Team Abu Dhabi redeemed some pride as they choked Qalandars by 21 runs to finish third in the Alubond Abu Dhabi T10 League at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi which concluded on Saturday.
Qalandars, who had hit a sudden slump after peaking early in the tournament, could not really keep up with the chase of a target of 125 and finished at 103 for the loss of five wickets in their allotted overs. Rohan Mustafa, the former UAE captain and a mingy off-spinner, was instrumental in checking the run-flow early as he finished with figures of 2-0-19-2 while Palaniapan Meiyappan claimed one for 21.
Sent in to bat, the Luke Wright-led team were off to a quick start before Paul Stirling, their Irish opener, fell for 26. Team Abu Dhabi thereafter started losing wickets in regular intervals till Nazibullah Zadran, the Afghanistan veteran, hit an unbeaten 45 to take his side to a challenging total of 124 for six wickets off their 10 overs. Zadran took just 16 deliveries for his innings, which was studded with five fours and two sixes.
Mohammad Zahid turned out to be the most effective bowler for Qalandars as he claimed two wickets for just 10 runs while Sohail Tanvir, the left-arm swing bowler from Pakistan took one for 12 runs.
Chasing a competitive target of 125, Qalandars lost the experienced Ben Dunk, the Australian wicketkeeper-batsman cheaply when he was dismissed by Mustafa for 13. Daniel Bell-Drummond, the Kent batsman, took the attack to the rival camp when he topscored with 46 off 19 balls, his innings being studded with five fours and three sixes.
However, the Qalandars’ chase lacked steam as none of the other batsmen could reach double figures expect skipper Sohail Akhtar (17).