Dubai: In one of the most thrilling finishes of the Alubond Abu Dhabi T10 League so far, Northern Warriors pipped Team Abu Dhabi in a last-ball finish in the second Super League match of the day at the Abu Dhabi Zayed Cricket Stadium on Monday.
Chasing Team Abu Dhabi’s challenging total of 123 for three, Warriors rode a superb efforts from Waseem Muhammed - whose fighting 76 off 34 balls contained six sixes and seven boundaries - and opener Lendl Simmons’ unbeaten 37 off 25 balls to take their team over the line by eight wickets.
Warriors won the toss and followed the trend of electing to field first. The match got off to a sensational start when Wahab Riaz cleaned up Paul Stirling with the first ball of the match with 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 stay 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 three in 3.1 overs.
Joe Clarke counter-attacked by hitting Siddique for two consecutive boundaries. Warriors brought back Riaz for the fifth over to make it tougher for Abu Dhabi and he gave away just eight runs, and at the halfway mark, Abu Dhabi was only 56 for three. Clarke opened out in the eighth over and hit Emrit for two sixes and as many 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.
Northern Warriors went for their big hits right away through Simmons and Muhammad. The Caribbean opener 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.
Warriors needed 53 runs from the next six overs and Muhammad upped the ante with two consecutive sixes. With 31 runs needed off the last two overs, Simmons smashed McCoy through the covers for a boundary. He 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 to long-on.
With three runs needed off the last four deliveries, Overton trapped Muhammad leg before for 76. Nicholas Pooran walked in when three runs were needed off the last three balls, but he perished in lifting Overton straight to McCoy at long-on. Powell replaced Pooran and hit Overton to mid-wicket off the last ball, but a fumble by Mustafa gave them the required two runs.
Brief scores: Northern Warriors beat Team Abu Dhabi by 8 wickets. Team Abu Dhabi 123 for 3 in 10 overs (Luke Wright 33, Joe Clarke 50 n.o, Ben Duckett 31n.o.) Northern Warriors 124 for 2 in 10 overs (Lendl Simmons 37n.o, Waseem Muhammad 76, Jamie Overton 2 for 25). Man of the Match: Waseem Muhammad.