DP World ILT20: Alex Hales hits first hundred of the tournament as Vipers thrash Knights

Hales was majestic and relentless as he tormented the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders bowlers during his brilliant 110 off 59 balls

by

Rituraj Borkakoty

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Alex Hales of Desert Vipers plays a shot during the match against Abu Dhabi Knight Riders at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. -- Photo by M. Sajjad
Alex Hales of Desert Vipers plays a shot during the match against Abu Dhabi Knight Riders at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. -- Photo by M. Sajjad

Published: Fri 20 Jan 2023, 9:39 PM

Last updated: Sat 21 Jan 2023, 5:23 PM

For a man whose life was spiraling out of control only a few years ago following a drug scandal, Alex Hales is now holding sway over bowling attacks in the inaugural edition of the DP World ILT20.

Fresh from his World Cup heroics with England in Australia, Hales produced a hat trick of match-winning displays on these shores.


More importantly, he became the first player to score a hundred in the UAE’s home-grown franchise league on Friday.

Hales was majestic and relentless as he tormented the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders bowlers during his brilliant 110 off 59 balls (7 fours, six sixes).


The aggressive right-hander set up the Desert Vipers’ emphatic 111-run victory and even drew warm applause from David Cameron, the cricket-loving former British Prime Minister who was among the audience at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

The Vipers posted a mammoth 219 for four on the back of Hales’ hundred and skipper Colin Munro’s 41-ball 56 (4 fours and 2 sixes).

With West Indian pacer Sheldon Cottrell (4-0-13-3) leading the charge, Munro’s team then reduced the Knights to 108 all out, inflicting a fourth-straight defeat on their helpless rivals.

This was the third straight win for the Vipers and Hales had a big role in all of these three victories, making 63 and an unbeaten 83 in his team’s previous two matches.

The grandson of Dennis Ralston, the former American tennis player who once took the legendary Rod Laver to five sets in an epic Wimbledon slugfest, Hales allowed the Knights no chance of putting up a fight on Friday.

Despite losing opening partner Rohan Mustafa (8), the UAE all-rounder, the 34-year-old Hales was in complete command against the Knights.

With his great hand-eye coordination, the tall England batsman drove, pulled and lofted the rival bowlers. He also found great support from skipper Munro as the two shared 164 runs for the second wicket off just 95 balls.

Sherfane Rutherford (23 off seven balls) and Tom Curran (16 not out off 8 balls) went for their shots in the back end of their innings in brilliant fashion, helping the team put a massive score on the board.

The demoralized Knights had no answer with the bat either and if not for Andre Russell’s breathtaking 57 off 29 balls (five fours, five sixes), the total would have been even more embarrassing.

While the Vipers have moved up to the top of the table with six points from three matches, pushing the Gulf Giants to second place on the back of their better Net Run Rate, the Knights are languishing at the bottom.

Sunil Narine’s team will get a chance to end their winless run on Saturday when they lock horns with MI Emirates on the same ground.

Brief scores:

Desert Vipers beat Abu Dhabi Knight Riders by 111 runs.

Desert Vipers 219 for four in 20 overs (Alex Hales 110, Colin Munro 56, Sherfane Rutherford 23; Lahiru Kumara 2-31).

Abu Dhabi Knight Riders 108 all out in 15.1 overs (Andre Russell 57; Sheldon Cottrell 3-14, Wanindu Hasaranga 3-21)

Today’s matches

Dubai Capitals vs Sharjah Warriors

Dubai International Cricket Stadium

2pm

Abu Dhabi Knight Riders vs MI Emirates

Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

6pm

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