Dubai: Delhi Bulls captain Dwayne Bravo showed on Friday why he is still held in such high esteem in the world of franchise cricket. The West Indies claimed two wickets for 14 runs, and alongwith Waqas Maqsood and Nyeem Young, destroyed Northern Warriors’ batting line-up to set up their entry in the final of the Alubond Abu Dhabi T10 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Bravo, who had captained Maratha Arabians to their title triumph in the last edition, took the prize wickets of Warriors skipper Nicholas Pooran and aggressive Lendl Simmons. He was backed by Maqsood (2/24) and Nyeem Young (2/22) to restrict the Warriors to 97 for seven in the allotted 10 overs.
Chasing the moderate target, Sherfane Rutherford through a breezy 29 off 10 balls while Tom Abell’s 11-ball unbeaten 23 ensured Bulls a five-wicket win with eight balls to spare in the first qualifier. Warriors’ UAE medium pacer Junaid Siddique bowled brilliantly to take four wickets for 20 runs but Abell and Ravi Bopara (15 not out) held on to steer their team safely to the target.
Opting to bowl first, Waqas Maqsood of Bulls struck with the second ball of the first over when he bowled Brandon King for two. Pooran began in his usual style by going for the big shots right away, despatching the first three balls he faced from Maqsood for boundaries. Maqsood struck again with the first ball of the second over by forcing Waseem to edge to wicketkeeper Rahmanullah Gurbaz for five.
Bravo introduced himself and picked the prize wicket of Pooran by having him caught at long on by Tom Abell for 32 from just 12 deliveries. At the halfway mark, Warriors were struggling at 51 for four.
Chasing the target, the aggressive Gurbaz slammed Wahab Riaz’s second delivery of the first over to backward square leg for a six and followed it up with a boundary. Rutherford then joined the party, carving an upper cut off Siddique over backward point for a six. With the next ball, he trapped Rutherford leg before for 29. Siddique also trapped Mohammad Nabi leg before with the last ball of the fourth over.
Bulls were 60 for four at one stage, needing another 38 runs from the last five overs. After Bravo departed for only five, Abell joined Ravi Bopara and together they took up the challenge. The former first hit Parnell for a six to mid-wicket, then picked up the South African pacer for two consecutive boundaries to place Bulls close to the target.
Bopara eventually finished off in style by hitting Allen for a six over long-off to put his team in to the final.
Brief Scores: Delhi Bulls beat Northern Warriors by five wickets.
Northern Warriors 97 for seven in 10 overs (Nicholas Pooran 32; Waqas Maqsood 2/24, D. Bravo 2 for 14, N. Young 2 for 22) Delhi Bulls 102 for 5 in 8.4 overs (Sherfane Rutherford 29, Tom Bell 23n.o, Junaid Siddiqui 4 for 20). Player of the Match: Dwayne Bravo.