Matchday 7: Hazratullah Zazai makes Bangla Tigers roar

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Abu Dhabi T10 season 5’s matchday 7 belonged to the chasing teams as the Bangla Tigers and Delhi Bulls cruised to comfortable victories over the Deccan Gladiators and Northern Warriors, respectively.

Chasing down a modest 117 against the Gladiators, a masterful half-century by Afghanistan batsman Hazratullah Zazai guided the Tigers to their third successive victory of the season.

In the second match, despite captain Rovman Powell’s valiant rescue act in the middle overs for Northern Warriors, Dwayne Bravo’s Delhi Bulls easily chased down 129 on the back of a fantastic 116-run opening wicket stand between Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Luke Wright.

Hazratullah Zazai blitzkrieg trumps Deccan Gladiators | Full Scorecard

In the first match of the day, the Bangla Tigers captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and elected to bowl against the Deccan Gladiators. The bowlers backed up the decision with a fine display, too, picking up wickets at regular intervals and reduced the Gladiators to 53/4 halfway through the innings.

Only opener Tom Banton (30 from 18 balls) held the fort at one end amid the early Bangla Tigers onslaught. After Andre Russell departed, David Weise (25 off 14 balls) came to the crease and put up a solid 30-run partnership with Banton to steady the ship.

Banton, however, was sent packing by Benny Howell with the Deccan Gladiators at 83/5. Odean Smith’s late cameo of 26 from 8 balls helped Wahab Riaz’s boys to a defendable total of 116/5.

During their chase, Bangla Tigers barely broke a sweat. Opener Johnson Charles set the tone with a quickfire 22 off 10 balls before Odeon Smith sent him back to the pavilion in the second over with the Tigers at 34/1.

From there on, it was a Hazratullah Zazai show. The Afghan took the attack to the opposition bowlers and reached his 50 in just 22 deliveries en route to an unbeaten 26-ball 59, comprising three boundaries and five sixes. The young Will Jacks (28* off 13) supported him from the opposite end.

The Bangla Tigers reached their target with 11 balls and nine wickets to spare to register their third victory on the bounce.

Brief Scores: Deccan Gladiators 116/5 (Tom Banton 30, Benny Howell 2-16) lost to Bangla Tigers 118/1 (Hazratullah Zazai 59*, Odeon Smith 1-21)

Rahmanullah Gurbaz-Luke Wright opening stand sinks Northern Warriors | Full Scorecard

In the second match of the day, Delhi Bulls captain Dwayne Bravo guessed the coin toss correctly and sent Northern Warriors to bat.

The defending champions were pushed on the backfoot early and found themselves reduced to 34/3. Northern Warriors captain Rovman Powell (56 off 22 balls) along with Ross Whiteley (26 off 9 balls), though, put up a 66 run partnership to rescue their team.

Just when it looked like the Warriors would be pushing for a late flourish, three quick wickets by the Delhi Bulls bowlers restricted them to 128/6.

Chasing 129, Delhi Bulls openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (70 from 32 balls) and Luke Wright (40* off 18 balls) gave their team a dream start and continued clearing the boundary at regular intervals.

Though Umair Ali managed to remove Gurbaz from the crease in the eighth over, it was a little too late for a comeback.

Though there was a late wobble with Sherfane Rutherford forced to retire hurt and Rayad Emrit dismissing Romario Shepherd, Eoin Morgan wrapped the affair up with a maximum in the second-last delivery of the match.

Brief Scores: Northern Warriors 128/6 (Rovman Powell 56, Shiraz Ahmed 2-22) lost to Delhi Bulls 133/2 (Rahmanullah Gurbaz 70, Umair Ali 1-19)

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