Deccan Gladiators rose to the top of the points table with another good outing where they overcame the Delhi Bulls challenge easily to register their fifth win of the Abu Dhabi T10.
Led by Wanindu Hasaranga once again in the bowling department, the Gladiators put on a disciplined performance with the ball to never allow the Bulls innings to take off. With less than 100 runs to get, the Gladiators barely put a foot wrong in their chase and overhauled the target without much difficulty. As a result of their win on Saturday, the Gladiators leapfrogged Team Abu Dhabi and Bangla Tigers on the points table to occupy the top spot.
All the three teams have equal number of wins and the same number of points as a result of that. However, the Gladiators are perched on top of the points table on account of a better net-run rate.
In the chase of 95, Tom Banton and Tom Kohler-Cadmore showed all the intent right from the beginning and punished anything remotely loose on offer. Although the latter was out in the process, his dismissal had no bearing on Banton's tempo. The Gladiators opener hit Akeal Hossein for a hat-trick of fours and continued the attack on Dwayne Bravo, hitting him for a four and a six in the fourth over.
Najibullah Zadran got into the act in the next over as he smashed Shiraz Ahmed for three humongous sixes to take the team to 73 at the halfway mark. Even leg-spinner Adil Rashid was taken to the cleaners by Banton and Zadran and ended up conceding 20 runs in his solitary over despite taking the left-hander's wicket on the fifth delivery. Andre Russell flicked his country-mate Bravo for a four to end the match with almost four overs left.
Put in to bat after losing the toss, the Delhi Bulls' innings didn't take off on the brightest of notes. The hero of the previous match for the team, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, fell in the first over of the innings when trying to hit Wahab Riaz out of the park. Dominic Drakes and Luke Wright found the boundary rope thrice in the next over but Drakes couldn't consolidate and fell to Sultan Ahmed in the fourth over for 16.
As has happened on numerous occasions in the tournament, Wanindu Hasaranga's introduction to the attack once again brought the Gladiators not one but two wickets. He captured Wright's wicket with his first delivery of the first over and then clean bowled Mohammad Hafeez with his last ball of the over.
With the team in trouble, the experienced duo of Dwayne Bravo-Eoin Morgan tried to resurrect the innings but Mills removed both of them in the same over to push the Bulls deeper into trouble. The Bulls went 20 balls without a boundary before Romario Shepherd hit Andre Russell for a six and two fours in the penultimate over to give the innings some momentum. A tight last over by Mills meant that the Bulls couldn't go past the 100 run mark and had to settle for 94.
Brief scores: Deccan Gladiators 98/2 (Tom Banton 46*, Najibullah Zadran 35; Akeil Hossein 1-18); Delhi Bulls 94/6 (Romario Shepherd 26, Dominic Drakes 16; Tymal Mills 2-10). (ANI)