Matchday 8: Paul Stirling’s dazzling half-century takes Team Abu Dhabi to playoffs

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Team Abu Dhabi’s Paul Stirling stepped up in the Abu Dhabi T10 when it mattered the most – in a virtual knockout match. The Irish superstar went all guns blazing on Thursday and slammed an unbeaten half-century laden with four towering sixes and five fours to help Team Abu Dhabi put up a challenging target on the board.

Along with Paul Stirling’s impressive knock, pacer Jamie Overton was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets in his kitty.

On the last day of the Super League stage, teams went all out to end with the best possible ranking before the Abu Dhabi T10 playoffs, resulting in top-notch cricket entertainment for the fans. Let’s have a look at what went down on the eighth day of 2020 ADT10.

Gladiators’ team effort sails them past the Arabians | Full scoreboard

A clinical batting display, followed by a dominant bowling effort took the Deccan Gladiators to a comfortable 29-run victory over the Maratha Arabians.

Being asked to bat first, the Gladiators had a tough start as promoting Azam Khan up the order bore no fruits. He was dismissed in the first over by Arabians’ ace spinner Pravin Tambe.

The Deccan Gladiators were then cruising on the back of Indian batsman Prashant Gupta’s brisk 35, reaching 67/1 at the halfway mark. However, Nepal pacer Sompal Kami picked two wickets in the sixth over to cap the flow of runs.

The Imran Tahir-led Gladiators were able to put a healthy 120/4 at the end of 10 overs courtesy of a big last over in which Anwar Ali extracted 25 runs.

After the break, the Maratha Arabians proved no match to the opening spell by the Gladiators, making only 13 in the powerplay overs.

At 32/2 in five overs, the sluggish batting by the Arabians sent the asking rate to almost 18 per over. Captain Mosaddek Hossain provided the only point of resistance with a 21-ball 44 but the slow start by the openers could only take the Maratha Arabians to only 91/3 in 10 overs, falling short by 29 runs.

Brief scores: Deccan Gladiators 120/4 (Anwar Ali 39*, Sompal Kami 2/12) beat Maratha Arabians 91/3 (Mosaddek Hossain 44*, Aaron Summers 1/13) by 29 runs.

Qalandars outmatched by raging Delhi Bulls | Full scorecard

The Delhi Bulls handed Qalandars their first loss of the season with a thumping nine-wicket triumph, following some excellent batting by their top-order.

Chasing 108, Bulls’ openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Evin Lewis gave a fiery start to the team. Despite the departure of Gurbaz (17), the Delhi Bulls managed to get 74/1 on the board in just five overs.

Even Lewis stitched a 64-run partnership with England international Ravi Bopara to guide the Bulls past the target in 7.2 overs and nine wickets in hand.

Earlier in the match, a tight opening spell by the Bulls’ strike bowlers, meant the powerplay overs only produced 11 runs for the Qalandars.

Sohail Akhtar, who is the highest run-scorer of 2020 ADT10, failed to get past 20 runs for the first time this season, falling to a short ball from Dwayne Bravo.

Although the Qalandars were reeling at 47/3 in five overs, Tom Banton provided some relief along with Samit Patel towards the end but could not go beyond 107/6, which eventually proved inadequate.

Brief scores: Qalandars 107/6 (Tom Banton 26, Fidel Edwards 2/25) lost to Delhi Bulls 111/1 in 7.2 overs (Evin Lewis 48*, Ahmed Daniyal 1/31) by 9 wickets.

Stirling stars as Team Abu Dhabi cruise to playoffs | Full scoreboard

In a virtual do-or-die encounter, Team Abu Dhabi came out on top in splendid fashion by beating the Bangla Tigers by 21 runs.

Being asked to bat first, Team Abu Dhabi opener Paul Stirling attacked the bowlers at every opportunity, cracking a magnificent 21-ball half-century and finishing with an unbeaten 64 (32).

At one stage, Team Abu Dhabi looked set for a 140-plus total but Tigers’ teenage pacer Matheesha Pathirana applied the choke with his slinging Malinga-like action, restricting the home team to 116/3 at the end of their allotted overs.

In the chase, the Bangla Tigers got off to a flyer with both openers getting on top of the bowlers from ball one, slamming 25 in the powerplay overs.

The Andre Fletcher-led Bangla Tigers romped to 60/2 in 30 balls but Abu Dhabi made a comeback in the next 12 deliveries, giving away only 11 runs and taking a wicket.

Jamie Overton dealt the final blow by scalping three wickets in the last over and ending with four in total to win the game by 21 runs.

Brief scores: Team Abu Dhabi 116/3 (Paul Stirling 64*, Matheesha Pathirana 2/9) beat Bangla Tigers 95/9 (Johnson Charles 59, Jamie Overton 4/24) by 21 runs.

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