Sharjah: Bengal Tigers avenged their defeat to Maratha Arabians in the first eliminator to clinch third place in the second edition of the T10 League with an impressive six-wicket victory at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
Restricting Arabians to 121 for six, Bengal’s 20-year-old West Indies batsman Sherfane Rutherford hit 46 runs off just 21 balls with six sixes and a boundary to ensure the victory with five balls to spare.
Playing his first match for Arabians, Adam Lyth, who had scored a phenomenal 161 off 73 balls for Yorkshire against Northants at Headingley in August 2017 (T20’s highest individual score in England and the third highest T20 score in the world), topscored with a breezy 52 off 24 balls with seven boundaries and two sixes.
Arabians opener Kamran Akmal fell to the third ball of the first over from Al Khan for a duck.
Next man Lyth hit the first ball he faced for a boundary while opener Hazratullah Zazai hit the last ball for a straight six.
In the second over, Zazai, after square-cutting Morne Morkel for a boundary, pulled the next one into the crowd.
Lyth too opened out by hitting Kevon Cooper for two sixes and a boundary.
Zazai did not spare his country man Mohammad Nabi and hit him to deep midwicket for another six.
Playing his first match for Arabians, Adam Lyth topscored with a breezy 52 off 24 balls with seven boundaries and two sixes.
At the halfway mark, Arabians were 69 for one with Lyth overtaking Zazai’s score.
In the sixth over, Zazai lifted Mujeeb Ur Rehman for a six but fell to the next ball getting caught by Rutherford for 39.
Lyth continued to stroke brilliantly and raced to his half-century in 22 balls. He fell in the seventh over, bowled by Morkel, for 52. Next man Rashid Khan hit Mujeeb for a six over the covers to steer Arabians past the 100 run mark. Mujeeb got him out the next ball.
Arabians needed some big hits from their skipper Dwayne Bravo with only 12 balls to go but he fell top edging Rayad Emirt to Cooper for 2. Ali Khan, who bowled the last over, clean bowled James Vince for 6. Arabians were restricted to 121 for 6.
Chasing the score, Bengal openers Sunil Narine and UAE’s Mohammad Usman gave a quick start. Narine hit Lyth for a six over long off while Usman hit Amir Hayat to deep backward point for a six. They put on 27 runs in 2.3 overs when Gleeson had Narine caught at mid-on by Reolof van der Merwe for 15. Usman hit for two successive sixes while Sherfane Rutherford hit Faulkner over covers for a six. Usman fell to a brilliant catch by Bravo off Faulkner for 28 runs. Bravo, who bowled the sixth over, removed Nabi for six. Unaffected by the fall of wickets, Rutherford hit Rashid Khan for a four consecutive sixes to take the game away from Arabians.