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By Peter Della Penna
A towering 213-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Man of the
Match Aditya Thyagarajan and Orlando Baker put USA on the path to
victory as they beat Argentina by 120 runs on Friday at St. Georges
Cricket Club in Bermuda on day one of the ICC Americas Division One
Pic (Right): File photo of Aditya Thyagarajan taken during the ICC Division 5 match versus Jersey. [Courtesy: Daniela Zaharia]
Coming in at number six with the score at 91 for 4,
Thyagarajan finished with 159, his highest score for USA, which
included 21 boundaries and three sixes. Baker notched a century of his
own, scoring 113 opening the innings after USA was sent in to bat.
“I went into bat when we were in a spot of bother,” said Thyagarajan
afterwards. “Baker and I began to do the repair work. The key for me
was that I kept playing my natural game and continued to play my
strength shots. Batting with Baker is always great and we have had many
partnerships for USA. I feel in great touch and hope to continue to
work hard and win games for USA.”
Sushil Nadkarni and Baker opened the match for USA and put on 49 runs
before Nadkarni was the first man dismissed for 23. Captain Steve
Massiah was caught behind for a fifth ball duck four runs later off the
bowling of Lucas Paterlini. Carl Wright could only manage 9 runs before
he was sent back by the Argentine captain Esteban MacDermott. Lennox
Cush became the second batsman out for a duck when he fell on his fifth
ball to Diego Lord in the 20th over to make it 91 for 4.
It was here that Thyagarajan entered the fray and true to his
reputation in a USA uniform, staged a classic fightback with Baker to
bring up his first century as a member of the national team. Both men
looked in solid form during their 50-over encounter one week earlier
against Jamaica and carried it over into the first match of this
tournament. Baker had already reached 50 when Thyagarajan came to the
crease, but it was Thyagarajan who brought up his century first,
scoring the lion’s share of the runs in their partnership. Thyagarajan
accounted for 75% of the runs in their fifth wicket stand, while he
also took most of the strike as he faced 119 balls during the 28 overs
he was at the crease. He was finally dismissed in the 48th over by Gary
Savage while Baker fell in the final over of the innings to Paterlini.
Rashard Marshall played another one of his microwave innings, heating
up quickly to blast 29 runs in only 8 balls with two fours and three
sixes to take USA to 347 for 6 in their 50 overs. Savage finished with
2 for 90 in his 10 overs while Paterlini had 2 for 47 in 9.
Adrian Gordon opened up the pace attack for USA and claimed both
openers, Matias and Lucas Paterlini, to set Argentina back at 23 for 2.
After Timroy Allen had Pablo Ferguson caught behind to make it 58 for
3, Grant Dugmore and Savage tried to replicate USA’s innings by staging
a fightback of their own. The two put on 75 runs before Dugmore was out
LBW to the off-spin of Massiah for 64. Savage then put on another
half-century stand with Donald Forrester before Savage was runout for
35 by Allen to make it 187 for 5 in the 42nd. Bilal Khan then came on
late after opening the bowling with Gordon to pick up three quick
wickets. Khan claimed the scalps of Alejandro Ferguson and Bernardo
Irigoyen while Carl Wright bowled Martin Siri. Khan then got Forrester
for 38, but USA couldn’t claim all 10 wickets and Argentina finished on
227 for 9 in 50 overs.
USA will take on Canada on Saturday at 10:30 am local time in Bermuda.
Canada defeated Cayman Islands by 8 wickets on Friday while Bermuda
disposed of Bahamas by 7 wickets in the day’s other match.