ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Nicholas Pooran wasted little time in refocusing after quitting the West Indies white-ball captaincy, lashing a whirlwind half-century to fire his Deccan Gladiators to a 35-run victory over Team Abu Dhabi on the opening day of the Abu Dhabi T10 on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old Pooran, the Gladiators captain, top-scored with an unbeaten 77 from 33 deliveries as his side reached 134 for six from their allotted 10 overs, after he called correctly at the toss at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Batting at number three, Pooran belted five fours and eight sixes, posting 44 for the second wicket with opener Tom Kohler-Cadmore (13) and 72 for the fifth with West Indies teammate Odean Smith (23), to pull Gladiators out of trouble at 60 for four in the fifth over.
Only on Monday, Pooran announced he was stepping down as West Indies white-ball captain, less than seven months after being appointed to the role. He cited the “enormous disappointment of the T20 World Cup” as a factor in his decision.
Left-arm spinner Fabian Allen, who had earlier claimed two for 18, then struck an unbeaten 26 from 13 balls but Team Abu Dhabi could only muster 99 for six from their 10 overs.
Englishman James Vince top-scored with 37 from 19 balls with four fours and two sixes, putting on 42 for the third wicket with Allen.
In the first game at the venue, West Indies opener Evin Lewis blasted 58 from 22 balls with two fours and seven sixes as Bangla Tigers brushed aside Kieron Pollard’s New York Strikers by 19 runs.
Sent in, Tigers gathered 131 for five from their 10 overs thanks to the left-handed Lewis who anchored a 63-run stand for the third wicket with Colin Munro (30) and a 29-run, fourth wicket stand with Ben Cutting (11), to pull the innings around from 15 for two in the second over.
Former West Indies pacer Ravi Rampaul, 38, finished with two for 16.
In reply, Pollard slammed a 19-ball unbeaten 45 but the knock went in vain as Strikers fell short at 112 for eight.
Pollard, who quit international cricket in April and was replaced by Pooran as captain, counted three fours and four sixes in an attempt to hold the innings together as wickets tumbled around him.
However, Azam Khan with 34 from 13 balls, was the only other player who managed to get into double figures, the West Indies pair of Romario Shepherd (4) and Akeal Hosein (2) both failing.