Jamaican Alex Powell entered Round 5 of the F4 UAE Championship with a mathematical chance to win the title, but mechanical problems would hamper his weekend and ultimately scuttle his chances in the championship.

Powell started his quest on a strong note, securing P3 in both qualifying sessions on Saturday morning. However, during Race 1, his clutch started to slip, taking away any opportunity to challenge for the win and valuable points. With skillful management of the slipping clutch, he secured a 3rd place podium finish, although it wasn’t enough to keep him in contention for the overall championship.

In the reverse grid for Race 2, Powell started in P10, making his way through the field to 8th before half the distance of the race. An over-exuberant competitor forced Alex wide off track into a very sandy area; recovering from the excursion dropped Alex to 11th place, where he finished out of the points.

While any chance of a Top-3 finish in the championship was now gone, Alex could still finish in the Top-5 with a good result in Race 3. Unfortunately, disaster struck before the very start of the race. While waiting for the red lights to extinguish, signaling the start of the race, the clutch problems resurfaced, this time resulting in his car creeping forward before the actual start, then stalling completely. Powell was out of the race before it began and eventually finished 6th in the Driver’s championship.

Still, Powell's accumulated points proved to be crucial for the Team Championship, won by his Mumbai Falcons team. He also finished 2nd in the Rookie championship.

"Not the weekend we hoped for. Some mechanical circumstances were completely out of my control. A special thanks to Prema and the Mumbai Falcons team for all their hard work over the course of the championship! Let’s keep pushing, and I’m already looking forward to the F4 Italian Championship," Powell said after the event.

The 16-year-old Jamaican sensation will next compete in the F4 Italian Championship, beginning in May.

Dual Derby winner Auguste Rodin has a ticket to Dubai booked for the Sheema Classic as a mixed turf and dirt campaign beckons.

The Deep Impact colt is out of multiple Group One winner Rhododendron and lived up to his exceptional pedigree when taking both the Derby and Irish Derby last term.

He capped his domestic season by winning another Group One title in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, after which he set sail for Santa Anita and defeated a competitive field to land the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

After that performance there was some discussion as to whether he would retire to stud or stay in training, with connections sportingly choosing the latter option.

A winter break followed and the four-year-old is due to return in the Sheema Classic, run over a mile and a half at the Dubai World Cup fixture in Meydan in late March.

Auguste Rodin did a piece of work on the all-weather track at Dundalk ahead of the journey, after which he has a turf campaign pencilled in before connections expect to discuss running him on a dirt surface.

O’Brien – who runs Luxembourg and Tower Of London in Saudi Arabia on Saturday – said: “That’s the plan for him, the Sheema Classic, then we were thinking of going back for the Tattersalls Gold Cup and then maybe to Ascot for the Prince of Wales’s.

“We’ll have a look at racing him on the dirt after that, it’s very possible with these types of horses that you can push the boundaries a bit and explore a little bit and see what happens.

“He was at Dundalk on Friday, he went a mile and a quarter with three other horses and went very well.

“He came back then and started preparing for Dubai, that’s the plan.”

Johnson Charles and Maheesh Theekshana were the catalysts as the Sharjah Warriors moved into second on the International League T20 (IL T20) points table with a dominant nine-wicket win over the Dubai Capitals at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Dubai on Monday.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, the Capitals were reduced to just 104 all out off 18.2 overs.

Sikandar Raza (22), Roelof van der Merwe (21), David Warner (16) and Rovman Powell (10) were the only Capitals batsmen to scratch double figures.

Theekshana produced a masterful spell of bowling to take 4-20 from his four overs while being well supported by Daniel Sams’ 3-28 off four.

The Warriors then needed only 13-1 overs to reach 105-1 and secure their third win in five games.

Charles top-scored with an unbeaten 43 off 33 balls including four fours and one six. Joe Denly was Charles’ partner at the crease with an unbeaten 23 off 16 balls. Earlier, Niroshan Dickwella made a 30-ball 37.

 

The Sir Alex Ferguson-owned Spirit Dancer will search for further international riches on Friday when he attempts to supplement his Bahrain International Trophy success in Meydan’s Jebel Hatta.

Owned by Ferguson alongside Fred Done and Ged Mason, Spirit Dancer gave the former Manchester United manager one of the best days of his racing life when the £500,000 connections earned through victory in the Persian Gulf eclipsed any single winner’s cheque the Scotsman picked up with the legendary Rock Of Gibraltar.

Trained by Richard Fahey, the son of Frankel – who was bred by Ferguson and Niall McLoughlin – has taken his time to fulfil his potential but is now rapidly climbing through the ranks as he prepares to line up in Group One company for the very first time.

Victory in Bahrain was Spirit Dancer’s fourth from his last five runs and although his owners are not able to make the trip to the UAE to cheer the seven-year-old on, connections are hopeful of tasting more overseas success in his first outing of 2024.

Fahey said: “It’s his first Group One and a tough race, a proper Group One and we’re looking forward to seeing him run. Everything is going well and he’s in great order.

“I’m afraid his owners can’t make it this time which is a big shame because I know they were keen to come, but it’s just fallen on the wrong day sadly.

“Sir Alex is used to winning, but he gets a good kick out of it, so let’s hope he runs well again.

“It was a great day (in Bahrain), a very enjoyable day and it’s always great to be a part of these big international meetings and Dubai is exceptional as well, so we’re looking forward to it.”

The Jebel Hatta – which also features 1000 Guineas heroine Mawj – is the beginning of what could be a busy few months for Spirit Dancer in the Middle East, with a trip to the Saudi Cup meeting next month and a return to Meydan on Dubai World Cup night pencilled in on the gelding’s calendar.

His win in Bahrain secures him an automatic spot into the Neom Turf Cup in Riyadh on February 24, but he also has the option of switching to dirt for the fixture’s main event the $20,000,000 Saudi Cup.

“We’re certainly using this as a prep for Saudi and he will maybe just need the run,” continued Fahey.

“He will stay in the Middle East now for a few months and hopefully also get an invite for Dubai World Cup night.

“We haven’t decided yet (which race in Saudi Arabia) and we’re just keeping our options open. It’s very difficult to get away from a $20,000,000 race but the Neom Cup does look the easier race, so we will speak to the team and see what they think.”

Kieron Pollard’s half-century was not sufficient to prevent the MI Emirates from going down to a four-wicket loss to Gulf Giants in Qualifier 2 in Sharjah on Friday.

With the win Gulf Giants booked a place in Sunday’s 2023 ILT20 final where they will face Desert Vipers.

Coming off their emphatic eight-wicket victory over Dubai Capitals on Thursday MI Emirates looked a jaded team, scoring 167-5 from their 20 overs.

Pollard scored an unbeaten 57 from 35 balls while Nicholas Pooran contributed with 29 and opener Mohammad Waseem, 31.

Chris Jordan took 2-25 and David Wiese 2-31.

In reply, James Vince played a gem of an innings, scoring unbeaten 83 including the winning runs, a four off Fazalhaq Farooqi as Gulf Giants scored 168-6 from 18.1 overs.

Farooqi took 2-27 and Rashid Khan, 2-40 in the losing cause. Dwayne Bravo took 1-27.

 

 

 

Sherfane Rutherford’s heroics played a significant role in helping the Desert Vipers make their first-ever appearance in an ILT20 final on Wednesday.

After suffering a painful hamstring injury that forced him to leave the field, the Guyanese batsman returned to rescue his team smashing 37 off 19 deliveries including three consecutive sixes off David Wiese.

His heroics would help propel Desert Vipers to 178-7, which proved to be enough as the Vipers dismissed Gulf Giants for 159 in 19.4 overs.

During an interview on the Vipers Voices Podcast afterwards, Rutherford said he knew it was going to be his last game but he wanted to make an impact on the game and help his team.

“It was my idea (to go back out and bat). When I went in (after being injured), I asked my physio if I could go back and bat. He said no and that it was better I just relax,” he explained.

“I told him I could do it, and then he said he was going to discuss it with the coach. At that time Tom Moody was passing by and he said, ‘If he (Rutherford) wants to bat, let us trust him.’ I also knew it was going to be my last game (in the tournament) and I wanted to give it my all, and hopefully I could make an impact for the team.”

After arriving at the crease, he revealed his intentions to Tom Curran, his partner with whom he put on 52 runs which ultimately changed the direction of the match.

 “I knew I could not run, so I said (to Tom Curran) that I was going to try and get boundaries. So, I think that’s where we won the game,” Rutherford said.

 

The Desert Vipers are through to the first-ever final of the DP World ILT20 after a sensational 19-run win over the Gulf Giants at the Dubai International Stadium on Wednesday. This was the Vipers’ first victory over the Giants in the tournament, having lost their two previous contests. 

Batting first Desert Vipers made 178-7 from their 20 overs before restricting the Gulf Giants to 159 all out off 19.4 overs.

Put into bat, the Vipers had a shaky start, losing their first three wickets for just 33 runs but they recovered to post a winning score in large part due to the heroics of Sherfane Rutherford, who returned to the field despite a painful hamstring injury to score 37 off 19 deliveries including three consecutive sixes off David Wiese.

Tom Curran shared a 52-run partnership with Rutherford, contributing a valuable 29 runs, and he took four wickets as well, earning him the Player of the Match award.

“Rutherford is in a bit of pain with his injury. Not sure how long he will be out for with his injury. I didn’t expect him to come back on the field like he did to be honest. But he showed great courage, and I think it is the environment we have created within the Desert Vipers, that (makes) people want to go out and perform for the team,” said team captain Colin Munro.

“The courage he showed to come out and bat on one leg was the turning point of the game. He hit the ball beautifully and changed the whole momentum of the game and put us in the driver’s seat. That was a great knock from him.”

 Munro also praised Curran and Wanindu Hasaranga for the impact they had on the match.

 “I think Tom Curran is a genuine all-rounder now. He used to be a bowler who could also bat at around number eight, but since coming into the Vipers he has been given the chance to go in at six and seven and show what he can do,” Munro said.

 “Hasaranga is a world class player, and he is up (the top) in the ICC T20 rankings, and he was in the (ICC T20 Men’s) Team of the Year. He was outstanding and to get those three wickets, (they) really put inroads in (the Gulf Giants batting line-up).

“They (Gulf Giants) got off to a really good start in the power play through James Vince and Chris Lynn.  I think the way Hasaranga came out and got a wicket in his first over put them under pressure, while also getting the run rate going up. This allowed our bowlers to settle in and use what the pitch had to offer.

 “We came here to qualify, number one, and once we got into the finals, it was about putting our best foot forward to make it to the final. Now we are there, and our next goal is to lift that trophy.”

Naturally, Head Coach James Foster was delighted with the performance and the outcome.

 “I am really chuffed for the whole team. I think they fought really hard throughout this campaign. I thought we had to show a lot of fight today, and a lot of character,” he said while speaking on the Vipers Voices podcast.

“After a positive start, we were three down for not too many (runs), and I thought Ronnie (Rohan Mustafa) got us off to a flyer but the brakes were put on us, and then we had to absorb a lot of pressure.

 “The partnership between Sam Billings and Wanindu Hasaranga was huge in the context of the game. They had to rebuild, but also had to show intent and keep that scoreboard ticking.”

He, too, was full of praise for Rutherford.

 “When Rutherford came out and then pulled up with that hamstring injury, you thought the worst. But the fact that he was happy to go back out there (was great for the team). It was his idea and his thought, and he was really keen,” he said.

“So at the drop of the next wicket he went out there and that was some unbelievable ball-striking, bearing in mind he was on one leg. To hit the ball in the areas that he did, with the power that he possesses, which we have seen throughout this campaign, came to fruition tonight.

 “What a platform the ILT20 is to showcase what Rutherford can do. I am really pleased for him, he is such a top man, such a nice guy and so humble. In the same breath (I am) devastated for him, about picking up an injury.”

 

An aggressive half-century from Shimron Hetmyer helped propel Gulf Giants to a five-wicket victory over Desert Vipers in the ILT20 league in Dubai on Sunday.

Hetmyer scored 70 from just 35 balls as Gulf Giants scored 196-5 to win with three balls to spare. Despite the impressive knock from the Guyanese batsman, he did not do it alone as Chris Lynn was equally impressive scoring 71 from 42 balls in the winning effort.

Lynn and Hetmyer’s partnership of 117 from 56 balls helped get Gulf Giants’ chase back on track after they had lost Tom Banton, James Vince and Rehan Amhed for three, four and one, respectively, with only 30 runs on the board.

Hetmyer was eventually dismissed in the 14th over having hit five sixes and five fours. Lynn fell in the 17th leaving the dependable David Weise and Liam Dawson to take the Giants to victory.

Weise was unbeaten on 22 from 19 balls while Dawson was not out on 16 from just nine balls in the end.

Sheldon Cottrell was the best of the Vipers’ bowlers with 2-24 from his four overs.

Earlier, Vipers owed their challenging total to Alex Hales 99 from just 57 balls. He hit 10 fours and five sixes in his knock and got support from Colin Munro, who scored 39 from 23 balls and Sherfane Rutherford, who contributed 27 from 15 balls as Desert Vipers scored 195-4 from their allotment.

It proved to be a tough target but one that Hetmyer and Lynn were able to achieve.

 

 

 

A solid all-round effort from captain Stafanie Taylor propelled Tornadoes Women to a 13-run victory over Warriors Women in the FairBreak Invitational T20 Tournament at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in the UAE on Friday.

Dutchwoman Steere Kalis (58), New Zealand captain Sophie Devine (48) and Taylor (31 not out) combined to help Tornadoes post 152-3 off their 20 overs after Warriors won the toss and elected to field first.

West Indies vice-captain Hayley Matthews was the pick of the Warriors bowlers with 2-33 from her four overs.

The Warriors chase was very top-heavy as openers Georgia Redmayne from Australia (48), Matthews (21) and captain Sindhu Sriharsha from the USA (35) were the only significant contributors as they eventually stumbled to 139-6 off their 20 overs, losing by 13 runs.

Malaysian captain Winifried Durasingam bowled beautifully to pick up a crucial 3-24 from her four overs while captain Taylor chipped in with 1-18 off three overs.

 

Deandra Dottin’s 80 not out proved to be insufficient to prevent her Barmy Army Women from going down by eight wickets to Falcons Women in the FairBreak Invitational T20 Tournament, at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, in the UAE on Friday.

The hard-hitting West Indian’s innings came off just 59 balls and included 12 fours and two sixes.

Dottin, alongside England captain Heather Knight (20) and South Africa’s Laura Wolvaardt (17), helped Barmy Army Women get to 152-3 off their 20 overs.

The Falcons then needed only 17.3 overs to get to 156-2 thanks to 76 not out off 49 balls from captain Danni Wyatt.

Sri Lanka’s Chamari Athapaththu and West Indian Britney Cooper were the next best scorers with 41 and 32 not out, respectively.

The 2022 FairBreak Invitational is taking place in Dubai and is an ICC-sanctioned tournament. The inaugural edition of the competition organized by Cricket Hong Kong will comprise six teams that will have players from across the globe.

The first match was played on May 4 while May 9 and May 13 will be rest days. Both the semi-finals are slated to be played on May 14, while the third-place playoff and the final will be held on May 15.

There will be six teams that will be taking part in the inaugural season and there will be ninety players from 36 countries who will feature in the competition. Among these, 40 come from ICC full members and 50 from associate members.

Stafanie Taylor, Hayley Matthews, Deandra Dottin, Britney Cooper, Shemaine Campbelle, and Shamilia Connell are the West Indians participating.

 

Former West Indies captain has been included in the West Indies T20 World Cup squad as a replacement for injured left-arm fast bowler Obed McCoy.

West Indies head coach has admitted that the game and situational awareness of the team was not at its best against England on Saturday but said the team will continue to be aggressive in its approach when they take on South Africa on Tuesday.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has defended the decision to exclude Roston Chase from the team’s opening match in the ICC T20 World Cup against England on Saturday and insists that they did not misread the pitch before selecting the team.

In a rematch of the 2016 T20 World Cup final when the West Indies emerged victoriously, England bowled the defending champions out for 55 with Chris Gayle top-scoring with 13. England’s spinners took six of the 10 wickets to fall before their batters achieved the winning target in 8.2 overs.

The West Indies were unable to build partnerships and were missing the role of an anchor that Chase demonstrated while scoring an unbeaten 54 in the West Indies’ final warm-up match against Afghanistan. Playing anchor was something demonstrated he could do well during the 2021 Hero CPL season when he was the top scorer with 446 runs at an incredible average of 49.55.

When England batted, Akeal Hosein, the only spinner selected, was the best of the bowlers with 2-24.

Chase, a more than useful bowler, would have also given the West Indies another bowling option as a spinner in the match where spinners took eight of the 14 wickets to fall, the best of them being England’s Adil Rashid, who boasted ridiculous figures of four wickets for two runs from his four overs.

Still, Coach Simmons speaking with the media on Sunday, insisted that the team they selected was the right one for the conditions.

“I don’t think we misread the pitch. Yes, the spinners got some wickets but as you go along you have seen that the pitch was a good pitch,” he said during a media conference from Dubai on Sunday where the West Indies are preparing to face South Africa on Tuesday.

“You have to try and make the most of the first six or seven overs and then you have to fight until you get to the latter part. I think when you assess the pitch, you assess the squad we thought that the 11 that went into the game was the right squad.

“Yes, Chase got some runs in the game before but when were at the ground we assessed and we thought it was the right combination.”

 

 

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard believes Fabian Allen missing out on the T20 World Cup because of injury is a major blow to the West Indies ahead of the campaign to defend the title they won in 2016.

Andre Russell could be a game-time decision for the West Indies as they get ready for their opening match in the ICC T20 World Cup in Dubai on Saturday.

Page 1 of 2
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.