DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CMC): Andre Russell’s three-wicket haul and Dwayne Smith’s hostile half century fired Islamabad United to a six-wicket victory over Quetta Gladiators in the finals of the inaugural Pakistan Super League here yesterday. Smith struck 73 off 51 balls – 52 of which came from boundaries, to anchor an impressive run chase at Dubai International Cricket Stadium. “It was a good pitch, and I said to myself, just go there and back yourself,” said Smith, who was named the Man of the Match. “It’s a very good group, and I feel at home with everyone, and from the time I came here, I saw that, and I knew this team was going to win the tournament.” Smith’s fireworks came after his West Indies compatriot Russell led a bowling attack that restricted Gladiators to 174 for seven in 20 overs, following half centuries from Ahmed Shehzad and Kumar Sangakkara. Shehzad, who hit nine sixes, top-scored with 64 before he was caught by Samuel Badree from a Mohammad Sami delivery, while Russell removed Sangakkara for 55, which included seven sixes. Russell, the main wicket-taker for the champions, grabbed three wickets for 36 runs, while Samuel Badree picked one for 38. “Winning has been following me; I’ve won three in a row now – Big Bash, BPL, and now, PSL,” said Russell. “Once you’re enjoying the game, success is going to follow you. The only problem that I had, or a few others might have had, is the back-to-back games we had, but we are athletes.” – CMC
The international community is paying keen attention to the public furore that has erupted over the unilateral appointment of retired Justice James Patterson by Head of State, President David Granger, who, in the process, snubbed the 18Indian High Commissioner Venkatachalam Mahalingampersons nominated by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.The unpopular decision by the President has led to widespread condemnation from sections of civil society, including the religious and business communities.US Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway, in brief remarks earlier this week, told Guyana Times he would reserve full comments after completely reviewing the process, but remarked that it was a process that must be owned by Guyanese.“I will have some comments on that [the appointment] when I understand it better,” he noted.When questioned over his assessment of the democratic process surrounding theUS Ambassador Perry Hollowayappointment, the US Ambassador suggested that locals should be the ones to assess what was transpiring.“I’m watching it in action; Guyanese should be assessing it,” Holloway stated.Another key bilateral partner is India, whose High Commissioner Venkatachalam Mahalingam, while also being cautious in his disclosures, noted that his country too was observing the activities that were following the controversial appointment.“We are seeing the process that is taking place, and we are closely observing what is happening and what kind of debate is going on regarding the appointment of the GECOM (Chairman),” High Commissioner Mahalingam told this publication on Tuesday during the United Nations Day activity in Guyana.