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Northern Warriors continued to assert their dominance in the second round of tournament too as they rampaged past Team Abu Dhabi in a closely fought encounter. They are now set to face Deccan Gladiators in the upcoming match, which is to be played on 2nd February 2021 at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
Northern Warriors continued to surprise one and all with their batting prowess. Even though they lost Nicholas Pooran, their primary striker, the Warriors chased down a decent total with considerable ease. With that win today, the Warriors moved to the second spot on the points table and another win here should be enough for them to reserve a berth in the playoffs.
On paper, the Warriors have an immaculately balanced side with an excellent amalgamation of youth and experience. The power of their youth was on exhibition today as Waseem Muhammad smashed 76 off 34 deliveries to guide them home. Apart from him, the Warriors have Lendl Simmons, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, and Fabian Allen who all can hit hard ball hard right from the word go.
Even with the ball, the Warriors ooze experience. Wahab Riaz, Wayne Parnell, and Rayad Emrit are experienced campaigners and can be difficult to hit for big hits consistently. All in all, the Warriors seem to be having all their bases covered, and getting past them is going to take colossal effort.
LMP Simmons, Waseem Muhammad, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Brandon King, F Allen, Dhananjaya Lakshan, RR Emrit, Wayne Parnell, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Siddique.
With yet another loss in the competition, the Gladiators dropped down to the sixth spot on the points table. They have a pretty poor net run-rate of -1.550 and will need to win here if they do not want to depend on their net run-rate and some other results to go to the next round.
Given the experience the Gladiators have in their bowling lineup, it is surprising to see how they have won just one match so far. The primary reason for their dismal performance has been their batting, which is yet to score consistently. Kieron Pollard played a belligerent knock in the recently concluded match but failed to push his side to a match-winning performance. Clearly, the Gladiators appear to be a little too over-reliant on Pollard to deal the damage with the bat and that has reflected in the kind of scores that Gladiators have ended with when Pollard has failed to fire.
Apart from over-reliance on Pollard, the Gladiators are struggling to get their lineup right. More than half of the tournament has elapsed and they are yet to zero-in on their opening combination. On the bowling front, however, the Gladiators will be pretty happy. They have three of the world's best T20 spinners in the world and they all have done pretty well in this format as well. Having said that, the Gladiators need their batsmen to fire big-time and if they can do that, they certainly have the bowlers to keep opponents at bay.
M Shahzad, SP Narine, C Delport, Azam Khan, Kieron Pollard, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Anwar Ali, Ravi Rampaul, Aaron Summers, Zahoor Khan, Z Zameer.
The importance of this match is right at the top for both sides. A win for Warriors will propel them into the next round whereas Gladiators need to register a win here to keep their chances strong going forward. We expect this match to go right down to the wire, but with a well-balanced team, the Warriors are better placed to emerge on top on Tuesday.
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