Star West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo justified his “champion” tag as he led Maratha Arabians to their first T10 trophy courtesy a comfortable eight-wicket win over Deccan Gladiators in the final of the Abu Dhabi T10 league.
In the final played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Sunday evening, Arabians — who had star players like Yuvraj Singh, Lasith Malinga, Chris Lynn and others — first restricted Gladiators to 88 in their allotted 10 overs.
Having been put into bat first, Mohammad Shahzad got Gladiators immediately up and running with four from Mitchell McCleneghan’s first ball – the fourth time Shahzad has hit the opening ball for a boundary in nine innings, a run that includes three sixes – but captain Shane Watson was back in the hutch just four balls later.
It started Deccan’s slide to just 87 for 7 from their 10 overs, the third-lowest total and fewest runs of any team batting first this year.
Arabians then went on to chase the target without any hiccups as wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton smashed an unbeaten 51 from 26 balls helped the team chase down the target with eight wickets in hands and 16 balls to spare.
“It was a very special performance. I will officially change my name now to Mr. Champion,” Bravo said after the win. “Each of us deserve this victory. It was a change to play against the defending champions who have a fabulous team. Guys like Malinga and me came up with a plan and forced teams to beat us against that plan,” he added.
Arabians dominated the tournament ever since losing the opening match to reigning champions Northern Warriors 10 days ago. Sunday’s victory was their sixth win from their seven subsequent matches, with the rain the only thing to get the better of them in that time.
Meanwhile, former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj, who made his T10 debut in this edition of the league, said: “It was a fast event, a big experience for me. If other countries play some T10, they’ll get used to it.”
Brief scores: Deccan Gladiators 88/7 (Asif Khan 25, Bhanuka Rajapaksa 23; Dwayne Bravo 2/16), Maratha Arabians 89/2 (Chadwick Walton 51*, Chris Lynn 16; Migael Pretorius 1/16).