Moment of the Day: 3 wickets, 1 run! Shiraz Ahmed’s final-over heroics

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The Abu Dhabi T10 2022 provided some breathtaking action on Thursday, with some power-hitting backed by a couple of match-winning spells.

While Dwaine Pretorius, Tim David, Tom Banton, Akeal Hosein and James Fuller were impressive, Shiraz Ahmed grabbed the headlines for all the right reasons. Courtesy of his decisive last over, Shiraz Ahmed gave us the Moment of the Day.

Delhi Bulls’ Shiraz Ahmed sets up thrilling victory

In the second match of the day, Delhi Bulls played Northern Warriors. The Warriors were set up nicely in the run-chase by Usman Khan and Sherfane Rutherford. With them at the crease and only seven runs needed off the final over, Shiraz Ahmed, the left-arm pacer, was asked to defend the target.

Usman flicked the first ball towards deep square for a single. Rutherford, on the other hand, went for the glory shot on the second ball, only to get caught at deep point. Shiraz followed up with a searing full-length delivery, conceding a leg bye to Liam Dawson.

Usman Khan, the set batter, looked set to deliver the winning runs on the fourth ball. However, another crisp yorker on the middle and off stump trapped Usman on the pads and got him LBW while he tried to scoop it for a boundary.

Shiraz Ahmed held his nerve on the penultimate ball, bowling another lovely full outside-off delivery to new batter Mark Deyal, who failed to make a connection. Shiraz capped off a superb last over with a low full toss on the pads, which Deyal played straight into the hands of Dwayne Bravo at fine leg.

Shiraz Ahmed conceded just one run and took three wickets. He was awarded the Man of the Match for a sensational final over.

Earlier in the match, Tim Banton’s 18-ball 38 and Tim David’s cameo of 42 from 18 took Delhi Bulls to a competitive score of 119/4 after 10 overs. While the pitch had variable bounce, only Mohammad Irfan’s spell of 1/14 put the batters under scrutiny.

Banton, who started gingerly, picked up the pace in the second over. Meanwhile, David provided a flourish at the end, including four-consecutive boundaries against Junaid Siddique in the penultimate over.

Chasing the total, Northern Warriors lost a couple of wickets early on. However, Usman Khan and Rovman Powell’s 53-run partnership put them in the driver’s seat. Rutherford carried the momentum after the dismissal of Powell in the sixth over.

But Shiraz Ahmed’s brilliance decided the game in the Bulls’ favour by four runs.

Morrisville Samp Army march to first win

Debutants Morrisville Samp Army got the better of Bangla Tigers by 15 runs, winning their first game of ADT10 2022. Dwaine Pretorius’ match-defining spell of 3/11 helped the Moeen Ali-led outfit successfully defend their total.

After choosing to field first, Benny Howell provided two early breakthroughs for Bangla Tigers, dismissing openers Moeen Ali and Johnson Charles. David Miller also failed to make an impact with the bat for Samp Army.

However, Shimron Hetmyer played a swashbuckling 21-ball 38 and was helped by Karim Janat’s 22 off 14 to accelerate in the final few overs. George Garton provided the finishing touches in the last over, smashing three boundaries, to help the debutants post 100 on the scoreboard in 10 overs.

Evin Lewis and Hazratullah Zazai threatened to tee off early in the run chase for Bangla Tigers. But Dwaine Pretorius came on in the fourth over and broke the 39-run opening partnership.

Zazai and Joe Clarke found it difficult to score quickly against Anrich Nortje and Co. and struggled to catch up with the required run rate. Pretorius firmly tilted the scales in favour of Samp Army in the eighth over, dismissing Zazai and Clarke on the second and sixth ball, respectively.

Ben Cutting and Colin Munro were also kept quiet with the bat as Garton and Janat guided Samp Army home.

New York Strikers off the mark

The second new team of Season 6, New York Strikers also registered their first ADT10 win, beating The Chennai Braves by 27 runs in the final match of the day. Paul Stirling’s 32-run blitzkrieg helped the Strikers pile 99 runs in their 10 overs. While it did not look like a daunting total, Akeal Hosein and Jordan Thompson’s economical and wicket-laden spells derailed the Braves.

After being put in to bat, Stirling teed off early, scoring a few boundaries within the first three overs. However, Sikandar Raza and James Fuller halted the Strikers’ momentum, dismissing Eoin Morgan and Kieron Pollard along with Stirling.

Cameos from Romario Shepherd and Jordan Thompson towards the fag end of the innings helped the team reach 99/6.

It was a blockbuster start from the Strikers with the ball. Akeal Hosein, Ravi Rampaul and Jordan Thompson put the Braves on the back foot, taking four wickets in the first five overs while conceding only 20 runs.

Carlos Brathwaite and Vriitya Aravind tried playing the rescue act towards the death overs. However, the early damage proved irreparable as The Chennai Braves finished 72/6 in 10 overs.

Shiraz Ahmed’s thrilling final over sets up Delhi Bulls’ four-run win over Northern Warriors
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