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By Peter Della Penna
USA played their best match of the weekend, but couldn’t overcome a series of drops and misfields as they fell short by 19 runs to Jamaica in the second Twenty20 match between the sides on Sunday afternoon in The Pearls Cup at Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Fla.
Photo (left): An American fan expressing his love for cricket, Courtesy: DreamCricket.com
Marlon Samuels was named Man of the Match for the second game in a row after scoring 36 and taking 2 for 18 with his off spin late in the match to prevent USA from surging past the target of 141. Danza Hyatt was named Man of the Series after he finished with the most runs for Jamaica in the three matches.
“Our fielding has been a major let down, a major disappointment,” said USA captain Steve Massiah. “If there’s one thing in cricket, you’re guaranteed to field. You might not bat or bowl, but you must field and the dropped catches today and the misfields proved to be very very costly.” USA had three drops in the match, in addition to several misfields and overthrows that added unnecessary runs to Jamaica’s total.
Jamaica won the toss and batted first on the same pitch that was used by New Zealand and Sri Lanka earlier in the day. Adrian Gordon kept things tight at one end with solid medium pace until Muhammad Ghous made the first breakthrough in the ninth over. Ghous flighted one perfectly to draw Dean Morgan out of his crease and the batsman was beaten in flight to be stumped by Steven Taylor for 19 making it 40 for 1.
Shawn Findlay joined Samuels at the wicket and the two forged a 43-run partnership, the best of the innings for Jamaica. Findlay was the more active of the two, routinely coming out of his crease for some audacious strokes. However, it was Samuels who fell first, giving a simple return catch to off-spinner Timroy Allen to depart for 36, bringing the total to 83 for 2 in the 15th over.
Photo (right): A new opening pair of skipper Steve Massiah and youngster, Steven Taylor, wack in to chase 142, Courtesy: DreamCricket.com
Danza Hyatt fell for 1 off 3 balls trying to launch the off-spin of Massiah out of the ground, but only managed to pick out Aditya Mishra at long on to make it 88 for 3 in the 16th. From there, USA looked set to restrict Jamaica to 120-130, but Findlay was well supported by quick bursts from Wavell Hinds and Tamar Lambert. Findlay finally fell in the 17th over to make it 105 for 4 after a quicker ball from Allen kept low and knocked back the stumps, but not before top scoring with 37 in 26 balls with a boundary and three sixes to his name.
Hinds and Lambert turned it on late, combining for four boundaries and a six in the final few overs before both men fell in the final over to Lennox Cush. Hinds was caught at long on for 16 by Moazzam Imtiaz while Lambert was out on the final ball of the innings for 19, slicing one to substitute fielder Robert Cresser stationed at third man in the circle. Cresser was on the field because Andy Mohammed injured his right hand attempting a diving catch on the boundary earlier in the innings.
Mohammed reportedly was taken to a local hospital and needed five stitches to close up a gash and it is unknown whether or not the injury will prevent him from competing for USA in the ICC Americas Division One Tournament which gets underway on Friday in Bermuda.
Photo (right): US skipper, Steve Massiah, stroking his way back to form with a forceful 47, Courtesy: DreamCricket.com
Despite the problems USA had scoring runs in the first two games, it looked like they had a reasonable chance of chasing down the target of 142. USA had an excellent platform established with a solid start they received from Massiah and Taylor opening the innings. The two batsmen created the biggest partnership of the match as they put on 49 runs before Taylor was out trying to hit a six, mistiming a delivery from medium pacer Hyatt to be caught by Andrew Richardson running in from long on for 13 in the 9th over.
Massiah kept chugging along with Cush at the other end and the captain managed to entertain the crowd at just under a run a ball by hitting one four and two big sixes, including a sweetly timed slog sweep over deep midwicket. But just after he cleared the rope at long on for his second six, he was fooled by a flighted delivery from Nkrumah Bonner and sent a simple catch back to the bowler to be out for 47, making it 90 for 2 in the 14th over.
Photo (right): Jamaican skipper, Tamar Lambert, talks to John Aaron, Secretary of USACA at the awards ceremony with the Pearls Cup in the foreground, Courtesy: DreamCricket.com
Cush tried to up the scoring rate, but only managed to top edge a full delivery from Samuels and was caught by wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh to be out for 17 making it 92 for 3 at the end of 15. Mishra and Carl Wright got out cheaply in the next few overs and too much work was left for Allen and Clain Williams to do. The two men finished not out on 11 and 8 respectively and were the only two batsmen whose strike rate was over 100.
Post Match Presentation USA v Jamaica 2nd T20 from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.
Post Match Interview with Steve Massiah, USA v Jamaica 2nd T20 from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.