Abu Dhabi [UAE], February 2 (ANI): Northern Warriors defeated Team Abu Dhabi by eight wickets in a nail-biting finish in the second Super League match of the Abu Dhabi T10 at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium on Monday.
Chasing Team Abu Dhabi's challenging total of 123 for 3, Warriors hit up the runs through UAE's domestic cricketer Waseem Muhammad's fighting 76 runs off 34 balls with six sixes and seven boundaries and opener Lendl Simmons' unbeaten 37 off 25 balls. Abu Dhabi bowled tightly challenging Warriors to score 31 runs off the last two overs and 15 off the final over. Warriors reached the target off the last ball.
Northern Warriors won the toss and followed the trend of electing to field first. The match got off to a sensational start when Wahab Riaz clean bowled Paul Stirling with the first ball of the match through a swinging yorker. Undaunted by the early loss, skipper Luke Wright hit Riaz for two consecutive boundaries and a six in the same over.
Wright did not spare Junaid Siddique in the second over and hit him for a six and a boundary. Rayad Emrit ended Wright's quick knock by forcing him to hit straight to Fabian Allen at mid-wicket for 33. When Siddique had Chris Gayle caught at long-on by Rovman Powell, Team Abu Dhabi slipped to 38 for 3 in 3.1 overs.
Joe Clarke began by hitting Siddique for two consecutive boundaries. Warriors re-introduced Riaz for the fifth over to make it tougher for Abu Dhabi. He gave away just eight runs, and at the halfway mark, Abu Dhabi was only 56 for 3. When Wayne Parnell, who bowled the sixth over, gave away only six runs, Abu Dhabi's hopes of notching up a total over 100 runs began to fade.
Sri Lanka's 22-year-old pacer Dhananjaya Lakshan bowled a tighter seventh over giving away just five runs. Clarke opened out in the eighth over and hit Emrit for two sixes and two boundaries to take 22 runs in the over. Ben Duckett too chipped in by hitting Lakshan for two sixes, one over deep square leg and another over long-on to steer the total past the 100-run mark.
Clarke hit the first two balls of the last over from Parnell for boundaries. He reached his half-century off the fifth ball in 24 balls to ensure Abu Dhabi an impressive total.
Northern Warriors went for their big hits right away through Lendl Simmons and Waseem Muhammad. Simmons hit Usman Shinwari's third delivery for a six over mid-wicket while Muhammad smashed him for a boundary past point. Simmons also hit Naveen Ul Haq for two successive boundaries and a six in the second over. Jamie Overton's deceptive slower deliveries made Muhammad swing and miss twice, but he hit the next two deliveries to the boundary. Rohan Mustafa bowled a tight fourth over despite Simmons hitting him for a boundary. When Obed McCoy gave away only four runs in the fifth over, the pressure for big hits began to mount. Muhammad hit Mustafa for two sixes in the sixth over to take 15 runs.
Warriors needed 53 runs from the next six overs and Muhammad speeded up the run flow through two consecutive sixes. Naveen Ul Haq put Abu Dhabi in a strong position when he gave away just eight runs in the eighth over. With 31 runs needed off the last 2 overs, Simmons smashed McCoy through the covers for a boundary. Muhammad too hit McCoy for two boundaries and a six to reduce the margin to 15 runs off the last six balls. The first delivery of Overton, who was picked to bowl the last over, was hit by Muhammad for a boundary too long-on. He bowled two wides off the next two balls and Muhammad pulled the third for a six.
With three runs needed off the last four deliveries, Overton trapped Muhammad leg before wicket for 76. Nicholas Pooran walked in when three runs were needed off the last three balls. He was out when he lifted Overton straight to McCoy at long-on. Simmons picked a single off the fifth ball. Powell replaced Pooran and hit Overton to mid-wicket, but a fumble by Mustafa gave them the required two runs.
Brief scores: Team Abu Dhabi 123/3 (Luke Wright 33, Joe Clarke 50*, Junaid Siddique 1-23); Northern Warriors 124/2 (Lendl Simmons 37*, Waseem Muhammad 76, Jamie Overton 2-25). (ANI)