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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 October 2018

Abu Dhabi T20: Colin Ingram fires Boost Defenders to victory over Auckland Aces

South African all-rounder’s 47-ball knock proved decisive in the competition's opening game

Boost Defenders captain Colin Ingram may have hit a match-leading knock, but the South African all-rounder insisted his side’s victory in the opening match of the Abu Dhabi T20 on Thursday was a team effort.

The Afghan franchise got their campaign in the $150,000 three-day tournament off to the perfect start with a 35-run victory over New Zealand’s Auckland Aces at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

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No 3 batsman Ingram, who arrived at the crease after just five balls, top-scored with an unbeaten 84 which was delivered off just 47 deliveries and contained six fours and four sixes. The South African was ably supported by Cameron Delport, who hit a 20-ball 36 and with Ingram shared a 47-run stand for the second wicket.

Ingram and Afghanistan international Noor ul Haq then shared a 74-run stand for the sixth wicket to guide Boost to 205-5.

The target proved too sizable for the Aces, who were restricted to 170-5, despite an unbeaten 67 from Robbie O’Donnell.

“It was a great start for the team with a number of different guys contributing to the win,” said 33-year-old Ingram, who has played nine T20 internationals for South Africa.

“I think with an early wicket falling I wanted to get it going with partnerships in the middle period of the inning.

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“There were contributions from the other batters as well with everyone doing their bit to get us a challenging score at the end of our inning.”

While Ingram and his side excelled with the bat, the South African admitted that had he won the toss, he would have opted to bowl first.

“We thought we would have bowled first as well but I’m glad we did well batting first and that’s what was important for us,” he said.

“The pitch was quite slow out of the surface but still a good one to bat on. This one is behind us.

“Winning today was naturally important for us. We have a big game against the Multiply Titans.”

On Friday, Hobart Hurricanes take on Lahore Qalanders at 3pm in Group A, which is followed at 7pm by Defenders against Titans in Group B.

Saturday's action begins at 11am with Hobart taking on Yorkshire Vikings in the final Group A clash, before at 3pm Auckland and Titans contest their Group B match.

The top teams from the respective groups will then compete in the final at 8pm.