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12th Match (N), Abu Dhabi, November 23, 2021, Abu Dhabi T10
(4.2/10 ov, T:91) 91/1

Bangla Tiger won by 9 wickets (with 34 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
36 (12)

Johnson Charles, Hazratullah Zazai tee off as Tigers show claws

Bangla Tigers ensured Chennai Braves stayed winless by reaching their target in 26 balls

Aadam Patel
Hazratullah Zazai and Johnson Charles hammered 67 in 3.1 overs  •  Abu Dhabi T10

Hazratullah Zazai and Johnson Charles hammered 67 in 3.1 overs  •  Abu Dhabi T10

Bangla Tigers 91 for 1 (Charles 36) beat Chennai Braves 90 for 6 (Perera 26, Howell 2-22) by nine wickets
On a night where most batters struggled on a much slower and trickier wicket in Abu Dhabi, Johnson Charles and Hazratullah Zazai of the Bangla Tigers made it look like they were playing on a different surface to the rest.
Tasked with chasing 91 to beat Chennai Braves, Charles, promoted to open after struggling lower down the order, blasted 36 off 12 balls including five sixes, alongside Zazai who smashed 34 not out off the nine deliveries he faced, in a quite brutal display of T10 hitting.
The batting blitzkrieg from the pair ensured that they made light work of the challenge in front of them, before Will Jacks carried on from where he left off on Sunday night to finish the job. It took the Tigers just 26 balls to reach their target.
It was an emphatic hammering that leaves Braves rooted at the bottom of the table of the Abu Dhabi T10, alongside Northern Warriors, as the two teams who are yet to win a game.
After Deccan Gladiators had earlier got off to a nervy start in their chase of just 71 against Northern Warriors, before David Wiese rescued them with 27 off nine, Tigers might have gone in at the interval with an element of doubt.
That was despite an exceptional effort with the ball and in the field as they restricted Braves to a meagre total of 90 for 6 off their ten overs.
Any such doubt was thrashed away as the man from St Lucia hit Munaf Patel for three huge sixes in the first over of the run chase and when Zazai thumped Curtis Campher for 26 off the second over, the game was as good as done. At 46 without loss after two overs, it was a matter of time.
Young Welshman Roman Walker, a former England Under-19s seamer, was welcomed into the attack by getting sent over deep midwicket by Charles and despite the West Indian being dismissed by his countryman, Mark Deyal, the Tigers rampaged on.
Jacks, fresh from his stunning unbeaten 57 not out against Northern Warriors, got going with consecutive boundaries off Deyal, before dancing down the pitch to tonk the offspinner over long-on.
And it was left for Zazai to seal Tigers' second victory, after starting their campaign with two defeats, by heaving Tion Webster over long-on for six more.
Remarkably, 82 of the 91 runs came via boundaries and that clear focus was something that Charles elaborated on.
"If it's raining sixes, you don't need to run... I was feeling great actually," he said. "With these small totals, you really don't want to mess around. You just want to get on with it and get it out of the way as soon as possible. In T10, there's really no time to pick which bowler you're going to go after, so you've gotta go."
He joked after that much of his conversation with Zazai was a fairly simple one: "You stay over there and I'll stay over here. Let's just keep hitting them."
For skipper Faf du Plessis, a man renowned for sending the ball to all parts, it was pleasing to know that he wasn't required with the bat.
"When the guys are striking the ball like that, it's very nice to be on the side," du Plessis said.
For Tigers, the arrival of Mohammed Amir after recovering from Covid-19 will add another left-armer to their pace attack, alongside James Faulkner, Isuru Udana and Luke Wood, and there is little doubt that the quality and experience of Amir will have an important role to play over the coming week if they are to progress to the play-offs.
Another left-armer, Tymal Mills is also back and firing after suffering a tournament-ending injury at the T20 World Cup. Mills stayed on in the UAE to support the England side and do his rehab with the England setup to get himself fit and ready for the Abu Dhabi T10.
On his return to action, he picked up the prized scalp of his England captain Eoin Morgan and here he dismissed the Warriors skipper and top-scorer of the competition thus far, Rovman Powell.
"It wasn't a bad injury, I knew it would just be a couple of weeks but it was very frustrating to miss the back end of the World Cup," Mills said. "I'm still easing my way into it, getting the confidence back and it's nice to be able to contribute to a few wins."

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