Eoin Morgan and Azam Khan steer New York Strikers to a well fought win off the last ball over Deccan Gladiators

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Eoin Morgan and Azam Khan steered New York Strikers to a well fought eight-wicket win over Deccan Gladiators off the last ball in the first match of the fourth day in the Abu Dhabi T10 at the Abu Dhabi Zayed Cricket Stadium on Saturday.

They put on an unbeaten 68 runs for the third wicket with Morgan scoring a defiant unbeaten 42 off 23 balls with five boundaries and a six. Azam scored an unbeaten 26 off 20 balls with four boundaries.

They carried their team from 42 for 2 in 3.3 overs to the target withstanding some tight bowling from the Deccan Gladiators’ bowlers.  Deccan Gladiators had posted 109 for 7 through Odean Smith’s 38 and Suresh Raina’s 28 runs.

Earlier, the Deccan Gladiators won the toss and electing to bat.  They lost their opener Tom Kohler-Cadmore to the third ball of the first over from Akeal Hosein for a duck and in the next over, Matiullah Khan picked up a crucial wicket of Nicholas Pooran for just seven runs. Jason Roy followed the suit in the following over,

After the early wickets, the mantle of taking the team to a good score fell on India’s experienced all-rounder Suresh Raina and David Wiese, two consistent performer in franchise leagues. Wiese escaped being caught behind off Matiullah Khan in  the fourth over as Azam failed to take the inside edge.

In an eventful fifth over, Thompson got hit for 17 runs but also picked up the prized scalps of Andre Russell and David Wiese.

With half the side back in the dug-out by the half way mark for just 42 runs on board, New York Strikers wanted to go for the kill. But Muhammad Waseem bowled the sixth over giving away 12 runs. Wahab Riaz was introduced for the seventh over to tighten things up but Odean Smith hit him for a six and a boundary, scoring 20 runs off the over.

The Gladiators finished on a high from a disastrous 37 for 5 in 4.4 overs to Deccan Gladiators posted 109 for 7 at the end of the 10th over. They amassed 35 runs in the last three overs and ended the innings with momentum on their side.

After the break, New York Strikers chase began on a sensational note. Opener Andre Fletcher scored a six off the first ball of the innings from Josh Little and mustered 16 runs of that over. However, Little had the final laugh, dismissing him.

The second over from Tom Helm yielded just three runs but opener Stirling used the third over well hitting Zahoor Khan for two consecutive sixes, both to mid-wicket. Odean Smith who bowled the fourth over too was hit for a six and a boundary off his first two deliveries by Stirling. With the third ball Smith ended Stirling’s knock having him caught by Wiese at deep mid-wicket.  Zahoor Khan bowled a brilliant second over giving away only eight runs.

New York Strikers’ hopes rested on Eoin Morgan and Azam Khan for the chase to be completed and the Pakistan hitter lived up to the hype with some big hitting. He smashed Russell for 12 runs in the sixth over, followed by 14 runs in the seventh over. Morgan joined the party with three boundaries in the next two overs, taking the side closer to the target.

With 19 runs coming in the penultimate over, the side needed just six runs and they managed to complete the chase off the final delivery of the match. Azam finished the match with a single towards midwicket, helping his side win by 8 wickets.

Brief scores:

Deccan Gladiators 109/7 in 10 overs (Suresh Raina 28, Odean Smith 38, Akeal Hosein 2/9, Jordan Thompson 2/34) lost to New York Strikers 110/2 in 10 overs (Paul Stirling 25, Eoin Morgan 42*, Azam Khan 26*)

Player of the Match: Eoin Morgan

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