Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 12 December 2019

Team Abu Dhabi captain Moeen Ali hails 'trump card' Rohan Mustafa after T10 win over Northern Warriors

Fledgling franchise registers first win, as opposition captain Sammy awaits arrival of title-winning stars

After the team representing the capital won their first match in the tournament bearing the city’s name, captain Moeen Ali described Team Abu Dhabi’s lone UAE starter as being their “trump card”.

It is barely a month since the franchise registered as the eighth team in the newly-rebranded Abu Dhabi T10. They are up to speed almost immediately.

Having tied their opening game against Qalandars on Friday, Team Abu Dhabi notched a maiden win as a competitive entity two days later.

They were comfortable six-wicket winners over Northern Warriors, the 10-over league’s defending champions, as they chased the 93 they needed to win with the best part of two overs to spare.

Just as he had in the opening match two days earlier, Rohan Mustafa had excelled after bowling in the power play.

The UAE all-rounder went for just 16 from his two overs, which is just one more run than he went for in the opening match, and his efforts have been keenly appreciated by his captain.

“We don’t have any superstar players, but we have very good players,” Moeen said. “The set up is amazing, and we know as players we have been very, very fortunate so far.

“Rohan, our opening bowler, for me has been our trump card so far. He is an outstanding bowler, who has made it very difficult for top players. So far, so good, but we realise things can change around very quickly."

It was a second listless defeat in less than 24 hours for the holders, following on from being bowled out within nine overs by Qalandars on Saturday.

Daren Sammy, the Warriors captain, had opted to employ himself as a makeshift opener for the first time in his career.

He said the team are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Lendl Simmons and Nicholas Pooran, two of the stars of their title win last season, after West Indies’ T20 series against Afghanistan in India.

“I have never opened the batting before, but you see in T10, you want the guys who can hit the ball [a long distance] batting most of the overs,” Sammy said.

“We have two guys coming in for the next leg of the series in Simmons and Pooran. They were the best opening partnership in it last year, and instrumental in us winning.

“I think that will bring more stability at the top for us. Then if we can add a few more per cent effort with the ball, we will be right up the chart.”

Updated: November 17, 2019 07:16 PM

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