Abu Dhabi [UAE], February 3 (ANI): The mighty Qalandars extend their winning run by scuttling Bangla Tigers' spirited show in the Abu Dhabi T10 tournament at the Abu Dhabi Zayed Cricket Stadium. Qalandars registered an exciting seven-runs win to register their fifth victory in five matches.
Tigers did well to restrict Qalandars to 104 for 3 despite skipper Sohail Akhtar's unbeaten 49 and Ben Dunk's 31 runs. Tigers tried their best to pull off a victory but Sohail Tanvir and Mohammad Zahid with two wickets each, backed by Chris Jordan's Ahmed Daniyal's tight overs, upset their plans.
Earlier, Bangla Tigers won the toss and opted to field. Qalandars got off to a shocking start when their opener Tom Banton got bowled to George Garton's fifth delivery for a duck. Garton ensured that it was a wicket-maiden over too.
Sohail Akhtar hit two successive boundaries off Mujeeb Ur Rehman in the second over. Opener Sharjeel Khan cut Garton past point for a boundary off this first ball of the third over but could get only eight runs in the over.
Tigers introduced Sri Lanka's 18-year-old medium-pacer Matheesha Pathirana, who wavered in his length, and Akhtar smashed him for two consecutive boundaries to take 18 runs off that over. Akthar was severe on Mujeeb Ur Rehman too by hitting him also for two consecutive boundaries. At the halfway mark, Qalandars were 49 for 1.
Sharjeel flicked Karim Janat's first delivery of the sixth over for a six. In the same over, Janat had Sharjeel caught by Andre Fletcher at mid-off for 15. Akhtar continued his big hits by lifting Fazal Farooqi for a six over long-on. Ben Dunk too picked a boundary to take 13 runs off that over. Still, runs did not flow freely like Qalandars would have wanted. Qaiz Ahmed bowled a tight eighth over giving away just seven runs.
In the ninth over Dunk hit Farooqi for two sixes and a boundary to take 19 runs off that over. Qais was introduced for the 10th over and once again he bowled a brilliant over giving away only five runs and taking the wicket of Dunk. He forced Dunk to hit high to Matheesha Pathirana at deep extra cover for 31 off the last ball. Akhtar remained unbeaten just one run short of his half-century but his 49 runs partnership with Dunk helped Qalandars go past the 100-run mark.
Chasing the target of 105 runs, Tigers opener Johnson Charles hit Sultan Ahmed for three consecutive boundaries in the first over. Sohail Tanvir forced Charles to top edge him to Banton at mid-off for 12 in the second over. He gave away just two runs in that over. Opener and captain Andre Fletcher too departed in the third over from Ahmed Daniyal by edging to Shahid Afridi at short third man for 2. Daniyal too gave away just five runs.
Chirag Suri and Tom Moores tried their best to accelerate the run rate. Suri had hit Daniyal for a boundary in the third over while Moores hit Afridi for a six and a boundary. They picked 14 runs off Afridi's fourth over. Daniyal again bowled a tight fifth over giving away just seven runs resulting in Tigers needing another 65 runs in the last five overs.
Suri cracked a fluent cover drive off Mohammad Zahid's second delivery off the sixth over. He also flicked him for another boundary. With the third ball Zahid had Suri edge to wicketkeeper Dunk for 16.
Next man Karim Janat hit Zahid for a six over mid-wicket. Chris Jordan, who was introduced for the seventh over, made it tougher for the Tigers yielding just nine runs. Tanvir had Janat caught and bowled for 12 in the eighth over. Moores hit Tanvir for two sixes and a boundary to lit up hopes of a victory.
With 23 runs needed off the last 12 overs, the accurate Jordan clean bowled next man Afif Hossain with the first ball for a duck and yielded just two runs. Qalandars introduced Mohammad Zahid again with 21 runs needed off the last six balls. He trapped Moores leg before with the first ball. Qais hit the next ball for a boundary and followed it up with a six too. Zahid gave away just one run off the last two balls to stop Tigers from reaching the target. (ANI)