Eoin Morgan. Image Credit: Organisers

Abu Dhabi: Delhi Bulls fought valiantly to stop Qalandars in their final match of the Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10 League but their effort went in vain.

Despite being restricted to 98-8 after slipping to 46-6, the Bulls’ bowlers fought hard.

First, Mohammad Nabi played a stupendous knock of 48 from 21 balls while their bowlers almost won the match.

Qalandars, who have gained the winning momentum, won with one ball to spare as Tom Kohler Cadmore top scored with 27 runs.

Sussex’s young left-arm pacer George Garton hit a boundary and a six off the fourth and fifth ball of the last over from Ravi Rampaul and gifted Qalandars a nail-biting win and remained unbeaten through his timely 10 runs.

Eoin Morgan, the captain of the Bulls team, who arrived here as the World Cup-winning captain, was disappointed.

When Gulf News asked Morgan as to why the Bulls, who looked a strong side, could not gain the winning momentum, he said: “On paper, we looked really strong at the beginning of the tournament. We sort of lagged a little bit probably from the game that we tied. That hurt us a lot. I thought we played really well in that game and in games when you play really well, you need to win. Otherwise, the law of averages, you will play poorly in a couple of games. I thought today was an average game for us but we fought back really well and to get it to go to the second last ball of the game is a great effort from our bowlers.”

Morgan then hailed Nabi and bowed before the unpredictable nature of T10 format. “Nabi has had a good game with the bat but like we talked about at the beginning of the tournament,” he said. “T10 cricket can be unpredictable and you are dealing with form, games come thick and fast, you need to play very aggressive cricket and that’s not always easy.”

When asked whether the Bulls were missing strength in any particular area of the game, Morgan said: “I don’t think we lacked in any department. Like I said, on paper, we are really strong, it was a matter of execution and we didn’t execute it in the key moments of the game. We didn’t play as well as we would’ve hoped probably with the bat and the ball.”

Qalandars skipper David Malan was delighted that his team are on a roll. “Momentum is a tough one,” he said. “If you play good cricket consistently you can win some tight games. You must try to not lose game especially in the shorter format. It is tough to win every game but when you win you will have things going your way and you have to try and cash. Today we would have been disappointed if we lost the game after the way we started with the ball. Hopefully we can build on this and move to the next game and take that confidence we picked up in the last two games.”

Malan too hailed Nabi’s knock and said: “He played fantastically well. Sometimes you have to take your hat off and salute when a batsman play swell. Maybe we did not execute as well as we wanted (and allowed the Bulls to escape from 46-6). Missing Chris Jordan (arm injury) as our death bowler is a massive loss. Jordan Clarke having to bowl that last over without bowling a ball was tough.”

Brief scores:

Qalandars bt Delhi Bulls by 3 wkts. Delhi Bulls 98-8 in 10 overs (Mohammad Nabi 48; Mujeeb ur Rehman 2-8, George Garton 2-8)

Qalandars 104-7 in 9.5 overs (Tom Kohler Cadmore 27, Zaheer Khan 2-8, Waheed Ahmed 2-18)

Maratha Arabians bt Bangla Tigers by 7 wkts. Bangla Tigers 106-7 in 10 overs (Tom Moores 43n.o, Kasun Rajitha 2 for 18, Dwayne Bravo 2 for 24)

Maratha Arabians 107-3 in 8.3 overs (Chris Lynn 23, Yuvraj Singh 23n.o, Najibullah Zadran 36n.o)