Abu Dhabi: The Northern Warriors registered their first win of the Abu Dhabi T10 on Wednesday, riding majorly on a massive 106-run opening partnership between Moeen Ali and Kennar Lewis. Later in the evening, Oshane Thomas picked up a hat-trick to snuff out any hopes of a comeback from The Chennai Braves unit who eventually fell 19 runs short of the target. With Northern Warriors picking up two points from the contest, The Chennai Braves now remain the only side in the tournament without a win.
Chasing a massive total of 153, the Dasun Sanaka led team needed a start as good as their opponents. Opener Mohammad Shahzad swung his bat at everything, eventually getting out on the sixth ball he faced. Angelo Perera joined hands with Bhanuka Rajapaksa and the duo raised hopes of a fightback with some big hits as they took the score to 49. Abhimanyu Mithun, however, soon disturbed the stumps of Perera before Rajapaksa holed out in the next over to give Imran Tahir his solitary wicket of the evening. The innings lost momentum after the departure of the Sri Lankan batsmen and The Chennai Braves kept losing wickets at regular intervals. With the required run-rate mounting, Braves batsmen were forced to take risks and Oshane Thomas proved to be a beneficiary of this. Thomas removed Mark Deyal, Tion Webster, and Campher in his second over to finish with a hat-trick against his name. The chase folded up in 9.5 overs as The Chennai Braves finished with 133.
Northern Warriors who have struggled with their opening combination throughout the competition, finally sent Ali to open the batting with Lewis earlier in the evening. The right hand-left hand combination took a couple of overs to get going but sent The Chennai Braves on a leather hunt from third over onwards. Lewis started the attack by smashing Bopara for a couple of sixes and a four before Ali took the attack a notch higher in the next over as he punished Kevin Koththigoda with a hat-trick of sixes. There was no let-up in the intensity from either of the batsmen, resulting in the Warriors reaching the triple-figure mark in just 35 balls. The Ali-Lewis partnership saw nine fours and eight sixes being hit.
The Warriors’ innings faced a setback when Mark Deyal removed both the openers for an identical score of 49 in the seventh over. Normalcy resumed soon as the new pair of batsmen – Rowman Powell and Samit Patel – continued finding the boundary rope with similar frequency at the back end of the innings, stitching a partnership of 45 from just 18 deliveries. Curtis Campher managed to take two wickets off the final two deliveries of the innings but Northern Warriors had piled up 152 by then.
Brief scores: Northern Warriors 152/4 (Moeen Ali 49, Kennar Lewis 49, Mark Deyal 2-10) beat The Chennai Braves 133/10 ( Bhanuka Rajapaksa 34, Ravi Bopara 30, Oshane Thomas 3-21)