Having registered one win and a loss from their first two matches of the 2019 Abu Dhabi T10 League, defending champions Northern Warriors will be keen to pick up an important win when they face off against Team Abu Dhabi in Match 7 of the season at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
The Warriors began their campaign with a thumping 9-wicket win against the Maratha Arabians, as Andre Russell's whirlwind 24-ball 58* with 4 fours and 6 sixes helped his side chase the 89-run target with ease.
Pitted against the Qalandars for their second game, Tom Banton's 28-ball 53* was the highlight of the Qalandars' batting effort as they set a challenging 113-run target for the Warriors. George Munsey looked like a fish out of the water as he gulped all of 19 balls for just 9 runs before Andre Russell came out to the crease with the Warriors needing 84 runs from 32 balls.
Seekkuge Prasanna removed Russell for just 1 run and castled Sam Billings in the next ball of the sixth over to finish with match-winning figures of 2/7 from his two overs and in the end, the target seemed a little too much for the Warriors as they fell short by a 66-run margin, with Lahiru Kumara (3/10) and George Garton (3/10) complementing Prasanna well on the bowling front.
Team Abu Dhabi, set to play their second match this season will be happy to have finished with a tie from their opening clash against the Qalandars, with Marchant de Lange holding on to his nerves in the final over to keep the latter from scoring 9 runs for the victory.
Corey Anderson was the star on the batting front for Team Abu Dhabi as the Kiwi all-rounder smashed a 22-ball 43 to take Abu Dhabi to 103-6 from 10 overs. However, with Anderson seemingly have dislocated his shoulder while attempting a catch at the fence, his absence could be a big blow to his side's chances.
With the Warriors' batting unit failing to stand tall to the challenge posed by the Qalandars' bowlers, can they produce a better show against Team Abu Dhabi?
The Warriors' batsmen looked in complete discomfort all through their chase against the Qalandars, with George Munsey in particular unable to get bat to ball. However, with lack of choices on the bench, the Warriors could go in with the same squad and give Munsey another shot at the top of the order.
The only change they might make will be to bring in Pravin Tambe at the expense of Ansh Tandon, with the former certain to add some value to the bowling unit.
Probable XI: George Munsey, Sam Billings (WK), Andre Russell, Daren Sammy (C), Asela Gunaratne, Sikandar Raza, Chris Green, Nuwan Pradeep, Rayad Emrit, Chris Wood, Pravin Tambe.
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Team Abu Dhabi
With Corey Anderson likely to miss out from this game owing to an injury, the onus will be on Niroshan Dickwella and Luke Wright to get their team off to a blazing start. Skipper Moeen Ali will also be keen to take up the bulk of the scoring to bat the Warriors out of the game.
Given that Anderson could be missing out from this game, young Lancashire-born keeper-batsman Alex Davies seems to be the most obvious option to replace the Kiwi all-rounder to beef up the batting unit.
Probable XI: Luke Wright, Niroshan Dickwella (WK), Moeen Ali (C), Paras Khadka, Alex Davies, Rohan Mustafa, Lewis Gregory, Ben Laughlin, Harry Gurney, Marchant de Lange, Richard Gleeson.
The Warriors were completely outplayed by the Qalandars in their previous game and will certainly need to sort out their batting woes ahead of this game against Team Abu Dhabi. While Russell is indeed their key player, the likes of Sam Billings and Daren Sammy will need to fire on the batting front.
Team Abu Dhabi, on the other hand, looked comfortable throughout their game against the Qalandars and will be looking to pick up a win from this game. With quite a few T20 stars in the hosts' ranks and with momentum on their side, expect Team Abu Dhabi to come out on top in this game.
Team Abu Dhabi could be expected to win this game.
When, where and how to watch?
Date: 17th November 2019, Match 7
Time: 5.00 PM IST
Live Telecast: Sony SIX, Sony SIX HD, Sony TEN 3, Sony TEN 3 HD (Hindi)
Published 17 Nov 2019, 09:30 IST