The third edition of the Abu Dhabi T10 League kicked off on Friday with three tension-filled and electrifying games. The night’s cricketing action saw the reigning champions, the Northern Warriors, cement victory over Dwayne Bravo’s Maratha Arabians, the Delhi Bulls snatch triumph from the hands of the Deccan Gladiators, and Team Abu Dhabi and Team Qalandars draw in a tight final game between the two finely-matched sides.
In the first match, Northern Warriors continued from where they left in the previous edition, as they were ruthless in their title defence. Winning the toss, they elected to field, dismissing opener Adam Lyth on the very first ball. Chris Lynn (4) and Chadwick Walton (24) were also dismissed cheaply. Yuvraj Singh, who made his debut in the league, failed to shine as well, as Maratha Arabians were left struggling at 35/4.
The Arabians were restricted to 88. In the run-chase, Andre Russell shined with the bat, bringing his classic big cricket to score his half-century in 21 balls, leading the Warriors to a comprehensive 9-wicket win.
Deccan Gladiators took on Delhi Bulls in the second match of the league, where the match came down to the final over with the Bulls snatching a seven-wicket win. Shane Watson scored a half-century for Gladiators after Bulls invited them to bat first, as the side scored 102 runs in 10 overs.
Ireland’s Paul Stirling and Sri Lanka’s Kusal Perera began an aggressive chase for the Bulls, but both were dismissed in the third over by the lightning balls of Zahir Khan. Their dismissals brought out cricketing legends Angelo Mathews and Eoin Morgan. The two frustrated the efforts of Gladiators’ bowlers, including Mason Crane and Zahoor Khan, as Morgan pulled 47 runs off 24 deliveries to secure a seven-wicket victory for the Bulls.
The final match of the day ended in a draw, with both the sides scoring 103 in a nail-biting thriller. Team Qalandars elected to field, and New Zealand's Corey Anderson top-scored for Team Abu Dhabi with 43 off 22 balls. In the run-chase, Qalandars needed 8 off the final over to seal victory, but a tight over from South Africa's Merchant de Lange denied them the victory.
The action from the Abu Dhabi T10 League returns on Saturday with Deccan Gladiators facing off against Bangla Tigers, the Delhi Bulls charging against Karnataka Tuskers, and Team Qalandars up against the Northern Warriors.