"I was very happy the way they performed," said USA U-18 coach Mumtaz Yusuf. "This is the first time all these guys have come together. They have shown improvement from the first day."
By Peter Della Penna in Lauderhill, Florida (on Twitter)
USA dismissed Bermuda for 60 in 29.1 overs, the lowest total by any team this week, before wrapping up a six-wicket win on Friday afternoon at the 2012 ICC Americas U-18 Match Play Camp in Lauderhill, Florida. Vibhav Altekar, Arsh Buch and Ryan Persaud took two wickets each to lay the foundation for the USA U-18 team’s first win in Florida.
“I was very happy the way they performed,” said USA U-18 coach Mumtaz Yusuf. “This is the first time all these guys have come together. They have shown improvement from the first day and to come back and beat Bermuda who we lost to on the first day is very creditable. But still I’m not very happy with the way we fielded. We fielded much better than the first two days but still I’m not happy. The catches that were dropped were not catches that you drop at this level of cricket. Those are areas where we have to work.”
Bermuda won the toss and elected to bat first as Karteek Kankanala came in for USA in place of Omari Williams. USA dropped Bermuda opener Shaquille Jones twice in the first over of the match, including off the very first ball, but from then on USA produced a disciplined performance in the field while Bermuda proceeded to commit several sloppy mistakes.
Bermuda’s other opening batsman Christian Burgess chopped a short ball from Randall Wilson onto the stumps in the second over for a third-ball duck. Number three William White played across a full delivery from Buch to be given LBW for 2 to end the third before Buch struck again in the fifth when Tre Manders drove a full delivery to Zahib Tariq at cover for 4 to make it 13 for 3.
Bermuda’s most fruitful partnership only managed to add 16 runs for the fourth wicket before Jones was sucked into pulling Altekar’s second ball to Shakeel Ahmad at deep square leg for 13 in the 10th over. Alex Dore only lasted two balls before spooning Altekar to Goel at point while Joshua Gilbert was slow responding to a call for a run from Delray Rawlins which resulted in a direct hit by Tariq to send Gilbert off for 5 and after 14 overs Bermuda was 37 for 6.
Persaud got into the act in the 17th over when Kwaisi James dragged his foot out of the crease while coming forward to defend and was stumped by Steven Taylor without scoring. Zico Burgess was then run out in embarrassing circumstances to end the 20th over after Rawlins swept a ball from Tariq to deep square leg. The batsmen appeared to have completed one run but Burgess was drifting out of the crease at the striker’s end while thinking about coming back for a second. The throw from Ahmad came in to Taylor, who flicked the ball onto the stumps and Burgess was given out as the umpires did not even credit the first run being completed meaning Burgess apparently never grounded his bat over the line despite the ball going to a fielder on the boundary.
Persaud had Rawlins caught by Goel at point to end the 21st with the score 52 for 9 to get his second wicket. Demieko James and Christian Gibbons then held out until the 30th over before Goel came on and snagged a return catch off the only ball he bowled to get James for 1 to wrap up the Bermuda innings for 60.
USA still managed to make the chase look slightly complicated, losing four wickets before eventually crossing the target in the 19th over. Ahmad opened with Kankanala and both batsmen were gone by the seventh over. Ahmad sliced a short ball from Gibbons to Zico Burgess at third man for 6 before Kankanala top edged a sweep against Rawlins and was caught at fine leg by Dore for 9 to make it 32 for 2.
Taylor was runout in unlucky fashion for 20 after coming in at number three when Goel drove a full delivery from Kwaisi James straight down the pitch that the bowler managed to get fingertips to as the ball whizzed by on the way to hitting the stumps with Taylor backing up out of his crease at the non-striker’s end. Amarnauth Persaud was the fourth wicket to fall with nine runs still needed to win when he flicked loosely to White at short midwicket to give Rawlins his second scalp. Goel finished the match a short time later though with a six over the midwicket rope to finish 19 not out.
Because the match finished as early as it did, both teams agreed to play a T20 friendly after taking a break for lunch to give an opportunity for the players to gain as much experience as possible. Bermuda won the toss and elected to field this time, but the results weren’t much different as USA completed an 86-run win.
Taylor finally made the most of a start, abusing the Bermuda attack to score 81 off 35 balls. He brought up his half-century off just 17 deliveries with his seventh boundary, which was swept behind square. At that stage he only failed to score off of one delivery. He finished with 11 fours and three sixes before being caught on the long off boundary. At the time he was dismissed, the score was 96 for 1 at the end of the ninth over and his opening partner Buch was on 10.
Buch batted through all 20 overs to finish 34 not out off 46 balls. Other contributions were made by Kankanala with 18, Goel with 16 and Ahmad with 27 not out off 10 balls as USA finished on 189 for 3, which was way out of reach for Bermuda. Altekar took 3 for 12 in three overs in the second innings as Bermuda was restricted to 103 for 6. Dore made 24 off 34 balls to top score for Bermuda at number three before retiring out after 16 overs.
USA U-18 takes on Canada U-18 takes on Canada U-18 in the final match of the tournament Saturday at the Central Broward Regional Park. The match is scheduled for a 9:30 a.m. start. Live coverage on DreamCricket.com, made possible in part by the New Inning Foundation, begins at 9:15 a.m.