Faf Du Plessis’ Bangla Tigers completed another comprehensive win on Thursday when they defeated Deccan Gladiators by 9 wickets in the Abu Dhabi T10 2021.
Just like in the match against The Chennai Braves, Will Jacks and Hazratullah Zazai made most of the strong foundation provided by Johnson Charles’ big hitting at the top of the order. Courtesy of Zazai’s unbeaten 26-ball-59, the Tigers took only 8.1 overs to overhaul the target of 117. Their third win took them to the third spot on the points table, where they find themselves sandwiched between Deccan Gladiators and Delhi Bulls, both teams with three wins in their bag.
Following their 19-ball 67-run partnership in the previous match, Charles and Zazai gave another blistering start to Bangla Tigers’ innings. By the time Charles fell to Odean Smith on the final ball of the second over, the team had put on 34 runs on the board. His dismissal didn’t do much to stem the flow of runs as his replacement at the crease, Will Jacks, displayed the full repertoire of his shots to ensure the required run rate never became threatening.
Captain Wahab Riaz threw the ball to Wanindu Hasaranga for his second over when the Tigers decided to go for their batting powerplay. However, Zazai nullified the Hasaranga threat by hitting the leg-spinner for three big hits on the leg side, taking his team closer to the target. His second six of the over brought the 50 run partnership between him and Jacks. The left-hander reached his own half-century in style in the next over when he slogged Sultan Ahmed for another six in the eighth over. Fittingly, the winning runs also came off his bat when he deposited a Tom Banton full toss for four over long-on.
Earlier, the Deccan Gladiators openers started with a flurry of boundaries but Mohammad Aamir, playing his first match of the tournament, pegged the innings back by dismissing Tom-Kohler Cadmore. In the subsequent overs, James Faulkner and Karim Jamat also picked a wicket apiece on either side of a hat-trick of sixes. With Andre Russell and Tom Banton at the crease, the Gladiators opted for the powerplay at the end of the fourth over. However, they could only go one over without losing a wicket as Benny Howell sent back the danger man Russell with a slower ball.
David Wiese started dealing in sixes right from his arrival at the crease and remained unfazed by Banton’s dismissal in the seventh over. He found the perfect ally in Odean Smith whose eight-ball 26 took Deccan Gladiators past the 100-run mark. The last two overs of the Gladiators innings yielded 33 runs and helped them post a challenging 116 on the board.
Brief scores: Bangla Tigers 118/1 (Hazratullah Zazai 59*, Will Jacks 28*; Odean Smith 1-21) beat Deccan Gladiators 116/5 (Odean Smith 26*, David Wiese 25*; Benny Howell 2-16)
Featured photo: Abu Dhabi T10