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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

T10 League: Andre Fletcher guides Pakhtoons to narrow win over Rajputs

West Indian opener made a perfectly-timed 68 not out from 27 balls, and hit the winning runs off Samit Patel’s final over

Andre Fletcher was a match-winner for Pakhtoons once again - this time against Sindhis. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Andre Fletcher was a match-winner for Pakhtoons once again - this time against Sindhis. Chris Whiteoak / The National

The largest crowd yet in the second season of the T10 League were treated to its closest finish to date, too, as Andre Fletcher guided Pakhtoons to a nine wicket win over Rajputs with just two balls to spare.

The West Indian opener made a perfectly-timed 68 not out from 27 balls, and hit the winning runs off Samit Patel’s final over.

The win was happily received by an 80 per cent full Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The majority of supporters have taken to supporting Pakhtoons, on account of the fact they are captained by Shahid Afridi, the former Pakistan all-rounder who is consistently the biggest crowd-puller to this stadium.

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Read more:

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Sohail Khan, the Pakistan pace-bowler, broke the hearts of the majority of early arrivals, who would no doubt have hoped for a reprisal of Mohammed Shahzad’s fireworks from the opening day.

Two days earlier, Shahzad had hit 74 in just 16 balls as Rajputs beat Sindhis in the first match of Season 2 with six overs to spare.

He stayed for just an over this time, managing a solitary six, before Sohail had him caught by Shahid Afridi at mid-wicket. Oddly, Sohail celebrated by hugging the disconsolate dismissed batsman.

Even without Shahzad, though, Rajputs are not short of power-hitting prowess. Brendon McCullum, Shahzad’s opening partner, took the responsibility on.

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He provided the bulk of the runs, with a 29-ball innings worth 58 that was a reminder of his pomp. Rilee Rossouw and Laurie Evans each maintained a healthy rate, too, as Rajputs posted 121 for three from their 10.

That was not enough, though, as Fletcher maintained the sort of form that has caught the eye in the Carribean and Afghanistan Premier Leagues of late.

Fletcher hit five sixes and six fours, and was capably supported by Cameron Delport, who made 22, and Shafiqullah, who was not out on 29 when the win was sealed.