Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi T-10 League got off to a perfect start when UAE’s wicketkeeper-batsman Abdul Shakoor Bangash hit a 28-ball 73 to help defending champions Maratha Arabians register a five-wicket win over Northern Warriors in the first game of the day at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Friday.
The Arabians were set a target of 128 by the Warriors. Although Javed Ahmadi fell early in the chase and Laurie Evans contributed only nine after coming in at No. 3, Shakoor launched a counter-attack and dispatched the bowlers to all corners of the park.
Hitting seven fours and five sixes, the 35-year-old brought the required run-rate down under six. However, with only 11 runs needed off the final two overs, the Arabians threw away their advantage as Shakoor fell getting a top-edge.
Wayne Parnell, defending eight off the last over, brought his experience into play as he nailed yorkers off the first four balls to bring the equation down to five off two balls. An unfortunate misfield from Lendl Simmons off the penultimate delivery went for four before Mosaddek Hossain smashed another boundary off the final ball to take his team over the line.
After being put in to bat by the Maratha Arabians, the Northern Warriors got off to a decent start thanks to the West Indian duo of Lendl Simmons and Brandon King. King took a liking to senior pro Mohammad Hafeez, hitting him for three sixes in the fourth over and putting the Arabians firmly on the backfoot. He was then run out by a smart piece of work by Shakoor, but Warriors captain Nicholas Pooran ensured that momentum was not lost with a nine-ball 19.
After Pooran holed out in the deep, a seven-ball blitz from Rovman Powell took the Warriors to a competitive total of 127/2. Simmons finished on an unbeaten 31-ball 54, while India’s Pravin Tambe was the most economical bowler for the Arabians - giving away only 17 runs in his two overs.
The winners face the Delhi Bulls on Friday while the Warriors take on the Bulls on January 30.