Desperate Bulls face Arabians' threat!
Maratha Arabians to win the match!
After a hiccup in the tournament opener, Dwayne Bravo's Maratha Arabians have been on a roll and if not for a rain interruption in their last game, had a strong chance to make it three wins in a row. The Arabians will be facing a rattled Bulls outfit who are winless in their last three games. It's been a shocking decline for Eoin Morgan's men who have found themselves in sticky situations over the last few matches. There is quality in the side to bounce back but time is running out for them.
In such a scenario, facing an upbeat Arabians side will be a stiff challenge. The Arabians have enviable firepower right from the openers with Chris Lynn leading the way. Having quality defensive bowlers gives them another advantage in such a short format. For the Bulls, it's been all about their skipper and Morgan has done brilliantly but obviously, cannot do it all alone.
The others need to step in with the bat to support their captain and only a collective effort can help the Bulls mount a comeback. They do have some solid matchwinners in there and how the Bulls batting fares against Arabians' bowling could be one of the major subplots in this game.
Skipper Morgan has been in brilliant form with 156 runs to his name already but the top order has been inconsistent with hardly any impact knocks from the openers barring the one from Kusal Perera. After Morgan, it's been Angelo Mathews who has got some runs and even though those haven't come at a brisk pace, he has at least stitched partnerships with his skipper. Sherfane Rutherford and Mohammad Nabi will be key men for the Bulls, given the multi-dimensional value, they add to the side. The latter's batting in particular needs to be used in a smarter way.
The bowling is decent, with the death bowling in dependable hands. High time the Bulls top order rose to the occasion.
Key Players: Sherfane Rutherford, Mohammad Nabi
K Perera(wk), M Usman, S Rutherford, E Morgan(c), A Mathews, M Nabi, A Rashid, Z Khan, R Rampaul, D Chameera, A Khan
With a mammoth 176 runs to his kitty already, Lynn is in devastating form and if his partner Hazratullah Zazai can also get going, imagine the mayhem. Adam Lyth (101 runs) has also been hitting the ball very well.
There is plenty of batting depth too and this allows the Arabians batsmen to express themselves from the outset. With the likes of Lasith Malinga, Mitchell McClenaghan and Dwayne Bravo in the bowling unit, it's an attack that can be smart under pressure, particularly while defending scores. Leggie Wanindu Hasaranga has also been a valuable addition to the unit. With form, momentum and balance on their side. Zazai is yet to score big but the team would stick to the dynamic Afghan opener.
Key Players: Chris Lynn, Mitchell McClenaghan
C Lynn, H Zazai, A Lyth, N Zadran, C Walton(wk), D Shanaka, D Bravo, W Hasaranga, M McClenaghan, L Malinga, S Ahmed
Rain is predicted through the week in UAE and it's started to affect results. The showers aren't expected to be a massive downpour but they don't need to be either, to affect such short-format games. With a fresh surface prepared daily, we can expect a good batting pitch with plenty of runs in it. Bowlers need to vary their pace to get some sort of control. Wrist spinners could perhaps have a better chance while the finger spinners need to be good defensively.
Sheikh Zayed Stadium is one of the finest stadiums in the world due to quality infrastructure and fine playing conditions. The dimensions of the ground has kept the bowlers in the game but still, it's mostly been a batsmen's tournament in the 2019 T10 League as expected.
It's come to a stage when the captains won't mind losing the toss. Chasing remains a preferred option but sides are also successfully defending scores, which means that there is a good balance. But sides will still look to chase as this would be the first game of the day.
The Arabians are firing on all cylinders and have a balanced side across departments. The Bulls are down on confidence and what's more, have an out-of-form top order.
Considering all factors, the Arabians are firm favorites in this clash!
Maratha Arabians to win the match!