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We are finally approaching the business end in the Abu Dhabi T10 League and things are beginning to pan out beautifully. With all eight teams still pretty much in contention to qualify, Wednesday might turn out to be the most important day of the tournament thus far. There are multiple virtual knockouts that are going to be played and all sides are expected to come hard at each other.
Northern Warriors are going to take on Pune Devils in the last match of the day in what is going to be a do-or-die match for the Devils. The Warriors, on the other hand, seem pretty well placed here but would want to register a win to have a shot at finishing among the top two teams. The match between the two sides is to be played at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, on 4th January 2021.
Northern Warriors lost their first match of the competition, but they haven't looked back after that. Currently, they are sitting at the top of the table separated only by net run-rate from Qalandars and Delhi Bulls. A win here for the Warriors will put them into the driving seat as far as finishing among the top two teams is concerned.
The Warriors will be ruing the fact that they were slow to get off the blocks and that might come back to haunt them should other results do not go their way. Having said that, the Warriors have done remarkably well in the four matches that they played after losing the first one.
In their most recent encounter, the Warriors defeated Deccan Gladiators in a high-scoring encounter that went right down to the wire. Batting first, the Warriors smashed a total of 143 runs with almost everyone chipping in with brief cameos. Rovman Powell top-scored for them with a 23-ball 51. With the ball, however, they weren't as clinical as they had been in the tournament. Dhananjaya Lakshan conceded 31 runs in his over and that allowed Gladiators to bounce back into the match. The Warriors did well to eventually come out at the top in this closely fought match.
On paper, the Warriors have all the ingredients of a decent T10 team. They have a fantastic batting order with almost everyone capable of scoring runs at a rapid rate. Apart from that, their bowlers have not only picked up wickets but have also bowled economically. With the likes of Wahab Riaz, Junaid Siddiqui, Wayne Parnell, and Fabian Allen, their bowling is hard to get past. All in all, the Warriors are a well-balanced team, and shouldn't be easy to get past the Devils in this all-important match.
Nicholas Pooran, LMP Simmons, RR Emrit, F Allen, Wahab Riaz, Brandon King, Wayne Parnell, Waheed Ahmed, Rovman Powell, Waseem Muhammad, Junaid Siddique.
Unlike the Warriors, the Devils have been pretty inconsistent in the tournament, and barring their lone win, they haven't even looked like winning. Their net run-rate, which is -2.832 is evidence enough to illustrate how poor the Devils have been. In four matches, they have won just one and are consequently placed at the seventh position on the points table.
Exactly opposite to the Warriors, the Devils have registered four back to back losses after starting off their campaign on a winning note. Besides, the performance of the Devils has consistently been degrading with every passing match. In their most recent encounter, the Devils failed to put up even a challenging total on the board, scoring just 57 runs off their allotted ten overs. The target was nonchalantly overhauled by the Bulls in less than five overs.
With almost no experienced batsmen at the top except Tom Kohler Cadmore, the Devils have struggled with the bat. Their batsmen have had their moments of glory, but those were too far too few. On the bowling front as well, the Devils depend heavily on Mohammad Amir to not only stop the flow of runs but also to pick up wickets. Overall, the Devils have plenty of vulnerabilities that can be exploited by good teams. Unless their players manage to perform miraculously well, Pune Devils are likely to have a hard time in their remaining two matches as well.
Nasir Hossain, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, K Lewis, CAK Walton, Alex Davies, DC Thomas, Karan KC, Monir Hossain, Vriitya Aravind, Munis Ansari, Sam Wisniewski.
The two teams have had contrasting fortunes in the tournament so far and that is largely due to the team combinations that the two teams have. While the Warriors have experienced oozing through their squad, the Devils lack experience in both departments of the game. Also, the Warriors have a well-rounded team with many players contributing whereas the Devils seem to be a bit too over-reliant on only a couple of players. For those reasons, the Warriors are a better team and, therefore, firm favorites to emerge on top in this upcoming match.
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