David Wise in action at the Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi yesterday. Supplied photo
The resident public of the UAE has been awaiting this weekend for long to have its fill of fireworks on the occasion of the 51st National Day. Close to nearly 18,000 cricket fans in Abu Dhabi expected some fireworks as curtains came down on the sixth T10 League on Sunday, but they left the Zayed Cricket Stadium a tad disappointed even though favourites Deccan Gladiators retained the title.
Unlike the major course of the tournament, the final two games proved to be one-sided affairs. The fireworks – sixes, fours and wickets galore – were subdued as Deccan beat New York Strikers by 37 runs. Morrisville Samp Army took third place after defeating Team Abu Dhabi by 79 runs.
The curtains came down after 12 days of fast pace of action in the short format which is growing. There was an announcement from the organisers that T10 is now heading to the African continent with Zimbabwe taking the lead in hosting it next year.
Yet, there were some damp squibs, too. Two debutant teams this year, both from the United States, went all the way to the top of the table after the round-robin stage but fell short at the final hurdles.
And the quotient of fireworks could have been more had the host team showed some more appetite for a fight despite being in a scrap for third place. Team Abu Dhabi had to field a second-string side as many top international players gave the game against Morrisville a miss and headed home. After conceding 128 runs, TAD were dismissed for a paltry 48 runs on the board in 8.4 overs.
Defending champions Deccan restored the order of swinging bats to good effect after New York chose to bowl first. The start was a bit shaky (55-3 in five overs), but the reliable captain Nicholas Pooran (40) and David Wiese (43 not out) put up 74 runs in the second half of the innings. Deccan finished with 128 for four after Pooran was dismissed on the last ball. He was named player of the tournament later.
In a format where you have no time to get your eye in, New York lost UAE opener Mohammad Waseem to the second ball of the first over by Josh Little. One wicket and one run at the end of it meant New York went a big step back and never got into the run chase.
A disciplined effort from the bowlers tightened the squeeze as the crowd hoped for Kieron Pollard to work his magic. The ageing West Indies great waited for his turn in the dugout but could be seen in discomfort over his right hand bicep muscles. When he went in as the fifth batsman, the required run rate was mounting. Even though he hit 23 from 15 balls, it was never going to be enough and he chose to retire hurt. The wind in New York’s sails had gone by then.
Deccan Gladiators bt New York Strikers by 37 runs. Deccan Gladiators 128 for 4 in 10 overs (Nichloas Pooran 40, David Wiese 43n.o, Akeal Hosein 2 for 16) New York Strikers 91 for 5 in 10 overs (Jordan Thompson 22n.o, Kieron Pollard 23rtd hurt, Josh Little 2 for 4, Mohammmad Hasnain 2 for 14)
Player of the Match: David Wiese.
Player of the tournament: Nicholas Pooran, pictured below
Diego Simeone contemplates Atletico future as derby defeat ends trophy dreams – ARN News Centre
Atletico Madrid’s dreams of a trophy this season came to an end with a Copa del Rey quarterfinal 3-1 defeat against bitter rivals Real Madrid on Thursday, with coach Diego Simeone blaming the referee’s decision to send off defender Stefan Savic for the loss.
The match, which was held at the Santiago Bernabeu, saw heightened emotions with Atletico fans issuing threats targeting Real’s Vinicious Junior before the game.
In the 19th minute of the match, Alvaro Morata scored to put Atletico ahead 1-0, but Real Madrid was able to take the game into extra time after Rodrygo Goes equalized late in the second half.
Atletico Madrid defender Stefan Savic was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Eduardo Camavinga, leaving Atletico with 10 men.
It proved too much for Simeone’s side as Real scored twice in extra time, with goals from Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior, securing their spot in the semifinals.
After the match, Simeone questioned Savic’s sending off, saying, “For me, we played a very good game until the 70th minute, when [Dani] Ceballos didn’t get a second yellow card [for a foul on Thomas Lemar].”
He went on to say, “We’d have been a man up and 1-0 up, but it didn’t happen. Later Savic was sent off and we were a man down. It got more difficult with 10 men, but the team was brave enough to look for the draw, I’m happy with the effort of the players.”
Simeone was also unhappy with what he said was a lack of protection from referee Cesar Soto Grado for forward Morata. “I asked him ‘Do you have something against Alvaro? If so, I won’t pick him in the next game you referee!'” Simeone said. “[Soto Grado] said Alvaro sometimes goes down easily. But he went off with a knock. They’re decisions. Ceballos could have got a yellow and didn’t, and Savic did.”
The Copa del Rey was likely to be Atletico’s last opportunity to win a trophy this season after the team finished bottom of their Champions League group, and are currently fourth in LaLiga, 13 points behind leaders Barcelona.
Diego Simeone, who has been in charge of Atletico since 2011, hinted it might be time for him to move on, saying he will reflect on his own future at the end of the season.
“We’re out of the Champions League, and we’re out of the Copa del Rey,” Simeone said.
“We’ve got the second half of the season to reach the objective which the club needs [to finish in the top four] and then we’ll look at everything.” He added, “I’m happy to be at Atletico Madrid. From the day I arrived until the day I leave I’ll give everything for the team and the club.”
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti hailed goalscorer Vinicius for remaining “focused” despite being targeted in a racist incident ahead of the game, when a dummy wearing his shirt was hung from a bridge near the club’s training ground, drawing widespread condemnation. “Vinicius played well as always,” Ancelotti said. “His goal was the reward for his work. What happened was disgraceful, but he was focused on the game.”
Wigan sack manager Toure after nine games – ARN News Centre
Championship side Wigan Athletic sacked manager Kolo Toure on Thursday, less than two months into his 3-1/2 year contract, after he failed to win any of his nine games in charge.
The former Arsenal and Manchester City defender was appointed in late November but Wigan took only two points from his seven league games and were also knocked out of the FA Cup by Luton Town after a replay.
Last weekend’s 2-0 loss to Luton in the Championship left Wigan bottom of the table, four points from safety.
“Unfortunately, the results on the field have not been as we would have liked and as tough a decision as this was, the board felt it necessary to give us the best possible chance of remaining a Championship club next season,” Wigan chief executive Malachy Brannigan said in a statement.
Toure, 41, made 353 appearances in the Premier League for Arsenal, City and Liverpool between 2002-16 and earned 120 caps for Ivory Coast. He was in his first managerial role after previously being part of the coaching set-up at Leicester City and Celtic under Brendan Rodgers.
Wigan are now looking for their fifth permanent manager in the last three years. They spent eight seasons in the Premier League before they were relegated in 2013, the same year they won the FA Cup.
Wigan next play at Blackburn Rovers on Feb. 6.
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Dubai Desert Classic to welcome spectators with minor adjustments – ARN News Centre
KARIM SAHIB/ AFP
The organisers of Hero Dubai Desert Classic have made minor adjustments to the guest experience on Friday, January 27.
There will be no public parking available at Emirates Golf Club and spectators are strongly advised to use public transport.
The Al Khail Metro Station, located close to the venue will run from 5:00 am to 1:00 am, while RTA and Careem taxis will have a drop-off point directly outside the Club.
Commuters are also advised to check the RTA website for various bus routing options to the site.
Thursday’s opening day was closed to the public due to adverse weather conditions, which meant play was delayed by more than six hours.
— Hero Dubai Desert Classic (@DubaiDCGolf) January 26, 2023