Moeen Ali and Karim Janat steer Samp Army to a pulsating six-wicket win over Deccan Gladiators

Morrisville Samp Army stopped Deccan Gladiators through a pulsating chase and won by six wickets in the 24th match of the Abu Dhabi T10 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium with four balls to spare.

Chasing Deccan Gladiators’ challenging total of 115 for 7 in 10 overs, Samp Army skipper Moeen Ali led his team’s march to the target through an unbeaten 39 runs off 15 balls with four sixes and two boundaries. Karim Janat chipped in with an unbeaten 27 runs off just nine balls with four boundaries and a six. Together they put on an unbeaten 46 runs in 17 balls for the fifth wicket.

Earlier, West Indies’ aggressive opener Andre Fletcher had cracked an unbeaten 52 off 27 balls with five sixes and two boundaries to give Deccan Gladiators the challenging total. Unfortunately, his effort went in vain. Pakistan pacer Salman Irshad bowled brilliantly for Samp Army to bag three wickets for 12 runs. He had also bagged three wickets in his previous match against Delhi Bulls.

Brief scores:
Samp Army bt Deccan Gladiators by 6 wkts. Deccan Gladiators 115 for 7 in 10 overs (Andre Fletcher 52n.o, Salman Irshad 3 for 12, Qais Ahmad 2 for 18) Samp Army 116 for 4 in 9.2 overs (Ibrahim Zadran 26, Moeen Ali 39n.o, Karim Janat 27n.o, Imad Wasim 2 for 11)
Player of the Match: Salman Irshad

Andre Fletcher’s classy half century
Morrisville Samp Army had won the toss and elected to field. Deccan Gladiators opener Tom Kohler-Cadmore, who is the most-feared batsman of the tournament, lasted only four balls. He started by hitting the first ball from Jason Holder for a six over the sight screen and a boundary over mid-on. Holder had him going for a cut and edge to wicketkeeper Andries Gous for 10.

The second over was dramatic as Deccan Gladiators skipper Nicholas Pooran hit Samp Army skipper Moeen Ali’s first delivery for a six-over deep point. Fletcher then went on to hit three consecutive sixes. Twenty-five runs came off that over.

Karim Janat ended Pooran’s stay by having him caught by Holder at long-on for 11. Salman Irshad clean bowled Andre Russell, who attempted a big shot and missed in the fourth over. Irshad also got Imad Wasim out top edging to a diving Muhammad Irfan at short fine leg for a duck.

Peter Hatzoglou bowled a tight fifth over giving away only seven runs. David Wiese hit a six off Qais Ahmad's second delivery but perished to the third ball caught by Irshad at backward square leg for 8.

Fabian Allen swept the first delivery he faced from Qais for a six.  The seventh over from Hatzoglou saw Allen hitting him for a six over mid-wicket but fell in the next over to Irshad, leg before for 14.

Qais also had Luke Wood clean bowled while going a slog sweep for 4 in the ninth over. Deccan Gladiators reached the 100 run mark in 9.2 overs through Fletcher’s six over mid-wicket off Karim Janat. He also hit Janat’s third delivery for another six over extra cover and reached his half century through a boundary to deep cover in 27 balls to give his team a challenging total.

Moeen Ali’s captain’s knock
Samp Army openers Faf du Plessis and Andries Gous could get only six runs off Imad Wasim’s first over. Du Plessis hit Luke Wood’s third delivery of the second over for a six to long-on. This yielded ten runs off that over. Wasim then had Gous caught and bowled for 5 with the second ball of the third over.

Fabian Allen struck a vital bowl in the fourth over by having Du Plessis caught by Wiese at long-off for 13.  Unaffected by the loss of Du Plessis, skipper Moeen Ali hit the first ball he faced for a six over mid-wicket. Ali then went on to pick another boundary driving Thushara through the cover. Ibrahim Zadran went on to hit a six over fine leg off Thushara’s fourth delivery.  At the half way mark, Samp Army was 45 for 3, needing another 71 runs from the remaining five overs.

Ali continued his aggressive shots hitting Trent Boult for a six over mid-wicket and another boundary to short third man. Zadran too hit Boult over fine leg for another six to take 20 runs off that over.

Zadran hit Zahoor Khan past backward point for a boundary off the second ball of the seventh over but got out caught by Russell at long-off for 26. Karim Janat maintained the run flow hitting Zahoor’s last delivery for a six over long-on.

With 38 runs needed off 18 balls, the battle intensified. Janat hit two consecutive boundaries off Thushara’s fifth and sixth deliveries to make it 25 runs off 12 balls. Ali, who carried the hopes of his team on his shoulders, hit Luke Wood for his third six over mid-wicket. Samp Army reached the 100-run mark in 8.4 overs through another six from Ali off Wood to deep mid-wicket.

Samp Army now needed nine runs from the last over. Janat hit the first ball for a straight boundary off Zahoor. He also slashed the next ball past point for another boundary. Zahoor bowled a wide off the next and Samp Army won the match with four balls to spare.

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