In their first Abu Dhabi T10 2021 game, a three-wicket haul from Bangladeshi spinner Nasir Hossain and a quickfire 28-ball 57 West Indian opener Kennar Lewis sealed the deal for the newly-inducted Pune Devils side. They trumped Azam Khan's heroics in the first innings and beat season 3 runners-up, Deccan Gladiators, with 7 wickets in hand, moving to first place in Group B.
Pune Devils won their first Abu Dhabi T10 2021 toss and elected to bowl first. They used the pitch and its devils to the fullest, with Nasir Hossain cleaning Sunil Naraine up early on with a vicious delivery.
Mohammed Shazad, the swashbuckling keeper-bat, wasn't deterred by the happenings around him as he made his intentions clear by smashing a six off the 7th ball he faced. Later, Hossain had the last laugh, however, dismissing the Afghan off the very next delivery.
Captain Kieron Pollard walked out at number four but had to make his way back almost immediately after being trapped in front by Munis Ansari.
Cameron Delport held onto his hand and made sure it was smooth sailing, building up partnerships alongside Prashant Gupta and Azam Khan. He was then dismissed on 25, before Azam Khan took charge and smashed the bowlers with utter disdain, helping his team put up a daunting 104/5 and set his team up for a good first Abu Dhabi T10 2021 game.
Pune Devils get off to a great start in the Abu Dhabi T10 2021
Pune responded really strongly. They opened the innings with two uncapped but extremely talented openers in Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Kennar Lewis.
While the former couldn't convert his good start, owing to a peach from Rampaul that uprooted his stumps, the latter was steady-going and held his ground. Lewis made the bowlers pay a heavy price for their mistakes.
Although Kennar Lewis was firing at one end, his partners continued to fall at the other. And while Chadwick Walton did lend a bit of support to his compatriot, he fell while playing an expansive shot off Zahoor Khan. Darwish Rasooli departed cheaply after being outsmarted by Sunil Narine.
With 26 needed off the last 12 balls, Pollard handed to the ball to UAE's death-overs specialist, Zahoor Khan. Kennar Lewis and Asif Khan took 15 runs off the penultimate over.
The equation came down to 11 in the last over, and Pollard took the onus on himself. The in-form Lewis smashed him for a maximum off the first delivery to bring up the 50 and then clobbered him for another to take his team over the line with 7 wickets and 4 deliveries to spare in their first Abu Dhabi T10 2021 game.
Deccan Gladiators: 104/5 in 10 overs [Azam Khan 37*(13), Cameron Delport 25(17); Nasir Hossain (3/18 in 2 overs)]
Pune Devils: 106/3 in 10 overs [ Kennar Lewis 57*(28), Chadwick Walton 18(11); Ravi Rampaul (1/13 in 2 overs)]
What next for both sides?
After this win, the Pune Devils will be confident and will be looking forward to their next Abu Dhabi T10 2021 fixture against the Qalandars.
Deccan Gladiators won't take this loss lightly, although it was a close contest. They will be up against Team Abu Dhabi in the third and final encounter of Abu Dhabi T10 2021 tomorrow.