"We really worked hard since we arrived in Florida and the effort that we come here and put out to go 8-0, it's a big achievement for USACA," said USA captain Orlando Baker.
By Peter Della Penna in Lauderhill, Florida (on Twitter)
DreamCricket.com's coverage on site from Florida at the 2013 ICC Americas Division One Twenty20 tournament is sponsored by New Inning Foundation.
Records continued to tumble on Sunday as Steven Taylor’s 127 not out spearheaded a 77-run win over Cayman Islands to wrap up an undefeated week for USA at the 2013 ICC Americas Division One Twenty20 tournament at the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida. USA finished 8-0 with the win while Cayman Islands dropped to 1-7 with the loss and as a result they have been relegated to ICC Americas Division Two.
Image (above) - USA finishes number one at the 2013 ICC Americas Division One Twenty20. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
“We really worked hard since we arrived in Florida and the effort that we come here and put out to go 8-0, it’s a big achievement for USACA,” said USA captain Orlando Baker.
Taylor’s second century in as many matches reset his own USA T20 record and took him to 413 runs overall on the week to put him atop the run charts for the tournament.
“It was a dream come true and I’m happy for my accomplishment,” Taylor said. “I had one goal, my main goal was to become the highest run getter…. It’s a big boost for me because we qualified to the UAE and I’d like to do good in the UAE.”
USA won the toss and elected to bat first with no changes made to the side that beat Bermuda on Friday as Elmore Hutchinson and Saqib Saleem nursed injuries while Timothy Surujbally sat out. Taylor and Akeem Dodson opened and set a USA record for the country’s largest partnership in T20 cricket. The pair added 155 in 15.1 overs, breaking the mark for highest first-wicket partnership previously held by Taylor and Aditya Mishra with 78 vs. Scotland at the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in Dubai and the highest partnership overall which was held by Aditya Thyagarajan and Baker with 99 not out in a seventh-wicket stand vs. Ireland at the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier.
Unlike his innings in the first match against Cayman Islands when he scored 95, Taylor’s time at the crease on Sunday was a charmed one with two straightforward chances being put down. The first came when he was on 21 in the fifth over with the score 41 for 0. Taylor top edged a sweep against offspinner Kevin Bazil that went straight to Alessandro Morris at fine leg. Morris misjudged it initially and then reached up over his head while backpedalling before spilling the chance.
Taylor treated Cayman Islands medium pacer Troy Taylor with particular disdain, torching him for a six and three boundaries in the 10th over as he brought up his 50 off just 30 balls in the process. On the first ball of the 11th over, Dodson scooped Ramon Sealy over fine leg for a boundary to break Baker and Thyagarajan’s partnership record.
The partnership finally ended when Dodson missed a slog to midwicket against Kervin Ebanks and was bowled for 46. Baker came out to the middle and for the second match in a row was present when Taylor brought up three digits. Bermuda had another chance to deny him of three figures though just five balls after Dodson got out when Taylor sliced a full toss straight to point but the fielder grassed the chance at chest height.
Instead, Taylor reached his century three balls into the 17th over with a single to the leg side. He scored his second 50 in just 21 balls. Cayman Islands still had three more overs to feel Taylor’s wrath though. The teenager added another three fours and a six in the final two overs before he carried his bat off the field with 14 fours and six sixes at the end of his 62-ball knock. The total of 198 for 1 was a record score for USA in T20 cricket, eclipsing the 193 for 5 USA made against Bermuda in Sharjah at the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier.
Image (above) - Man of the Match Steven Taylor after breaking his own USA record T20 score with 127 not out vs. Cayman Islands. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna]
“There’s so many things that happened. There’s so many records that has break in this tournament, with the batters and partnerships.” Baker said. “But from a personal point of view, I’m very happy to lead this team, a young team. I get the respect from each and every player, from the managers right down to the guys. When I came here to Florida, I said I’m here on a mission as a captain and a senior player and the mission is complete.”
Cayman Islands never had a chance to chase the total despite a 60-run opening stand between Sealy and Zachary McLaughlin. Sealy was dismissed for 27 by Danial Ahmed in the 10th over and from there wickets fell regularly. McLaughlin was the first of three wickets taken by Ryan Corns, caught by Taylor at long on for a top score of 35. Corns had Ronald Ebanks stumped for 12 before Abhimanyu Rajp got into the act, removing Conroy Wright for 8 through the assistance of a brilliant catch on the boundary by Naseer Jamali to make it 100 for 4 in the 17th.
Corns capped off career best figures of 3 for 12 with the wicket of Kervin Ebanks, caught at deep midwicket by Japen Patel for 12 to make it 106 for 5 in the 18th. The last wicket to fall for Cayman Islands was that of Troy Taylor, stumped by Dodson for 1 in the 19th over, before Cayman Islands finished on 121 for 6.
In the day’s other match, Suriname stunned Bermuda by five wickets to take their record to 4-4 while Bermuda finished the tournament at 5-3 but still finished in second place to join USA as the two teams advancing from this tournament to the 2013 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in the UAE this November. Tre Manders and David Hemp both made 51 in Bermuda’s total of 144 for 4, but Suriname chased it down with two balls to spare aided by some shoddy fielding from Bermuda. Sauid Drepaul led Suriname with 42.
USA has an off day on Monday before a three-match 50-over series against Bermuda begins at Brian Piccolo Park beginning at 10 a.m. DreamCricket.com will have live coverage sponsored by New Inning Foundation for all three matches.