SPO 191117 Raza celebrates-1573999321944
UAE skipper Ahmad Raza (centre) is lauded by Karnataka Tuskers teammates for his match winning bowling performance on Saturday. Image Credit: Organisers

Abu Dhabi: UAE skipper and left-arm spinner Ahmad Raza held the UAE cricket’s banner high with a splendid match-winning performance for Karnataka Tuskers against Delhi Bulls on Saturday.

He picked the prized wicket of Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Mathews and England’s Adil Rashid at a crucial juncture of the game and bagged the Man of the Match award.

Speaking to Gulf News after playing a vital role in the victory, Raza said: “It’s a good feeling as an UAE player and captain to utilise the opportunity given through T10 to showcase our talent at the franchise level and play a role in the victory.”

When asked about Mathews’ wicket, Raza said: “Angelo is a dangerous player and can change the game on his own. It feels good to have a success against a fine player like him.” Mathews, who went for a slog sweep, edged Raza’s round-the-wicket delivery to wicketkeeper Shafiqullah Shafiq for 31.

A regular at this ground, Raza knew how the wicket would behave here. “I had played in the ICC T20 World Cup qualifiers here and the wicket was similar to the one two weeks ago.”

Basics stay the same

Karnataka Tuskers captain and South African great Hashim Amla feels that in the T10 format too, the basics of the game will remain the same.

“The basics of the game will remain until the game becomes a one-over game. If you look at the way Upul Tharanga (who top scored with 48 runs for Tuskers) played, you can see that he played really good shots, straight-bat shots but with little bit of innovation here and there. Towards the backend, we also saw Shafiqullah (Shafiq) play typical reverse taps. Those type of things have become part and parcel of the game and I think the basics will stand for this format too.”

Qalandars conquer champions without Pakistan stars

Qalandars team was supposed to be made up of Pakistan’s star players but the Pakistan Cricket Board’s decision not to give NOC to their players hit this team badly.

After defeating defending champions Northern Warriors by 66 runs in the third match on Saturday, their skipper Dawid Malan revealed how they handled this pressure to win the match.

“We obviously had a squad that was put together quite late but all these cricketers that we have in the team are really good young players who are coming through from domestic cricket and the white-ball cricket in England, which is getting stronger at the moment. These guys are hungry to do well, they really want to show off their talent and to compete with the best.”

It was a 21-year-old wicketkeeper batsman Tom Banton, who plays for Somerset, who topscored for Qalandars with 53 runs.