Shane Watson defies age to take the Gladiators home

Abu Dhabi: Deccan Gladiators skipper Shane Watson seems to be getting better with age.

After his unbeaten knock of 57 went on vain in the opening match of the Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10 match on Friday to Delhi Bulls, the 38-year-old Australian — who retired from international cricket three years ago — hit a brilliant 41 off 25 balls with three boundaries and three sixes to ensure a six-wicket win over Bangla Tigers.

Man of the match Watson said later: “It’s a relief to get off the mark. We played well in the last game (against Delhi Bulls) but could not win. Got a couple of things wrong, but to put it right tonight was pleasing. Wicket played truer today, more value for shots.”

Watson admitted that to chase a target of over 10 runs an over is not easy. “I wouldn’t say it was an easy target when you have to get 10 runs an over or over 10 runs an over. It is never easy in a 10-over game. Obviously, we got off to a good start with Anton Devcich and me building a really good partnership. But even at 10 an over, you still to keep hitting the boundaries. So, it worked out well in the end.”

Will winning the toss and batting second be a winning trend then? “You don’t want to tell the team that (smile). If you lose the toss you don’t want to feel like you are out of the game. But there’s no doubt from a mentality point of view to be able to understand how many you got to get and there are only 10 overs, it definitely is an advantage. That’s definitely not to say that you can’t set a really good total and then it is just too many for the opposition to be able to chase. The more you get used to the conditions, batting second does help. But you don’t want it to be a fatal thing when you actually lose the toss.”

Bengal Tigers skipper Thisara Perera is disappointed that they lost the match despite posting a good total. “It was a good score to defend but a couple of big overs in between cost us the game. At one stage of our inning, we thought we could get around 120 but it was still a good target to defend. We had some pretty good bowlers yet it didn’t go our way. Hopefully we win our next game.”

Brief scores: (Match 1) Deccan Gladiators bt Bangla Tigers by six wkts. Deccan Gladiators 108 for 5 in 10 overs (Colin Ingram 37, Rilee Rossouw 26, Migael Pretorius 3 for 10) Deccan Gladiators: 109 for 4 in 9.5 overs (Shane Watson 41, Anton Devcich 27 David Wiese 2 for 15).

Man of the Match: Shane Watson (Deccan Gladiators)

(Match 2) Karnataka Tuskers bt Delhi Bulls by 19 runs. Karnataka Tuskers 110 for 5 in 10 overs (Upul Tharanga 48, Shafiqullah Shafiq 34, Ravi Rampaul 2 for 16) Delhi Bulls 91 for 8 in 10 overs (Eoin Morgan 21, Angelo Mathews 31, Nathan Rimmington 3 for 28, Pat Brown 2 for 19, Ahmed Raza 2 for 11).

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