A little chat with Kumar Sangakkara, mentor of the team, helped Chris Gayle to fire for Team Abu Dhabi for the first time in the second match of the day in the Super League stage of Abu Dhabi T10 League on Wednesday.
‘‘I had picked up a few good tips from Sangakkara, who is a legend of the game, about my batting and was more alert today,’’ a candid Gayle remarked during a post-match chat after his blazing knock of unbeaten 84 (off 22 deliveries) helped them his team make a shortwork of Maratha Arabians’ total of 97 for four at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Wednesday. Team Abu Dhabi, who had been having a stop-start campaign so far, overhauled the target with plenty to spare to win by nine wickets after only 5.3 overs.
‘‘It feels good to be among the runs again. Some of the young players of the team told me they have seen me but haven’t seen the gaylestorm,’’ the ‘Universe Boss’ said tongue in cheek. ‘‘We are still in it. We have got an important game tomorrow and if we win it, we can still be in the hunt,’’ he said.
Deciding to field first, Team Abu Dhabi restricted Arabians to a below-par total in which UAE international Alishan Sharafu scored a smart 33. As the chase began, Gayle chose it to be his day and soon he started clearing various parts of the guard with trademark ease as 78 of his runs came in boundaries - six fours and nine sixes. The strike-rate: an unbelievable 381.82.
Earlier in the first game of the day, the mighty Qalandars extend their winning run by scuttling Bangla Tigers’ hopes to record an exciting seven-run win to register their fifth win in as many matches.
Tigers did well to restrict Qalandars to 104 for three despite skipper Sohail Akhtar’s unbeaten 49 and Ben Dunk’s 31 runs. Tigers tried their best to pull off a victory but Sohail Tanvir and Mohammad Zahid claimed two wickets each, and backed by Chris Jordan and Ahmed Daniyal’s tight overs, upset their plans.
Brief Scores: Qalandars bt Bangla Tigers by seven runs. Qalandars 104 for 3 in 10 overs (Sohail Akhtar 49 n,o, Ben Dunk 31) Bangla Tigers 97 for six in 10 overs (Tom Moores 39, Sohail Tanvir 2 for 20. Mohammad Zahid 2 for 28). Player of the Match: Ahmad Daniyal.
Team Abu Dhabi bt Maratha Arabians by nine wickets. Maratha Arabians 97 for four in 10 ov (A.Sharafu 33, O. McCoy 2/20) vs Team Abu Dhabi 100/1 off 5.3 overs (C.Gayle 84 not out, P.Stirling 11). MoM: Chris Gayle.