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After a couple of days of incredible hitting, wily bowling, and ubelievable drama, the wait is finally over. We have the top two teams of the third edition of the Abu Dhabi T10 League and the teams will take on each other in the grand finale tomorrow. Deccan Gladiators became the second team to qualify for the finale and will join the Arabians, who the Gladiators never faced in the tournament before. The grand finale is set to be played at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi and needless to say it is the most important match of the tournament. Both the sides are expected to give it their all to take home the coveted trophy.
Not a lot has changed since the last time Maratha Arabians took field. The only thing that has happened is Maratha Arabians winning another match. After finishing at the top of the table in the league stage, the Arabians went on to win the first qualifier.
Chris Lynn has been the chief architect of the Arabians' road to the finale. In the last four matches, he has scored as many fifties as most players have scored in the entire competition. He has earned the player of the match thrice, including in the all-important qualifier.
In the last match, Maratha Arabians racked up a massive total of 119 on the board and that proved too much to handle for the Qalandars. With enterprising spells from their key bowlers, they managed to defend that total with considerable ease as the Qalandars fell short of the total by seven runs despite some late fireworks at the back-end of the innings.
Chris Lynn, Adam Lyth, N Zadran, Dasun Shanaka, Y Singh, CAK Walton, Dwayne Bravo, MJ Mcclenaghan, Kasun Rajitha, Lasith Malinga, Shiraz Ahmed.
The Gladiators managed to claw their way back into the top two teams as they rampaged past the Qalandars in the second half of the tournament. It, however, was not before the Qalandars had Gladiators on the mat before being bailed by brutal power-hitting by Ben Cutting.
Batting first on a used surface, the Gladiators got off a superb start with Mohammad Shahzad hitting sixes all across the ground, but soon lost their way as Samit Patel picked up two wickets in an over. The Gladiators kept losing wickets at regular intervals, primarily because of aiming too high. Just when they were staring at a sub-100 finish, a little cameo by Kieren Pollard followed by a scintillating knock by Ben Cutting propelled them to 117, which the Qalandars found too tough to hunt down.
While the colossal total was set up by brutal late hitting by Cutting, the bowlers played a key role as well. Fawad Ahmed, who had already been one of the best bowlers in the tournament, delivered yet again as he picked up two crucial wickets and gave away next to nothing in his two overs. Of all the sides in the tournament, the Gladiators certainly have a bowling attack that can stop the Arabians.
M Shahzad, SR Watson, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dan Lawrence, Kieron Pollard, Asif Khan, Ben Cutting, Migael Pretorius, Fawad Ahmed, Sheldon Cottrell, Zahoor Khan.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy lineup for the finale of the Abu Dhabi T10 League to be played between Maratha Arabians and Deccan Gladiators
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It is perfectly fitting that the two teams who are going to meet in the final haven't met in the tournament before. Both the teams have some explosive power-hitters available at their disposal who can turn the match in a matter of minutes. While the Gladiators have the services of Fawad Ahmed, who has arguably been the best bowler, the Arabians have Chris Lynn who has taken apart all kinds of bowling attacks. It will be an exciting battle between the two players as well as the teams and we think that the Arabians are going to end up winning the match and consequently the trophy, largely due to their immaculate balance and the form Chris Lynn is in.
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