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Barny Read in Abu Dhabi
A rain-affected sixth day of the Abu Dhabi T10 ended in farcical fashion as confusion reigned over the specifics of Deccan Gladiators' shortened chase against Team Abu Dhabi, with players ready on the field but officials still in discussion off it as the game's cut-off time was reached.
Abu Dhabi T10 rules state that a minimum of five overs must be bowled in both innings to constitute a contest. Deccan were 25 for 1 after 2.2 overs when rain stopped play, just 2.4 overs shy of forcing a result. The rain duly cleared with the Abu Dhabi fielders and unbeaten Gladiators pair Mohammad Shahzad and Anton Devcich taking to the field only to be left waiting as discussions continued off the field.*
Despite a target of 62 to win from five overs being set - leaving Deccan needing 37 from 16 balls - the 13 minutes that had elapsed with the players in limbo took the game past its 9.59pm local time cut-off.
A lack of DLS printouts of projected scores was said to be behind the error but with a revised total confirmed and the Deccan chase reduced to its minimum five overs, there seemed no requirement for target forecasts beyond the final revision. In a statement, the organisers confirmed that "supporting documentation" on the target was not available, leading to the delay.
"In the second innings of the Deccan Gladiators vs Team Abu Dhabi match, rain suspended play at 21.30, with covers coming on immediately at Zayed Cricket Stadium," the statement read. "Match officials confirmed that play would resume at 21.46, with the view to reduce the match to five overs, implementing the DLS.
"DLS target discussions continued between team management and match officials as both teams took to the field. Supporting documentation was requested, and this was not immediately available before the scheduled 21.59 match cut-off time. The match referee subsequently decided to abandon the match."
The point apiece leaves Deccan top of the pile on seven points, but it will be a particularly tough result for Abu Dhabi to take. A win would have moved them to five points and as high as third place, within one point of the Gladiators on six, strengthening their grip on the top-four finish required to remain in the competition. But now, and with one game left to play, the UAE capital's franchise could be out of the competition by the time they take on Karnataka Tuskers in their final outing on Friday.
Earlier in the day, a spate of bad weather across the UAE made its way to the capital at the midway stage of the first game as Maratha Arabians and Karnataka was called off before the latter could start their pursuit of 130 for victory. The subsequent match had Bangla Tigers edge out reigning champions Northern Warriors by six runs.
The tournament's organisers have also faced questions over the format, following two tied matches without a tie-breaker such as a Super Over in place.
*05.40GMT, November 21: The article was updated after the organisers issued their statement