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Abu Dhabi T10 – Shimron Hetmyer fireworks give debutant Samp Army top-two ahead of playoffs

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The last four matches of the Abu Dhabi T10 were decided after three matches at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Friday, new york forward and Morrisville Thumpers, the two new franchises, top the league standings. They will now go head-to-head in Saturday’s Qualifier 1, with the winner going straight to Sunday’s final.

back delhi bulls beat Chennai brave In dead glue on the final day of the round robin, Samp Army brushed warriors of the north Temporarily top the charts before the strikers reclaim the top spot with a hammering abu dhabi team.

In the same format as the IPL, the loser between Samp Army and Strikers will play again on Saturday night against the winner of the knockout match between Abu Dhabi and the defending champions Deccan Gladiator.

Moeen Ali’s Samp Army went into their final league game knowing a win would be enough to finish in the top two but conceded four wickets within the space of eight deliveries in their pursuit of 118 Finally, they found themselves in a bit of trouble. Going 82-for-5 in the seventh inning, the game was evenly matched, with Moeen, David Miller, Shimron HetmeyerKarim Janat and Johnson Charles return to the dugout.

Both Moeen and Miller were dismissed without trouble for the scorer, but Hetmyer’s 45 fast pitches in 18 overs — including five horrific sixes — set up Samp Army, before Dwaine Pretorius (17* from seven offs) and Chamika Karunaratne (22* from eight off) mustered the nerve to take their team home with nine balls to go.

Afterwards, Hetmyer made headlines in October Missed West Indies rescheduled flight Ahead of the T20 World Cup, subsequently dropped by West Indies but happy to be part of the T10. He was injured in the chase and walked into the post-race press conference with a bandaged left arm, still smiling broadly.

“Everything that happened before has happened, and I’m trying to put that behind me,” Hetmeier said. “One of the best things about T10 cricket is the freedom to go out and express yourself. Win or lose or draw, I play the game with a smile on my face and enjoy it as much as I can.”

Having seen Samp Army win, Chris Lynn’s Abu Dhabi side know they need at least two points if they want to get back into the top two, and after four wins in a row, they will surely fantasize about their chances. But the forwards found another outfit last week and entered the game with a five-game winning streak of their own. From the moment Kieron Pollard won the roll, they were in control.

They were batting with the ball regularly, with Wahab Riaz 4 for 3 while Rashid Khan showed his skill and guile, bowling for his namesake Adil Rashid and Andrew Tye. A total of 78 at the halfway point could never trouble Pollard’s side, who had chased 144 and 113 in Abu Dhabi the previous two nights.

While Paul Sterling was crushed by a fine interior from Naveen-ul-Haq, it was Ian Morgan and Mohammad Vasi before Adil Rashid removed his former England captain Tom steadied the boat. But any doubts of the striker’s victory were dispelled in the next over, as David Payne was sent off three sixes by Waseem and Pollard won in style with a long strike.

Eight teams are now down to four, with the new boys shining in the sixth season of the Abu Dhabi T10.

Aadam Patel is a freelance sports journalist who has written for BBC Sport, daily mailESPNcricinfo, the cricket player and other publications @aadamp9

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