Seven wins from nine games means that Team Abu Dhabi, coached by Warwickshire director of cricket Paul Farbrace, have booked their place in the Abu Dhabi T10 knockout stage with a game to spare. All is going well for a TAD squad including Bears players Danny Briggs and Chris Benjamin, as Farby reports...
Hello to all the Bears fans from Team Abu Dhabi where I am delighted to say that, with one more game to come tomorrow, we are already certain of qualifying in the top four.
Ideally, we want to be in the top two because that way you get two bites at getting into the final, so our game against Delhi tomorrow is another very important one. But it is in our hands to finish in the top two and that’s a great position to be in at the business end of the tournament. The players have done really well.
We have had some close calls. We have won two games off the last two balls batting second and won one by defending 15 from the last over which is a really good effort. We have a good team with a really clear philosophy on how we are looking to play. We’ve not spent hours and hours looking at the opposition, we have concentrated very much on what our strengths are and talked a lot about holding our nerve under pressure and not worrying about what can go wrong but thinking about what can go right.
It’s about sticking with your processes and not getting too far ahead of yourselves. We lost a couple of games and deserved to lose them because, after winning five on the bounce, we did start looking too far ahead, but then we had a good chat and got back to the approach we needed and won comfortably on Sunday and a tight game on Monday. That has put us in a really good place going into tomorrow’s game and hopefully we will be in the final on Saturday. By keeping it simple and backing our players, we have given ourselves a chance.
On a personal note, it has been a brilliant opportunity for me out here. I have learned loads about short-form cricket to share with Robbo and the other Bears coaches. It’s also been great for Briggsy and Benjy. It’s fantastic for Benjy to be here with Chris Gayle, Liam Livingstone and Phil Salt and watching how they go about their business. Briggsy has been ever-present, a real mainstay for us, as I knew he would be – that’s why I selected him.
It has been a really good learning experience for all of us and hopefully we will be in the final on Saturday. Then I’ll land back in London on Sunday and, providing the PCR test is clear, be in Edgbaston first thing Tuesday. On Monday it will a case of empty one bag and pack the next one and then up to Birmingham ready to get cracking again with the Bears!
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