui for a six in the eighth over to take 13 runs off that over. With only three more overs remaining, the score read 87 for 3. The ninth over began with Ben Cutting getting caught by Sherfane Rutherford at long on off Parnell for two with the first ball. Parnell gave away just seven runs and Bangla Tigers’ plans for a big total began to fade.
Emrit was called on to bowl the final over of the innings and Lewis sliced the first delivery to the boundary and the second to the mid-wicket fence for another boundary. Lewis also hit the third and fourth deliveries for sixes, the first over long off and the second over extra cover. Twenty-three runs were scored off the last over and Bangla Tigers posted a challenging 117 for 4 in 10 overs.
Bangla Tigers skipper Shakib Al Hasan who introduced himself for the first over struck with the third ball by having Adam Lyth caught behind by wicketkeeper Joe Clarke for 1. Northern Warriors’ skipper Rovman Powell joined opener Kennar Lewis and hit Mohammad Amir for a six over extra cover. Eleven runs came off that over. Benny Howell who bowled the third over gave only a boundary to Lewis.
Shakib introduced himself again for the fourth over and had Lewis out caught at long on by Ben Cutting for 8 with the second delivery. Sherfane Rutherford began by hitting from the first ball he faced for a boundary to extra cover. The last ball of Shakib was also reverse swept by Rutherford for a six. From the fifth over bowled by Rohan Mustafa, Powell hit two consecutive sixes. With the first ball being a five runs wide, 21 runs came off that over and Northern Warriors were well placed at 60 for 2 needing another 58 off the remaining 30 balls with eight wickets in hand.
Iftikhar Ahmed was introduced for the sixth over and his fourth delivery was hit by Powell over the bowler’s head for a six. With 46 runs needed off the last 24 balls, Rutherford hit Howell’s second delivery of the seventh over for a six. He fell to the next ball caught by Umair Ali at covers for 22 runs. Howell gave away only nine runs.
Powell refused to give up and hit Mohammad Amir who bowled the eighth over for two sixes off the first and third deliveries to move on to his half century. Eighteen runs was scored off Amir’s over. With 19 runs needed off the last 12 deliveries, Powell hit Rohan Mustafa’s first and second deliveries for sixes over long on. Mustafa clean bowled Adam Hose for 1 off the fifth delivery.
With five runs needed off the last over, Usman Khan took a single off Iftikhar and gave the strike to Powell. Off the third ball, Powell scored a boundary to short fine leg and carried his team to the target with four balls to spare.
Northern Warriors bt Bangla Tigers by 6 wkts. Bangla Tigers 117 for 4 in 10 overs (Hazratullah Zazai 37, Joe Clarke 24, Evin Lewis 38, Isuru Udana 2 for 21) Northern Warriors 118 for 4 in 9.2 overs (Rovman Powell 76n.o, Sherfane Rutherford 22, Shakib Al Hasan 2 for 20)
Player of the Match: Rovman Powell