Riding on another solid partnership between openers Johnson Charles and Hazratullah Zazai, Bangla Tigers jumped to the numero uno position on the points table in Abu Dhabi T10 with a win over The Chennai Braves on Saturday.
After restricting the Braves to 89, thanks to some fine bowling by Luke Fletcher, the Tigers came out all guns blazing in their chase and wrapped their fifth win of this edition easily. Despite having the same number of wins as Team Abu Dhabi, the Tigers now sit atop the points table courtesy of a better run rate. For The Chennai Braves, who came into the match seeking their first win, it proved to be another forgettable outing as they suffered their seventh defeat of the tournament.
Charles and Zazai have emerged as one of the most threatening opening duos in the tournament and against the Braves bowling attack, they barely broke a sweat in overhauling a target that required them to score at less than 10 an over. As has become the norm, the right-handed Charles started the attack with a four off the final delivery of the first over bowled by Mark Deyal.
The next over belonged to Zazai as he put to sword Munaf Patel’s medium pace by scoring 22 from the second over of the chase. There was no respite for the bowling team as Deyal, after bowling a neat first over, was taken to the cleaners in the next, conceding 23 runs.
The openers also showed scant regard for Kevin Koththigoda’s mystery spin, finding two sixes and one four from th’ bowler’s over to take their team closer to a comprehensive win. Charles’ dismissal to Roman Walker allowed the in-form Will Jacks to do the finishing, which he duly did by depositing Dhananjaya Lakshan in the stands to finish the chase in the sixth over. Hazratullah Zazai remained stranded on an undefeated 46 with 5 sixes and 2 fours.
Earlier, The Chennai Braves struggled to get going after being put in to bat by Bangla Tigers skipper Faf Du Plessis. They could only score 29 runs from the first four overs, losing opener Toby Albert in the process.
Mohammad Shahzad, who hasn’t enjoyed the best of the forms in the tournament, seemed to be getting back in touch when he hit his countrymate for a six and a four. However, Ahmed had the last laugh as he sent Shahzad back for 32.
Post Shahzad’s departure, no batsman except Mark Deyal could make an impression. Deyal eventually fell for 28 in the penultimate over and as a result, The Chennai Braves could not go past the triple-figure mark in their allotted 10 overs, finishing their innings on 89/4.
Brief scores: Bangla Tigers 95/1 (Hazratullah Zazai 46*, Johnson Charles 30, Roman Walker 1-11) beat The Chennai Braves 89/4 (Mohammad Shahzad 32, Mark Deyal 28, Luke Fletcher 2-17).