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It was rather unfortunate to see rain govern the progress to the finale in the ongoing Qatar T10 League. While the two best teams, as per the points table, progressed to the grand finale, Flying Onyx and Desert Riders will be ruing thier luck. They are set to meet each other in the third-place playoff, which is to be played at West End Park International Cricket Stadium, Doha on Monday, 16th December. There was a stark difference between the performances of the two sides in the league stage with Desert Riders being better than Flying Onyx. Having said that, Flying Unit have had their moments of glory and if they can repeat those, it would be a hard-fought match.
The Riders finished third at the points table with seven points to their name in five matches. They won three matches and obtained one points from a wash-out. They ended with a net run-rate of 0.344.
Before their semifinal washout, they registered a terrific win over Heat Stormers wherein they chased down a monumental total set by the Stormers. After winning the toss and putting the oppositon in, the Riders didn't get off to the start they were looking for as Sikandar Raza smashed their bowlers all-around the park. Such was the fate of their bowling that none of the bowlers returned with an economy rate of under ten.
While their bowling failed to weave its magic, their batting looking in pristine touch right from the very first over. Mohammad Hafeez and KDK Vithanage got them off to a flying start. Although Hafeez was dismissed in the second over, Vithanage kept the required run-rate in check with his flurry of boundaries. He was dismissed for 42 in eighth over. Coming after Muhammad Tanvir was dismissed, Adnan Mirza smashed the Stormers' bowlers as he helped the Riders chase the total down despite wickets falling all-around him. The Riders eventually won the match with five wickets in hand on the last delivery of their innings.
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While Onyx's campaign in the tournament hadn't been convincing up until their appearance in the semi-final, they looked all geared up to challenge Swift Gallopers before rain played spoil-sport. Flying Onyx finished at the fourth spot on the points table with an incredibly poor net run-rate of -2.071.
In the tournament up until now, Flying Onyx have won only game, which was the first they played in the tournament. Since then, they have been rather dismal with both batting as well as bowling doing miserably. They are coming off a loss against Swift Gallopers in their last league game, which they should have won considering the position they were in after the first innings.
Overall, Flying Onyx have have their moments of brilliance, but they have been too few and sporadic. Their batting as well as both have both struggled with consistency and unless they can find an individual brilliance to help them in the upcoming fixture, they are likely to find it difficult against Desert Riders.
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While the two teams could consider themselves a tad unfortunate as they did not get to showcase their skills in the semi-final, they both would be itching to win the upcoming encounter and prove a point. Desert Riders have been a better side in the tournament so far, albeit not by far, and will walk in to the ground with an upper hand. Flying Onyx, on the other hand, have plenty to ponder about and would need to play out of their skins to stand a chance. With a better team on paper and a better show in the tournament so far, Desert Riders are firm favorites to emerge on top in the upcoming fixture to claim the third spot in the competition.
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