Fletcher, Suri and Moores lift Bangla Tigers past Pune Devils

 Abu Dhabi, Feb 1: Bangla Tigers opener and skipper Andre Fletcher showed the way for UAE's Chirag Suri and Tom Moores to record an eight-wicket win over Pune Devils in the first match of the Super League in the Alubond Abu Dhabi T10 at the Abu Dhabi Zayed Cricket Stadium.

Fletcher hit a quick 30 runs off 15 balls to set the stage for the chase. The in-form Suri played another brilliant unbeaten knock of 30 off 15 balls while Tom Moores made it easy through a breezy unbeaten 38 off just 12 balls.

Pune had posted a challenging 115 for 3 through Tom Kohler-Cadmore's elegant 48 runs and Alex Davies's unbeaten 41. Bangla Tigers raced to the target with eight balls to spare.

Earlier, Bangla Tigers won the toss and elected to field. Pune Devils' opener Cadmore, who hit an unbeaten 61 in his last match against Team Abu Dhabi, continued the same way. He began by hitting Mujeeb Ur Reman's third delivery of the first over for a boundary through the off-side and then lifted the next one for a six over long-off.

Matheesha Pathirana, an eighteen-year-old medium pacer from Sri Lanka, did not give Cadmore or Kennar Lewis the liberty to hit boundaries. Cadmore made up for it in the third over from Mujeeb by hitting him for a six to long- off and a boundary through the covers to take 14 runs off that over.

Karim Janat, known for his ability to bowl tight overs, did just that and got the wicket of Lewis, caught at mid-off for 9. Cadmore could pick only one boundary in the fifth over from Qais Ahmad and at the halfway mark Pune were 55 for 1.

Next man Chadwick Walton, who joined Cadmore, lasted only four balls before hitting Fazalhaq Farooqi into the hands of Quaiz at long-on. Pune slipped into more trouble when Qais, who was introduced to bowl the seventh over, had Cadmore caught at deep square- leg for 48. This reduced Pune's chances of posting a big total.

Next man Alex Davies hit Fazalhaq for a six over deep mid-wicket. Davies also hit George Garton, who bowled the ninth over, for a six and a boundary to steer Pune past the 100-run mark. In the last over from Janat, Davies picked one six and remained unbeaten on 41.

Chasing a run rate of 11.50 needed a steady start. Bangla Tigers' started with their aggressive openers Johnson Charles and Andre Fletcher. Pakistan's experienced left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir gave away only eight runs in his first over. The second over bowled by Bangladesh's Monir Hossain too yielded only nine runs despite Charles hitting a six over mid-wicket. In the third over, Amir forced Charles to hit straight to mid-on, for 14. Amir gave away only six runs in that over. Chirag Suri, who had cracked an unbeaten 41 in his last match against Team Abu Dhabi, joined Fletcher. They picked 12 runs off the fourth over from Hardus Viljoen.

UAE skipper Ahmed Raza was introduced into the attack for the fifth over. His teammate and vice-captain Suri hit him for two consecutive boundaries and a six over long on. Bangla Tigers, at the halfway mark, were 51 for 1 needing another 64 runs. Fletcher accelerated the run rate by hitting Karan for two consecutive sixes and a boundary but got run out off a direct hit from Kennar Lewis at the batsman's end for 30.

Raza tightened the run flow giving away just seven runs in his seventh over.

Tom Moores made up for it in the eight over hitting Monir Hossain for three successive sixes and get 23 runs off that over. This tilted the match in Bangla Tigers way as they needed only 16 runs from the last 12 overs. Moores hit Viljoen for a boundary and a six. Suri helped his team reach the target by pulling Viljoen for a six.

Brief scores:

Bangla Tigers beat Pune Devils by eight wickets. Pune Devils 115 for 3 in 10 overs (Tom Kohler-Cadmore 48 Alex Davies 41 not out)

Bangla Tigers 119 for 2 in 8.5 overs (Andre Fletcher 30, Chirag Suri 30 not out, Tom Moores 38 not out)

Player of the match: Tom Moores