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Abu Dhabi T10 League: Deccan Gladiators Crowned Champions

The fifth season of the Abu Dhabi T10 League was held at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium from 19th November to 4th December. The tournament featured a round-robin format between the six participating teams to determine the four semi-final berths. Defending champions Northern Warriors were knocked out early in the league, while newcomers the Chennai Braves failed to make a mark. Deccan Gladiators were crowned the new champions with a dominant victory over Delhi Bulls in the final.

Here’s our roundup of all the action from the 2021-22 T10 League season:

 

LEAGUE STAGE

The league stage of the tournament saw a total of 30 matches, with each of the six teams playing their opponents twice. The top four teams secured a berth in the semifinals, while the rest two were eliminated. Northern Warriors, led by Rovman Powell, were the defending champions, but they failed to spark in the tournament – securing just two wins from their ten matches. The other big disappointment were newcomers Chennai Braves, who were led by Sri Lanka’s Angelo Perera. The debutants managed to win just one fixture, which came against Northern Warriors. They posted some of the lowest totals in the tournament, and the team has much to consider as they shape their squad for the next season.

The poor performance of two out of six clubs enabled the top four to jostle for the spots at the top. Deccan Gladiators, Delhi Bulls and Team Abu Dhabi all finished the league stage with 14 points each, while Bangla Tigers finished fourth with 12 points. The highest score of the tournament in the league stage was posted by Northern Warriors against Chennai Braves, with Moeen Ali’s lightning-paced innings taking the team to a total of 152/4 in ten overs. The highest individual score of the tournament was stitched by Tom Kohler-Cadmore, who scored a brisk 96 runs off 39 balls for Deccan Gladiators against Bangla Tigers.

 

PLAYOFFS

Winning the toss and opting to bat first in the first Qualifier worked out well for Deccan Gladiators, as their batsmen stepped up to post an imposing 139 runs. Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Andre Russell put on a 58-run partnership for the first wicket in just four overs. David Wiese joined the party to score a brisk 31 runs off 15 balls to give the Delhi Bulls’ weak batting lineup a 140-run target. In reply, Delhi’s batsmen made a commendable effort to build partnerships and keep up with the Required Run Rate, but the score proved to be too big to chase. Deccan Gladiators secured their berth in the final while Delhi Bulls were forced to compete in the second Qualifier.

The eliminator between Bangla Tigers and Team Abu Dhabi proved to be a relatively low-scoring affair compared to T10 standards. Batting first, Bangla Tigers failed to spark as Hazratullah Zazai was the lone batsman to score good runs. Opener Johnson Charles was eliminated for a duck in the first ball of the innings, while Faf du Plessis got out cheaply for 12 runs to Fidel Edwards. Will Jacks and Will Smeed were eliminated in quick succession, with Bangla Tigers staring at a collapse. They were 28/4 at the end of 3 overs, but Zazai’s innings saved the team from a total disgrace. In reply, Team Abu Dhabi’s openers Phil Salt and Paul Stirling looked comfortable at the crease, putting together an 81-run partnership for the first wicket in just five overs. Chris Gayle and Colin Ingram then completed the job, finishing the chase in just 7 overs.

In sharp contrast to the dominant performance they showed in the eliminator, Team Abu Dhabi faced a batting collapse in the second Qualifier to give an easy victory for Delhi Bulls. Batting first, Delhi Bulls scored steady runs to take the total to 109/7. No batsman was able to find his footing at the crease, with Romario Shepherd’s 26-runs being the highest score of their innings. In reply, Abu Dhabi bumbled the chase spectacularly, with Dominic Drakes and Fazalhaq Farooqi tearing through their batting lineup. Just three of their seven batsmen were able to reach double-digit scores, with the team getting all-out for a measly 60 runs.

 

THE FINAL

The final between Deccan Gladiators and Delhi Bulls revealed to the fans the true potential of the dynamic 10-over format of the game. Andre Russell, one of the most aggressive and talented batsmen in the shortest formats of the game once again proved his credentials on stage. The Windies batsman put on an astonishing 90 not out off 32 deliveries at a strike rate of 281.25, with nine fours and seven sixes dominating his innings. Promoted to the opening position, the duo of Andre Russell and Tom Kohler-Cadmore took the Gladiators to a total of 159/0, the highest total in the season. In reply, Chandrapaul Hemraj’s solo effort to rescue his team failed as Odean Smith and Wanindu Hasaranga tore through the Delhi Bulls top order.

For taking an astonishing 21 wickets in a format dominated by the batsman, Hasaranga was awarded the ‘Player of the Tournament’ award. The performances of Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Andre Russell were critical to Deccan Gladiators’ success, while Hazratullah Zazai of Bangla Tigers finished as the tournament’s top scorer with 353 runs.

 

 

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