Dubai: Dubai Municipality 1 successfully defended their title in the men’s first leg of the Nad Al Sheba (NAS) Night Challenge held late on Thursday, while United Girls of the World won the women’s crown.
Led by air traffic controller Hallvard Borsheim from Norway, the Dubai Municipality 1 team were the first to cross the line.
“The competition is getting stronger and better. There are a lot of younger competitors now and it’s getting tough for guys like me to keep up,” the 38-year-old told Gulf News.
“However, I feel that it is our superior experience that counted in the end,” he added as he led his teammates to a second victory in as many years in this event.
“Things may look simple, but there is a lot of technique, tactic and teamwork involved in a sport like this. We have won this race two years on the trot and I expect the third one to be even harder. But we will be there.”
Former three-time champions Dubai 2021 powered their way to the semi-finals, while Fohood Zabeel kept their qualifying hopes alive in the volleyball competition.
Winners of the title in 2015, 2016 and last year, Dubai 2021 secured a 3-1 result against Bin Thani to record their second win in as many matches to top Group B with a clean record. The defending champions had opened with an identical 3-1 win over Al Burkan in their first match on Wednesday.
And in Group A, Fohood Zabeel kept their qualification hopes alive with a 3-1 win over Dubai 2020. Former champions Foohood Zabeel, who had been beaten 2-3 in their opening game by Surprise the previous night, regrouped well and secure full points.
Meanwhile, in the T10 cricket being played in Jebel Ali Bilal Azmat’s fine all-round show went in vain as hosts Wombats Cricket Club lost to MGM Cricket Club Sharjah by 17 runs.
Azmat first took two of three MGM wickets to fall as they put a daunting 161-3 on board, thanks to Mohammad Hassan’s unbeaten 81 off just 30 balls, including eight huge sixes and four boundaries.
Wombats got off to a poor start in their chase, losing their top four with only 34 on the board.
Azmat then walked in to join A. Ansari (48 runs, 15 balls, 1x4, 6x6) at the crease and together they took the score to 92 before Ansari departed.
Azmat continued the fight, but in vain and Wombats eventually finished on 144 for 8, just 17 runs short of the target.
Dubai 2021 bt Bin Thani 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-17, 25-23); Fohood Zabeel bt Dubai 2020 3-1 (25-22, 25-20, 23-25, 25-18)
MGM Cricket Club Sharjah bt Wombats by 17 runs
(Men’s Open) Benjamin Cassaigne/Xavier Masson bt Martin Noschese/Simon Rahman 2-1 (4-6, 7-5, 5-3); Jose Juan Matea/German Zunica bt Mohammad Al Janahi/Saeed Al Marri 2-0 (6-1, 6-0). Teams: Padel Pod bt Zata 6-2, 6-1; Padel Pro bt Lob Trotters 6-3, 6-4
NAS Night Challenge
(Men’s) 1. Dubai Municipality 1; 2. Fujairah Challenge Team; 3. Desert Shield
(Women’s) 1. United Girls of the World; 2. Base 3 + 1; 3. Fitnessindxb