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Match Analysis

Morrisville Samp Army retain unbeaten status in debut Abu Dhabi T10 season

Karim Janat hits 58 not out off 28 to maintain new franchise's perfect start

Aadam Patel
Karim Janat and David Miller celebrate victory, Morrisville Samp Army vs Chennai Braves, Abu Dhabi T10, November 27, 2022

Karim Janat and David Miller celebrate victory  •  Abu Dhabi T10

Three wins out of three and it all seems nice and easy for Morrisville Samp Army on their first showing at the Abu Dhabi T10. They have taken to the format like ducks to water and they will go into the second week of the tournament as the only unbeaten side left in Season 6 of the competition.
Set a target of 106 by Chennai Braves after captain Moeen Ali chose to bowl first, Samp Army timed their chase to perfection with Karim Janat taking centre stage with a quite superb unbeaten 58 off 28 deliveries.
With 11 required off the final over, Janat gave Carlos Brathwaite a taste of his own medicine by sending him for two consecutive sixes to finish the job off in style. For all the might of David Miller at the other end, who combined with Janat to put on 76, it was the experienced South African who allowed the man from Afghanistan to take centre stage.
Miller faced just 10 of the 35 deliveries during their partnership as Janat cashed in with six sixes during his match-winning knock. The pair came together at 31 for 2 in the fourth over and Braves simply had no answers for the power and timing of Janat.
His first six came at the end of the fifth over as he smashed Sikander Raza over long-off and he took down Sabir Rao in the next over with two more maximums. In the penultimate over, Sam Cook began well, varying his pace, but Janat was equal to the task as he picked off Cook's slower ball and pulled it over deep square leg for six. Miller then seized on Cook's full toss to lower the equation to 11 off seven but he missed the final ball which meant that Janat was on strike.
Perhaps it was seeing Brathwaite handed the final over that inspired Janat to wrap things up in boundaries and there was no sign of him delegating the duty to Miller. Janat heaved Brathwaite's first ball over deep midwicket for six to bring up his half century, before dispatching the next ball down the ground and over the ropes to seal victory.
Lance Klusener, head coach of Samp Army echoed his praises for Janat after the game, who has now scored 80 runs off 42 balls in the tournament at a strike rate of 190.47 without getting dismissed.
"It's not a surprise for me because that's what he does. The talent has always been there and I'm just thrilled that he's been able to deliver on that stage," Klusener, his former Afghanistan coach, said. "There's not many I know who try harder and work harder than him."
Janat himself insisted that Miller backed him to take on the bowlers during their conversations in between overs. "David's experience was helpful and he told me to go for it," he said.
Go for it, he did. Samp Army's run chase was the fifth successive target chased down in the tournament after the first eight games of the season were won by the side batting first and judging by initial impressions, they look like the side to beat.
With a shrewd bowling attack containing the likes of Anrich Nortje, Sheldon Cottrell, Dwayne Pretorius and George Garton, combined with the leadership of Moeen, they have raced out of the blocks and got off to the dream start in their first campaign at the Abu Dhabi T10.
In the first game of Sunday's triple-header, skipper Rovman Powell smashed 76* off 28 balls to take his Northern Warriors side to their first win of the competition as they beat Bangla Tigers by six wickets.
The final game saw a rematch of last year's final as Deccan Gladiators came up against Delhi Bulls. Tom Kohler-Cadmore's brutal 82* off 33 deliveries fired Gladiators to a total of 140 for 2 off their ten overs and despite Rilee Rossouw (28 off 15) and Tim David's (48 off 24) best efforts in a partnership of 79, Bulls ultimately fell 18 runs short.

Aadam Patel is a freelance sports reporter who has written for BBC Sport, the Daily Mail, ESPNcricinfo, the Cricketer and other publications @aadamp9