Captain Nicholas Pooran conjured a sparkling counter-attacking half-century and South African left-arm quick Wayne Parnell claimed a hat trick as the Northern Warriors worked off the Delhi Bulls to land their first win in the Abu Dhabi T10 League on Saturday night.
Southpaw Pooran clubbed 54 from 21 deliveries with five sixes and an equal number of boundaries, while Parnell snapped up three for 15 as the Warriors clinched a 32-run victory in the Group A fixture at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.
It was the first defeat for the Delhi Bulls after Andy Flower’s side had beaten the Bangla Tigers and defending champions the Maratha Arabians in their first two games.
Chasing a stiff target of 138, the Delhi Bulls finished up at 105 for seven.
“It was an ideal opportunity for me, and I stepped up and I am enjoying the responsibility of being captain,” Pooran said at the post-match presentation.
Pooran was also pleased for Parnell. “He (Parnell) spends a lot of time planning and I am very happy for him. It is fantastic to get a hat-trick in a T10 game. I hope he gets more hat-tricks for us,” he said.
Earlier, the Northern Warriors overcame a sluggish start to post 137 for three, the highest total of this edition. The previous highest was 131-5 which the Arabians had scored against the Warriors, while chasing, in the tournament’s opening fixture. The highest total of the competition is 183-2, coincidentally racked up by the Warriors against the Punjabi Legends in 2018.
After being put in to bat, Pakistan left-arm pacer Waqas Maqsood kept them quiet by bowling a maiden over first up, a rarity, especially in this format.
Opener Brandon King struck successive boundaries off UAE left-arm pacer Shiraz Ahmed in the next over but Maqsood returned to see the back of King’s partner Lendl Simmons for a duck.
Simmons, who was tied down by Maqsood in the opening over, tried to hit his way out but miscued it to be gobbled up by Adam Lyth at long-on. Maqsood finished with magical figures of 2-1-1-1.
Pooran gave them the much-needed impetus by taking on the bowlers. The left-hander welcomed Mohammad Nabi into the attack by smacking the Afghanistan off-spinner for three sixes and a boundary off successive deliveries. It was excellent batsmanship from the West Indian as he first pulled a short ball over deep midwicket for six.
Pooran then went on his knees to fire it over point for a boundary and followed that up with a six over deep square leg.
The ball was lost in the grass banks and they needed a replacement but Pooran was not done just yet. He wrapped it up by smoking it over long on for a six as Nabi leaked 24 runs in the over.
Pooran and King put on 46 runs for the second wicket before the latter departed after being snapped up by Ravi Bopara at long-on off Ali Khan. But there was no stopping Pooran as he unleashed more mayhem by smashing the American pacer for two sixes and a boundary off consecutive balls, in the same over.
Prior to that over, Fidel Edwards had a wretched over with the West Indian pacer bowling two wides and conceding a six off a no-ball, as well as two boundaries. Edwards was to concede 20 in his first over and he was the most expensive on the night, leaking 42 from two overs.
Pooran then brought up his fifty from just 16 balls by scooping a full toss from Shiraz Ahmed for a boundary.
Pooran’s knock was finally cut short by his opposite number Dwayne Bravo after he was caught by Bopara at deep backward point. Bravo then gave Pooran a send-off by showing the back of his jersey, which has his nickname ‘Champion’ printed on it. But there was to be no respite as Fabian Allen clubbed Bravo for three successive boundaries.
From 12 for one in three overs, the Warriors racked up 125 runs in the remaining seven overs.
Northern Warriors: 137-3 in 10 overs (Nicholas Pooran 54, Fabian Allen 28 not out, Rovman Powell 24 not out, Brandon King 18) beat Delhi Bulls: 105-7 in 10 overs (Ravi Bopara 36, Mohammad Nabi 15 not out, Rahmanullah Gurbaz 15, Evin Lewis 13, Adam Lyth 13, Wayne Parnell 3-15, Rayad Emrit 2-25) by 32 runs.