A spirited bowling display by New York Strikers restricted Northern Warriors to 88 for 3 in 10 overs. Northern Warriors, however, refused to surrender easily and fought till the last over before losing the match by three wickets with only five balls remaining in the ninth match of the Abu Dhabi T10 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.
Northern Warriors total of 88 was mainly through Colin Munro, who hit an unbeaten 44 off 27 balls with three boundaries and three sixes. Though New York Strikers thought it would be an easy win, wickets began to fall regularly. Led by Northern Warriors’ skipper Angelo Mathews, Abhimanyu Mithin and Tabraiz Shamsi , each of them picked two wickets to almost pull off an exciting win.
Muhammad Waseem (23) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (22) played a vital role in this well fought New York Strikers’ win. This defeat snapped Northern Warrior’s run of two consecutive victories.
New York Strikers won the toss and elected to bowl. Northern Warriors’ hard-hitting opening pair of Kennar Lewis and Hazratullah Zazai , that had put on a 106 runs partnership in their last match to record a ten-wicket win over Team Abu Dhabi, lasted only five balls. Akeal Hosein had Lewis clean bowled for 4.
One-drop Colin Munro joined Zazai, who edged Mohammad Amir for a boundary to third man. Amir gave away only one boundary in that over. Sunil Narine too bowled a tight third over giving away only six runs. The first six of the day came off Munro’s bat off Karunaratne over fine leg. Zazai also hit a boundary off Karunaratne. Still runs did not come at the rate at which Northern Warriors had hoped for.
Narine was re-introduced for the fifth over and all that Munro could manage was a boundary. At the half way mark, Northern Warriors could post only 34 for 1. The tight bowling continued with Karunaratne bowling a miserly sixth over giving away just four runs and the score board read an unimpressive 38 for 1 with only four more overs to go.
Muhammad Jawadullah made it tougher by having Zazai clean bowled for 17 with the fifth ball of the seventh over. Northern Warriors’ score went past the 50-run mark only off the first ball of the the eighth over through Munro’s six off Amir over the covers.
He also cut Amir’s fifth delivery for another six over third man. Eighteen runs came off that over. Sunil Narine did not pick any wicket but gave away only 11 runs in his two overs and that strangled the run flow.
James Neesham hit two consecutive boundaries off Jawadullah off the second and third deliveries. Munro hit the fifth and sixth deliveries for boundaries to take another 18 runs off the ninth over. The last over was bowled by George Scrimshaw.
He had Neesham caught by Asif Ali at long-on for 10 with the third delivery and gave away just six runs in the final over to restrict Northern Warriors to 88 for 3 in 10 overs. Munro remained unbeaten on 44 off 27 balls with three boundaries and three sixes.
Having to score only at run rate of 8.80 per over, New York Strikers’ openers Muhammad Waseem and Rahmanullah Gurbaz began by scoring nine runs off Mathews’ first over. The second over from Abhimanyu Mithun saw Waseem pick a boundary and a six. By the end of the third over, New York Strikers were at a commanding 35 for no loss.
Tabraiz Shamsi, who bowled the fourth over, had Waseem caught by Adam Hose at deep mid-wicket while attempting a slog shot for 23. Kusal Perera joined Gurbaz and steered the score past the 50-run mark in 4.5 overs. At the half way mark, New York Strikers needed only 36 runs more from the remain five overs.
Shamsi struck again in the sixth over to clean bowl Gurbaz for 22. Skipper Kieron Pollard hit Shamsi to deep mid-wicket for a boundary but fell in the next over mistiming a pull into the hands of Omarzai at square leg off Mithun for 5. Perera hit Mithun for a boundary to mid-wicket but pulled the next into the hands of Hose for 8.
With 22 runs needed in 18 balls, Mathews struck to get Odean Smith pull to Neesham for 1. Though Asif Ali picked a boundary off Mathews’fourth delivery, he got out caught by Munro at covers to the fifth ball for 5. The intelligent over from Mathews, who gave away only seven runs to take two wickets, made it 15 needed off 12 balls.
Sunil Narine smashed Neesham past point for a boundary but got out to the next ball for 5. Akeal Hosein and Chamika Karunaratne made it three runs needed off the last over. Hosein hit the first ball of the last over from Ziaur Rahman over deep mid-wicket to win the match with five balls to spare.
New York Strikers bt Northern Warriors by 3 wkts.
Northern Warriors 88 for 3 in 10 overs (Colin Munro 44)
New York Strikers 92 for 7 in 9.1 overs (Muhammad Waseem 23, Rahmanullah Gurbaz 22, Angelo Mathews 2 for 16, Abhimanyu Mithun 2 for 18, Tabraiz Shamsi 2 for 11)
Player of the Match: Sunil Narine.
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