Abu Dhabi T10 2023, Qualifier 1 Review: Akeal Hosein, Rahmanullah Gurbaz carry New York Strikers into the final

Morrisville Samp Army were restricted to 80 for 9 through Hosein’s spell of five wickets for just six runs from his two overs.

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New York Strikers.
New York Strikers (Photo Source: Abu Dhabi T10)

8th December 2023 Abu Dhabi: New York Strikers’ left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein’s deadly five-wicket haul which included a hat-trick and their opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s half-century carried their team into the final of the Abu Dhabi T10.

Morrisville Samp Army were restricted to 80 for 9 through Hosein’s spell of five wickets for just six runs from his two overs. New York Strikers’ impressive total of 121 for 5 in 10 that was carved out of Gurbaz’s brilliant 56 off 28 balls with five sixes and four boundaries. Table toppers Samp Army crashed to a 41-run defeat in the Qualifier 1 match at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.

New York lifted their game when it mattered most as they had lost to Samp Army in their last league round match on Thursday night. Samp Army had even bowled out New York for 70 runs in that match. In this match, Samp Army slipped before the bowling of Hosein's destructive first over.

Hosein with the third ball got Andries Gous clean bowled with a delivery that went through his defence.  The fourth ball saw Dewald Brevis play into the hands of Karunaratne at point. With the fifth ball, he clean-bowled Ibrahim Zadran, who went for a cut and played onto his wicket. He became the eighth player to bag a hat-trick in Abu Dhabi T10.

Samp Army will now play the winner of the eliminator in the second qualifier for another shot to reach the final in the last match of the day.

Gurbaz’s show boosts New York 

Samp Army won the toss and elected to bowl.  Jason Holder bowled a tight first over giving away just one run. The second over from Karim Janat was an eventful one as Muhammad Waseem who hit the second ball of the over for a six to long-off got out to the fourth ball. Waseem, playing across to Janat, got a thick inside edge to be clean bowled for 8.

Niroshan Dickwella picked a boundary off the first ball of the third over from leg spinner Qais Ahmad. The second delivery also yielded five runs wide. The third over from Jake Lintott turned out to be a fruitful one for New York. Gurbaz hit Lintott for sixes off the first, third, and fifth delivery and also a boundary off the fourth ball to take 25 runs off that over.

Gurbaz could pick only one boundary off Karim Janat's fifth over and at the halfway mark, New York had scored 57 for 1. Muhammad Irfan got Dickwella out with the first ball of the sixth over caught by Salman Irshad at short third man for 8. Gurbaz hit the fifth ball for six to long-on.  Gurbaz went on to hit two consecutive boundaries of Salman Irshad and reached his half-century in 26 balls.

Holder, who was re-introduced to bowl the eighth over was also not spared by Gurbaz as he hit him for a six over long-on off the second ball and another six off the fourth ball once again over long-on. Gurbaz's innings ended when Holder forced him to edge a pull shot to wicketkeeper Andries Gous off the fifth ball. His knock of 56 came off 28 balls with four boundaries and five sixes.

Qais struck in the ninth over to have skipper Kieron Pollard hit straight into the hands of Brevis at long-on for 9. Odean Smith slog-swept the first ball he faced for a six and got out to the fifth ball from Qais, caught by Holder at long-off.

New York went past the 100-run mark when Chamika Karunaratne hit Qais’s last ball of the over for a six to long-off.

Asif Ali swelled the total with a boundary off Salman Irshad's first delivery of the last over. He also flicked Irshad’’s fifth delivery for a boundary the last ball for another boundary to remain unbeaten on 17 and give New York an impressive total.

Samp Army’s disastrous start

Samp Army’s chase began on a disastrous note through Hosein’s hat-trick off the first over and never recovered from the impact. Faf du Plessis, who led the team in place of Moeen Ali, who had to fly out to play for England in the T20 series against West Indies, and Najibullah Zadran tried to pull their team out of trouble.

Off the fourth ball of the third over from Hosein, Du Plessis got caught by Pollard at long-on for 8. Zadran too fell caught by Sunil Narine at cover off the last delivery for Hosein to record a five-wicket haul.

Half the side back in the dugout for 14 runs, Samp Army looked set for a huge defeat. Karunaratne speeded up their team’s victory by having Karim Janat caught by Hosein at deep square leg for 2. Jason Holder hit Karunaratne for a six-over long on and also picked a boundary off a top edge.

Holder gave some respect to his team’s total scoring 22 runs before getting bowled to Muhammad Jawadullah.  Qais Ahmed with an unbeaten 31 off 13 balls with two boundaries and two sixes could muster only a total of 80 for 9 in 10 overs and New York Strikers sailed into the final.

Brief scores:

New York Strikers beat Samp Army by 41 runs

New York Strikers: 121 for 5 in 10 overs (Rahmanulah Gurbaz 56, Qais Ahmad 2 for 24)

Samp Army: 80 for 9 in 10 overs (Jason Holder 22, Qais Ahmad 31*, Akeal Hosein 5 for 6, Muhammad Jawadullah 2 for 13)

Player of the Match: Akeal Hosein

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