Deccan Gladiators will take on Northern Warriors on the penultimate day of the Super League in the Abu Dhabi T10 League on Thursday.
Okay, just when we thought we’d seen everything in the world of cricket, the last match on Wednesday was called off due to THE UNAVAILABILITY OF PRINTOUTS! Yep, you read that right! The sport of cricket sometimes does throw common sense out of the window and we all have to unanimously agree with it. So, after Wednesday’s goof-up, poor Deccan Gladiators will be on the field once again on Thursday, aiming to stake their claim for the play-offs. One thing I do have in abundance, however, is common sense, so assuming we have enough *printouts* for the day, here are my picks from today’s game between the Gladiators and the Warriors!
Deccan Gladiators to hit more sixes than Northern Warriors @ 1.95
The addition of Nicholas Pooran has been an invaluable one for the Northern Warriors, for they’ve found one more six hitter, but the fact of the matter is that they are still heavily reliant on Andre Russell to deliver them the big blows and it is concerning. Take Thursday’s match for that matter: despite batting out their full quota of 10 overs, all they could manage was just THREE sixes and all three of them were hit by none other than Russell himself. In fact, only two Warriors batsmen - Pooran and Russell - have hit more than 3 sixes in the entirety of the tournament.
The Warriors have hit 23 sixes so far this tournament with 12 of them coming off the bat of Russell. In stark contrast, the Gladiators have hit a whopping 29 sixes so far and this despite them batting just 2.2 overs in one of the matches. In fact, on Wednesday, despite playing just 14 balls, the Gladiators (2) almost hit as many sixes as the Warriors (3). All of Pollard, Rajapaska, Shahzad and Watson have been in terrific six-hitting form and the Gladiators have a total of 4 batsmen who’ve hit 4 or more sixes in this series. In fact, in both of their last two completed matches, the Gladiators have hit more sixes than their opponents and I have no doubt that they will replicate the same feat on Thursday.
Mohammad Shahzad to win the race to 10 runs against Shane Watson @ 2.00
T10 is a format where you’ve to be in overdrive mode from the word go and thanks to format being fresh, very few batsmen have mastered the art of ‘getting off to a flyer’. But one batsman who’s a pro when it comes to teeing off early is Mohammad Shahzad. So, here’s the deal: The last 227 of Shahzad’s runs in T10 cricket have come at a ridiculous strike rate of 221. We are talking about a man who, in his dictionary, does not have a word for “getting the eye in”. His strike rate this season is a staggering 227.65, compared to Watson’s 167.53. In fact, Watson has struggled to even get to the 10-run mark as in his last three innings, he has done it only once, registering scores of 1 and 0 in his other two knocks.
Shahzad, on the other hand, has successfully surpassed the 10-run mark in his last three innings and has, in fact, had a strike rate of 254.05 in his last three knocks. So far this series,Shahzad has won the ‘race to 10’ versus Watson on every occasion whenever he’s passed 10 and so my money is fully on him to to the same on Thursday.
Over 8.5 runs to be scored in the first over @ 2.00
This is one event that flabbergasts me every time I come across and I still can’t get my head around the fact that the bookmakers seem to favour ‘under 8.5 runs to be scored’ in a T10 match. Come on guys, it’s a freakin T10 match. But I’m not complaining, though. It’s an opportunity there for the taking. Both these teams have picked up the pace as the tournament has progressed. While the Gladiators have scored an average of 8.6 runs in the first over of their last 3 matches, the Warriors, on the other, have actually bettered them and have averaged 10 runs in the first over.
As I’ve attested before, the pitches have gotten flatter as the tournament has progressed - the last 10 matches have seen the team batting first score more than 100 - and this has, in turn, also meant that we’ve seen teams score higher in the first over. The Northern Warriors struck a whopping 16 in the first over of their last match, while the Gladiators struck 11 runs. The three matches on Wednesday of the Super League saw teams scoring an average of 11 runs in the first over and it won’t be one bit surprising to see the same unfold on Thursday. As obvious an outcome as there can be.