ABU DHABI (UAE): Najibullah Zadran‘s breezy cameo of an unbeaten 45 runs off just 16 balls and opener Paul Stirling‘s quick 26 runs from nine balls helped Team Abu Dhabi post an impressive 124 for 6 and down Qalandars by 21 runs in the third-place play-off match on Saturday.
Chasing the target, Qalandars were restricted to 103 for 5. UAE off-spinner Rohan Mustafa bagged two wickets for 19 runs. He was well backed by some accurate bowling from all the other bowlers. It was a sad end for Qalandars who began with a bang through five consecutive victories.
Ahmed Daniyal picked the wicket of Stirling with the second ball of the third over by forcing him to pull straight to Daniel Bell-Drummond at square leg for 26. Julien pulled Daniyal for a six and Abu Dhabi picked 11 runs off that over.
Julien also picked a boundary off Mohammad Zahid in the fourth over but fell to the last ball of that over getting caught by Bell-Drummond at mid-wicket for 19.
Nepal batsman Kushal Malla hit Ali Khan for a straight six in the fifth over but Jamie Overton fell to the last ball of that over getting caught at long-on for 1. At the halfway mark, Abu Dhabi was 63 for 3.
Leg spinner Khurshid Anwar clean bowled Ben Duckett for 7 off the last ball of the sixth over. Zahid bowled an excellent seventh over giving away just four runs and also yorked Malla for 18.
Najibullah Zadran hit Patel for two consecutive boundaries in the eighth over. He also got another boundary when Anwar dropped him at deep extra cover. He then lifted Patel for a six to long-on to get 22 runs off the over. Patel thus gave away 46 runs from his two overs.
Tanvir forced skipper Luke Wright to edge to wicketkeeper Fayyaz Ahmed for a duck off the first ball of the ninth over. He gave away only four runs. Zadran hit Daniyal, who bowled the tenth over, for a six and a boundary off the second and fourth ball respectively.
He also hit the last ball of the innings for a boundary to short third man and remain unbeaten on 45 and took 19 runs off that over to post an impressive total.
Qalandars began their chase through a new pair of openers in Bell Dunk and Bell-Drummond. Dunk swung the second delivery from Tom Helm for a boundary to mid-wicket. Overton almost caught Dunk at mid-wicket off the fourth ball but failed to hold on to it.
It did not turn out to be a costly drop as Rohan Mustafa had Dunk caught by Wright at mid-off for the 13 in the second over. Bell-Drummond picked two boundaries off the last two deliveries from Mustafa and pick 15 runs off his over. He also picked two boundaries from Overton’s third over. UAE’s 20-year-old Karthik Meiyappan tied down Bell-Drummond and Akhtar with the first five deliveries.
However, Bell-Drummond pulled the last delivery for a six. Obed McCoy was introduced in the fifth over and Bell-Drummond smashed an uppercut for a six and also picked a boundary to mid-on. Bell-Drummond then lifted Meiyappan for a straight six and escaped being caught at short third man.
However, in the same over, Meiyappan had him caught by Helm at deep mid-wicket for 46. With 57 runs needed off 24 balls, Akhtar pulled Overton for a six to mid-wicket but fell to the fifth delivery of that over getting caught by Duckett at deep cover for 17.
Mustafa yorked Patel for a duck to get his second wicket and gave away just four runs to mount pressure on Qalandars.
When Qalandars needed 45 runs off the last 12 balls, they managed only four runs from the ninth over by McCoy. McCoy also got Ali Khan out for 5. In the last over, though Helm was hit for 19 runs by Tanvir and Daniyal, Qalandars fell short of the target by 21 runs.
Brief scores: Team Abu Dhabi 124/6 (Najibullah Zadran 45*; Mohammad Zahid 2-10); Qalandars 103/5 (Daniel Bell-Drummond 46; Rohan Mustafa 2-19)