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We are just a couple of days away from the playoffs in the Qatar T10 League and the points table still looks far from settled. While Falcon Hunters, Swift Gallopers, and Desert Riders are placed comfortably at the top three slots, things can turn around in the remaining matches of the tournament. Desert Riders and Heat Stormers are set to take on each other in an encounter that will be potential stepping stone for one side and an opportunity to survive for the other. The match is to be played at West End Park International Cricket Stadium, Doha on Friday, 13th December.
While this tournament is jam-packed with three matches being played on a day, Desert Riders will be relishing this one-day break they had had. The Riders last played a match a couple of days ago, against Falcon Hunters, wherein they conceded an embarrasing defeat. The Riders are currently placed at the third spot at the ladder, but a loss here will most likely push them further down.
Against the Falcons, the Riders were put in by the Hunters. Although Desert Riders did well to not to lose too many wickets after a poor start, their batsmen failed to provide the impetus to the innings. Both Muhammad Tanveer and RLB Rambukwella were particularly slow as Riders finished their innings with just 89 runs on the board.
More often than not, sub-hundred totals are chased with considerable ease in this format and it didn't prove to be any different in this match as well. Despite brilliant bowling effort from Sohail Tanvir and RLB Rambukwella who both picked up a wicket each, the Hunters overhauled the total with eleven balls to spare and six wickets in hand.
Adnan Mirza, Imal Liyanange, KDK Vithanage, Muhammad Tanveer, Muhammad Ikram, Ajay Lalcheta, Ramith Rambukwella, Mohammad Hafeez, S Tanvir, Awais Malik, Sibtul Hasnain Baig Mirza.
Heat Stormers, along with the Pearl Gladiators, are the lowest ranked team at the ladder so far and are in desperate need of a win. A loss here would eliminate their chances to progress to the next round and they are expected to come out all guns blazing in this do-or-die encounter. In the tournament so far, they have already played three matches and lost two. Their remaining one match was washed-out due to rain.
In their last encounter, the Stormers conceded the highest score in the history of the competition and have a tough job to bounce back from their embarrasing loss. Electing to field after winning the toss, none of the decision that their skipper took seemed to go their way as the Gallopers' batsmen feasted on inaccurate and indisciplined bowling from the Gallopers. Rana Anwar, in particular, was extremely expensive as he gave away 48 runs in his two overs. Although Rishu Chopra picked up a wicket, he, too, conceded 27 runs in his only over. The Gallopers eventually ended up with 153 runs on the board.
With such a colossal total to hunt down, the Stormers had no option but to launch an all-out attack on the Gallopers and they failed miserably. Barring Manpreet Gony, who came in at seventh position and scored 11-ball 31, none of their batsmen looked comfortable in the middle as the Stormers ended up with a score of 87 for 7 on the board, losing the match by 66 runs.
Scott Edwards, AR Berenger, Talal Khan, Dharmang Patel, Sikandar Raza, Imraz Rafi, Manpreet Gony, Raja Amir, Gayan Munaweera, Satvir Singh, Owais Ahmed.
There's been a difference of day and night in the performances of the two sides in the tournament so far. While Desert Riders look in reasonably good position to qualify for the next round, the Stormers have failed to impressive in any of their completed matches. The Stormers are coming off a remarkably embarrasing defeat and bouncing back from it isn't going to be easy. With a strong team on paper and a better performance in the tournament thus far, the Desert Riders go in as firm favorites to emerge on top in the upcoming encounter.
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