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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Andre Fletcher says T10 format 'is for West Indians' because 'we are strong guys'

In-form Grenada opener explains success of Caribbean players after his half-century proves crucial in Pakhtoons' eight-run win over Sindhis

Andre Fletcher was in top form for Pakthoons once again - this time against Sindhis in Sharjah on Saturday. The National
Andre Fletcher was in top form for Pakthoons once again - this time against Sindhis in Sharjah on Saturday. The National

The West Indian takeover of the T10 League continued apace as Andre Fletcher guided Pakhtoons to an eight-run win over Sindhis at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

The ground was still buzzing from the feats of Northern Warriors, a side mostly-peopled by players from the Caribbean, the previous evening.

Nicholas Pooran, Lendl Simmons, Andre Russell and Rovman Powell, who are all West Indies internationals, had combined to remarkable effect then, scoring 183 on Friday night in a 99-run win over Punjabi Legends.

This time around it was the turn of the in-form Grenadian opener Fletcher to entertain the weekend crowd in Sharjah, as he made an unbeaten 68 in 29 balls to lay the platform for Pakhtoons’ total of 137-6.

He had a fair slice of assistance in getting there. Sindhis did not deserve to stand a chance, given their fielding display. They dropped Fletcher three times in one Isuru Udana over, then again in the next, too.

The final indignity arrived when the Pakhtoons innings ended with that rarest sight at Sharjah generally, and in this tournament in particular: a three. It was brought about by two separate overthrows, as the Sindhis fielding effort regressed to Under 11 schoolboy levels.

Despite their abject efforts in the field, Sindhis still made a fist of their chase, in particular thanks to Thisara Perera.

The powerful Sri Lankan hit sevens sixes – and no other boundaries besides – in a 13-ball stay worth 47.

With two balls left, his side required 10 to win. Although Sharafuddin Ashraf sent down a wide, he held his nerve as Pakhtoons closed out the win.

For Fletcher, it was the latest in a string of fine performances in short formats. His score matched that which he made in Pakhtoons’ previous outing, when they beat Rajputs.

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And he arrived he on the back of one fine showing in the Afghanistan Premier League, as well as a stand-out run in the Caribbean Premier League before that.

“I would say I’m in some good touch, and I hope it continues for a long time,” Fletcher said.

“T10 is a batsman’s game, and I am enjoying it. I love the atmosphere, and I just go out there and have fun.

“I would say [West Indian players] have a natural ability to hit the ball far, based on our physiques.

“We are strong guys, and I guess this format is for West Indians. We just have to continue doing our thing.

“In this format, it is not like T20 where you can tell yourself you have a little bit more time. Anything can happen and you have to go for it from ball one.

“You have to ride your luck and hope that things work out well.”

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Read more:

UAE fans lucky to have option of watching T10 League or Dubai Test

Bowlers strike back as Tambe and Yamin have a ball on second day

Jason Roy interview: On playing in T10 League and England career

Team-by-team guide ahead of Season 2 of Sharjah tournament