Web Desk :
Morrisville Samp Army marched past Delhi Bulls by four wickets in the 15th match of the Abu Dhabi T10 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium. Delhi Bulls was restricted to 95 for 8 through fine spells from Jason Holder (3 for 15) and Salman Irshad (3 for 14). Samp Army then rode to victory with two balls to spare with Faf Du Plessis top scoring with 30 runs and Najibullah Zadran hitting a timely unbeaten 25.
Delhi Bulls with three consecutive victories and the table toppers, crashed to their first defeat.
Three wicket spells from Irshad and Holder
Samp Army skipper Moeen Ali had won the toss and elected to bowl. He also introduced himself to bowl the first over of the match. Table toppers Delhi Bulls’ opener Johnson Charles hit the fifth ball of the first over for a mighty six over mid-wicket. Peter Hatzoglou who bowled the second over was hit by opener Quntion de Kock over mid-off for a boundary.
Jason Holder, who produced a fine allround show in their last match win over Team Abu Dhabi, struck to force Charles edge to wicketkeeper Andries Gous for 9. That over yielded only five runs. One-drop James Vince hit the first ball of the fourth over from Qais Ahmad for a six over deep square leg. Qais bowled the rest of the deliveries tightly to give away just nine runs from the over.
Moeen Ali, who again introduced himself for the fifth over, saw his first ball being swept by Vince to the square leg boundary. Vince then hit the second delivery over long-off for a six. Moeen struck with the fifth ball to have Quinton de Kock caught by substitute Leede at extra cover for 11. Skipper Rovman hit the first ball he faced from Moeen over extra cover for a six. Though Moeen picked a wicket, he gave away 19 runs.
When Delhi Bulls reached the 50-run mark in the fifth over, Powell went on to hit Qais Ahmad, who bowled the sixth over, for a six over long-on. Qais then went on to remove Vince by having him caught by Holder at extra cover for 24.
Rilee Rossouw, who joined his skipper Powell, slog swept Hatzoglou for a six but only nine runs came off that over. Salman Irsahd removed Powell caught by Najibullah Zadran at deep cover for 19. This scuttled Delhi’s hopes of a big score. Salman also had Rossouw, caught by a leaping Holder at long-on for 8.
With two fresh batters in the crease and two more overs to go, Holder bowled a tight ninth over taking two wickets off the third and fourth deliveries. He had Usman Khan caught by Basil Hameed at deep square leg and Dwayne Bravo caught behind. He ended with figures of 3 for 15 from his two overs.
The tenth over was a tight over from Salma Irshad who gave away only seven runs and took the wicket of Naveen Ul Haq caught by Ibrahim Zadran at deep square leg for 6. Naveen too bagged three wickets for 14 runs. Delhi Bulls thus failed to reach the 100 run mark by five runs.
Du Plessis and Zadran’s valuable knocks
Samp Army began their march to the target with opener Ibrahim Zadran hitting the first two deliveries of the first over from Fazalhaq Farooq for boundaries. The first was flicked to fine leg and next played through the covers.
Zadran’s aggressive start was stopped by Naveen Ul Haq with the second ball of the second over. Haq had him caught flicking into the hands of Rossouw for 11. Skipper Moeen Ali joined opener Andries Gous but lasted only four balls before falling to Wasim Akram for 1. Moeen got caught by Naveen Ul Haq at mid-off.
The large Sunday crowd cheered Du Plessis into the crease. He hit Naveen for a boundary through the covers and also a mighty straight six off a free hit. Richard Gleeson, the match winner of their last match against Bangla Tigers, was introduced for the fifth over. Du Plessis hit him over mid-wicket for a mighty six.
With 53 runs needed off the last five overs, Gous pulled Bravo for a six. Du Plessis too hit Bravo’s last delivery for a six to long-on. In the seventh over Fazalhaq Farooqi had Du Plessis caught by Usman Khan at deep mid-wicket for 30. His knock off 17 balls had one boundary and three sixes. Fazalhaq also got Gous caught by Usman Khan in an identical manner for 20. With 28 runs needed off 18 balls, Gleeson gave away only 11 runs.
In the ninth over, Bravo struck twice off successive balls. First he got Karim Janat out, caught behind by De Kock for 3, and then trapped Holder leg before. Off the last over, Samp Army needed 12 runs. Skipper Powell introduced himself but Najibullah Zadran smashed his second delivery over long-off for a six. The third ball was sent for two runs and he smashed the fourth for a boundary to long-on and win the match with two balls to spare. He remained unbeaten with 25 off 12 balls.
Samp Army bt Delhi Bulls by 4 wkts. Delhi Bulls 95 for 8 in 1o overs (James Vince 24, Jason Holder 3 for 15, Salman Irshad 3 for 14) Samp Army 96 for 6 in 9.4 overs (Andries Gous 20, Faf du Plessis 30, Najibullah Zadran 25n.o, Fazalhaq Farooq 2 for 17, Dwayne Bravo 2 for 22)
Player of the Match: Jason Holder