Despite the initial inhibitions with a 10-over cricketing format, the Abu Dhabi T10 League has quickly become one of the most popular franchise cricket competitions that have witnessed some thunderous batting in recent years.
With the fourth edition, beginning from Thursday, January 28, seeing the likes of Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, and Andre Fletcher returning to showcase their unparalleled batting prowess at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, we look at three Abu Dhabi T10 League knocks that are revered by one and all.
Chris Lynn - 91* runs off 30 balls
Chris Lynn is often a target of criticism for his unbalanced streak of performances in all cricket formats, but when he does find his groove, the Australian is simply unstoppable.
In his solitary season for 2019/20 Abu Dhabi T10 League champions Maratha Arabians, Lynn finished as the leading run-getter with 371 runs in eight games.
The 30-year-old, released by the Indian T20 League team Kolkata in 2019, will be remembered for one of his special knocks where the opener had smashed nine fours and seven sixes in his unbeaten knock of 91 against Team Abu Dhabi.
Lynn’s 30-ball blitzkrieg had broken the previous record held by Alex Hales in the 2018/19 season.
Alex Hales - 87* runs off 32 balls
Playing a match-winning knock in the high-octane playoff clash is always a special feat and England’s Alex Hales is fondly remembered by Abu Dhabi T10 League fans for the same.
Hales had entered the first eliminator of the 2018/19 Abu Dhabi T10 League campaign with 123 runs in six games and was highly pegged to end up as the top run-scorer in the fixture. The Englishman didn’t disappoint either, smashing an unbeaten 87 in 32 balls, laced with six boundaries and eight sixes.
Maratha Arabians’ run-chase against Bengal Tigers didn’t start quite well, but Hales’s 32-run rampage in a Mohammed Nabi over had placed the Arabians at 138/3 in 10 overs. While he led the Arabians into the third-place playoff, the Nottinghamshire opener failed to produce a similar performance in the second eliminator against Northern Warriors.
Jonny Bairstow - 84* runs off 24 balls
Jonny Bairstow has always been considered to be one of the most entertaining hitters of the ball in the shortest cricket format. And while plying his trade in the Abu Dhabi T10 League in the 2018/19 season, the Englishman took it up a notch to become the highest individual scorer.
The wicketkeeper-batsman, playing for Kerala Knights, had arrived at a stage where his team was languishing at 12/2 in just nine balls into their chase of 124. Bairstow batted with a strike rate of 350.00 and was on course to become the first centurion in the Abu Dhabi T10 League.
Jonny Bairstow’s knock was eventually bettered by Afghanistan’s Mohammad Shahzad, who registered a 16-ball 74* against Sindhis.