USA U19's win over Bermuda U19 was overshadowed by a physical altercation between USA's Sahil Patel and Bermuda players Ras Solomon Burrows and Dalin Richardson, with all three receiving reprimands from ICC officials after play
By Peter Della Penna in Toronto
USA U19 moved to 3-0 with a crunching 118-run win over Bermuda U19, moving within one more victory of clinching a spot at next year’s ICC U19 World Cup in New Zealand. However, the day was not without a share of controversy as a physical confrontation between USA’s Sahil Patel and Bermuda players Dalin Richardson and Ras Solomon Burrows produced the main talking point of the day.
The incident occurred on the first ball of the 49th over of USA’s innings with Sahil on 22 and the score 203 for 7. Sahil struck Nirobi Smith-Mills to Alje Richardson at mid-on for a simple catch but when Sahil attempted to leave the field to head back to the pavilion at the Toronto Cricket Skating & Curling Club, several Bermuda players formed a circle around him to block his path.
Among them were Burrows and Richardson and the former proceeded to raise both hands and shove Sahil in the shoulder. At the same time Richardson appeared to also put his hands on Sahil and give the USA player a chest bump to push him backwards as all three players jawed at each other. By this stage, Smith-Mills had also blocked Sahil’s path from behind and also put his hands on the USA player. Seemingly in an effort to break free from the swarm of Bermuda players and possibly in retaliation for the initial shove, Sahil pushed Burrows to the side before turning back as the two continued their war of words before umpire Emmerson Carrington stepped in from square leg to separate both sides.
All Burrows, Richardson and Sahil were each brought to a hearing after play before the match officials with all three players receiving an official ICC reprimand. It overshadowed what had been a reasonably good effort from Bermuda at the start of the match to contain USA followed by a solid USA fightback behind Gaurav Patanker, who top-scored with 50 as part of two key partnerships with Vivek Narayan and Aravind Patnam to get USA back on track on their way to a final total of 220 after they were 58 for 4 in 17 overs.
Smith-Mills and Richardson both produced very disciplined opening spells that claimed a wicket each to put USA under early pressure after they won the toss and chose to bat first. Mohak Buch was the first wicket to fall, failing to clear mid on in the eighth over for 9 and Arjun Patel fell in the next over to Smith-Mills, edging a full delivery to Rudi Butterfield at slip for his second straight duck to make it 32 for 2.
Opener Harish Easwaraiah walked too far across his stumps to first-change seamer Amori Simons and was bowled behind his legs for 25 on the last ball before drinks to make it 53 for 3 in 16 overs. Six balls later, Jabari Darrell claimed Raymond Ramrattan leg before with a full delivery for 13.
Narayan and Patanker put USA back on track, doubling up the team total with a 58-run fifth-wicket stand. Narayan was crisp in using his feet to offspinner Nzari Paynter and struck three boundaries over mid-on and mid-off, dominating the partnership by scoring 34 off 45 balls before he fell to Paynter in a failed attempt to clear mid-off once more.
Patanker took his time getting into a rhythm was Narayan doing most of the work at the other end and was only on 15 when Narayan fell but picked up the pace with the arrival of Patnam and the pair added another 46 together. Patanker struck four boundaries in all, including back to back fours through square leg and over long-off in the 37th over off Paynter. Patnam fell for 13 when he was caught at long-on off Paynter in the 41st and Patanker was bowled three overs later trying to slog the legspinner Cameron Jeffers just one ball after he had brought up his half-century.
Jeffers gave Patanker a huge send-off in a harbinger of what was to come towards the end of the innings with Sahil when he fell for the eighth wicket. Bermuda’s initial enthusiasm began when the umpires ruled that Karthik Gattepalli, who was at the non-striker’s end when Sahil struck the ball toward Alje Richardson at mid-on, had not crossed Sahil with the ball in the air and as a result was sent back to the non-striker’s end rather than facing the next delivery. That excitement boiled over though when Burrows ran 20 yards from his fielding position on the circle at midwicket and joined Dalin Richardson to make physical contact with Sahil.
Gattepalli struck two boundaries off Smith-Mills later in the 49th and ended with a brisk 24 off 23 balls before both he and Sam Das were runout in the final over as USA ended on 220.
Keshav Pabisetty struck for USA in the fifth over, getting Jabari Darrell to edge to Sahil at slip for 12 but Paynter and Marcus Scotland worked diligently to rebuild the Bermuda innings, taking the side to 50 before the wheels fell off when Sahil replaced an injured Pabisetty in the attack. After beginning with a maiden in the 13th, Sahil removed both set men in the 15th. Scotland went first for 15, chipping a soft catch to Easwaraiah at midwicket before Paynter lofted a catch to Patanker at long-on for 17.
Burrows then arrived at the crease and after getting a loud welcome from USA’s fielders lasted less than an over from Sahil before he was stumped for a five-ball duck off a leg-side wide having dragged his back foot out of the crease on a missed sweep shot. Dalin replaced him at the crease but survived the same amount of deliveries without scoring before he skewed a driver to Buch at backward point to make it 56 for 5.
Buch entered the attack at the opposite end and had Alje Richardson leg before playing around a straight ball for 7. Q’Shai Darrell then became Sahil’s fifth wicket when he skied a drive to Das at mid-off. At that stage it was 68 for 7 and Sahil had figures of 5 for 13 in six overs and looked as if he may set a new record haul for a USA U19 bowler, nobody having taken more than six in a match at junior level for USA, but was unable to squeeze out any more wickets and finished with 5 for 20.
Gattepalli was given the ball and struck once to have Simons caught at cover by Buch while Rudi Butterfield ran himself out off Gattepalli’s bowling as sub fielder Awais Mubarak relayed to Gattepalli for another wicket. Buch then returned to the attack after Sahil’s spell ended and claimed the last wicket to dismiss Bermuda for 102 in 36.5 overs as Smith-Mills chopped on to finish the game.