The Gladiators, after opting to field first, romped to a comfortable nine wickets victory over Delhi Bulls at the Zayed Cricket Stadium. Chasing 113 runs, Tom Kohler-Cadmore scored a brilliant fifty (51 not out from 19 balls) and shared a 100-run opening partnership with Tom Banton (44 runs from 21 balls) as the Gladiators reached the target with 16 balls to spare.
"Team loves to bowl first because they know what target is achievable. They can have wickets in hand and can play accordingly," Riaz said.
The Gladiators' bowlers wreaked havoc as the Bulls lost their entire side managing 112 runs, thanks to a fine innings by Rilee Rossouw (48 runs from 21 balls). Andre Russell took three wickets, Tymal Mills, returning from an injury that kept him out of the ICC T20 Men's World Cup, took two and Hasaranga de Silva was expensive but bagged two batsmen.
"The guys have been playing really well. Mills just came in and was exceptional. He had some injury so we gave him a little bit more time before he comes and plays for us. He has done a great job for us. Andre, Hasaranga and other bowlers are doing a fantastic job," Riaz said.
Kohler-Cadmore, who smashed Adil Rashid for four sixes in an over, helped wrap the match in 7.2 overs. He was named the player of the match and said the target was below-par.
"Thanks to T (Tymal Mills) and Andre we had a nice target to chase. We just got going. Our power play was good. Then we got to a point where it was free hits and you could just keep swinging because we know how much power we have behind us," Kohler-Cadmore added.
In the second match of the day, Team Abu Dhabi continued its winning run by defeating Chennai Braves by eight wickets. Made to bat, Bhanuka Rajapaksa scored a fifty (54 runs from 29 balls) as Chennai Braves raised 131/2 in 10 overs. In response, Abu Dhabi's top-order batsmen were in scintillating form. Phil Salt hit an unbeaten fifty (63 runs from 28 balls), and Paul Stirling (44 runs from 18 balls) and Liam Livingstone (24 runs from 10 balls) took Abu Dhabi to a comfortable win in 9.2 overs.
Salt, the man of the match, said the team has been benefiting from all-round contributions.
"It's obviously great to get four wins from four. Stirling played amazing at the top. Liam, when he came in, took the pressure off me beautifully. So, I am pretty happy with that," Salt said.
Delhi Bulls: 112 all out (10 overs), Rilee Rossouw (48), Andre Russell (3 for 17), Tymal Mills (2 for 12), Hasaranga de Silva (2 for 26); Deccan Gladiators: 115/1 (7.2 overs) Tom Kohler-Cadmore (51 not out), Tom Banton (44).
Chennai Braves: 131/2 (10 overs), Bhanuka Rajapaksa (54), Angelo Perera (32 not out), Dasun Shanaka (23 not out); Team Abu Dhabi: 136/2 (9.2 overs), Phil Salt (63 not out), Paul Stirling (44), Liam Livingstone (24).