Omarzai helps Warriors defend 79; Moeen leads the way in Army's win; Amir's heroics help Strikers trump Braves

Azmatullah Omarzai went bang-bang in the 21st over,
December 06, 2023

Northern Warriors 79 for 5 (Chopra 23*, Farooqi 2-19) beat Delhi Bulls 66 for 8 (Rossouw 20, Omarzai 2-6, Rahman 2-19) by 13 runs

An excellent opening burst from Azmatullah Omarzai helped Northern Warriors pull off a record-breaking performance at the Abu Dhabi T10. The 79 for 5 that they made on Wednesday is the lowest total successfully defended in the tournament's history.

Omarzai set the tone with the new ball, picking up two wickets and they were crucial ones too, sending back the big-hitting Quinton de Kock and Johnson Charles. Bulls lost a batter every over thereafter all the way to the 10th and final one where they were left needing 26 to win. Although Naveen-ul-Haq clattered a six and a four, it wasn't enough and Warriors savoured a victory that didn't seem possible. After being put in to bat, they were 0 for 2 with Fazalhaq Farooqi on a hat-trick after picking up wickets with the first two balls of the match. They managed only one score above 20, which came from the wicketkeeper Rahul Chopra. Omarzai played a timely hand with the bat as well, striking a six and a four in the final over and for all that effort he went away with the Player-of-the-Match award.

Samp Army 116 for 4 (Moeen 39*, Janat 27*, Wasim 2-11) beat Deccan Gladiators 115 for 7 (Fletcher 52*, Irshad 3-12, Qais 2-18) by six wickets

Samp Army collected their fifth win a row, as captain Moeen Ali led from the front in their chase of 116 against Deccan Gladiators. Army were 21 for 3 in the fourth over, but the middle order got the job done with six wickets and four deliveries in the bank. Moeen smacked 39* from just 15 balls, first adding 49 off only 19 deliveries for the fourth wicket with Ibrahim Zadran, and then 46 from 17 with Karim Janat.

Both Zadran and Janat too smashed runs at a rapid pace, with the former hitting 26 at a strike rate of 173, and the latter clubbing 27 at 300. But Army's win was set up by pace bowler Salman Irshad and legspinner Qais Ahmad. Irshad removed Andre Russell and Imad Wasim in the space of three deliveries, as Gladiators lost 3 for 5 in a middle-order collapse.

However, Andre Fletcher cracked an unbeaten 52 - he rammed five sixes in his 27-ball innings - thus keeping one end intact for Gladiators. Fabian Allen's cameo of 14 off six balls helped push the total to 115, although Gladiators were helped by 15 extras. But Moeen and his batting colleagues took Army home rather comfortably in the end.

New York Strikers 76 for 5 (Asif 23*, Cook 2-15, Siddique 2-21) beat Chennai Braves 75 for 9 (Roy 18, Amir 4-7, Narine 1-14) by five wickets

Four wickets in the second over left Chennai Braves in a hole from which they could hardly find their way back up, as New York Strikers strolled to a five-wicket win. After running Kobe Herft out to start the over, Strikers' Mohammad Amir struck three times in the next five balls to remove George Munsey, and both Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Charith Asalanka without scoring.

Jason Roy and Sikandar Raza briefly rebuilt with a 30-run stand from 6 for 4 at one stage, before Sunil Narine got Raza for 14 in the sixth over. Amir dismissed Roy for 18 in the eighth, and finished with 4 for 7 in two overs, as Strikers restricted Braves to 75 for 9.

But a rude shock awaited Strikers in the chase. Sam Cook nearly replicated Amir's heroics by reducing Strikers to 1 for 2 after just three balls, as openers Niroshan Dickwella and Rahmanullah Gurbaz were sent back for golden ducks. But Muhammad Waseem and Mark Deyal limited the damage by adding 30, before Asif Ali wrapped the game up for Strikers with an unbeaten 23 off just 13 balls. Their fifth successive win meant Strikers continued to top the points table.

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