Sophie Devine's intervention helps Tornadoes to FairBreak Invitational glory in Dubai

New Zealand opener's rapid half-century sets platform for inaugural title win

Tornadoes players pose with the trophy after their win over Falcons in the FairBreak Invitational final at the Dubai International Stadium on May 15, 2022.  AFP
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A Thai seam bowler, a Dutch batter, and one of world cricket’s leading lights combined to take the Tornadoes to the first FairBreak Invitational title in Dubai on Sunday night.

Sophie Devine, the No 1-ranked allrounder in women’s T20 international cricket, blazed 51 from 35 balls to lay the platform for an eight-wicket win over the Falcons.

So brutal was her hitting that at one point Suzie Bates, her New Zealand teammate, had to clamber over the fence at the front of the stands at Dubai International Stadium to retrieve the ball.

Bates, the Falcons captain, caught Devine off the next ball that was sent down, but the respite was only brief.

Sterre Kalis, the Netherlands batter who had been consistently excellent for the Tornadoes over the past two weeks, carried on where Devine left off.

She made 44 to take her side to the point of victory, which was secured when Sune Luus drove the first ball of the last over the boundary rope.

In the Falcons innings, Marizanne Kapp had made up for lost time with a cameo with the bat that gave her side hope.

The South African allrounder missed the majority of the tournament due to illness, but returned just in time for the business end of it.

In the final, her Falcons side were mired before she arrived at the wicket, on 59 for four with one ball left of the 10th over.

Kapp transformed the innings, though, hitting two sixes and six fours in a 37-ball stay at the crease that was worth 67 not out.

She shared an unbroken stand of 92 with Mariko Hill, the Hong Kong batter, which allowed the Falcons to set a target of 152.

Earlier, Chanida Sutthiruang had derailed the Falcons effort with both the new ball and in the field.

The Thai bowler dismissed each of the in-form openers, Danni Wyatt and Chamari Athapaththu, with just 28 on the board.

When she then brought about a run out of Theertha Satish, the UAE batter, it felt as though the Tornadoes had one hand on the trophy.

Although Kapp took the fight to the Tornadoes, they were not to be denied.

Updated: May 16, 2022, 3:16 AM