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By Peter Della Penna
Two days after a massive defeat to Canada, USA bounced back to defeat
Bahamas by 115 runs on Monday at Somerset Cricket Club in Bermuda at
the ICC Americas Division One Tournament. The win kept USA in third
place in the tournament at 2-1 while Bahamas remains winless at 0-3.
Lennox Cush was named Man of the Match for scoring 48 runs in USA’s
total of 307 for 8 before taking 2 for 38 bowling off-spin as Bahamas
were bowled out for 192 in the 48th over.
For the first time in the tournament, USA won the toss, but for the
third match in a row they batted first. Carl Wright, who opened the
batting against Canada, was left out along with Timroy Allen in favor
of Clain Williams and Muhammad Ghous. It meant that Sushil Nadkarni
moved back up the order to open the innings with Orlando Baker. The two
batsmen produced the highest partnership of USA’s innings with 82 runs
for the first wicket at better than a run a ball.
Baker was the first wicket to fall, going for 33 to the medium pace of
51-year-old Mario Ford. Nadkarni then reached his half-century with
captain Steve Massiah at the crease, but fell soon after for 53 to the
spin of Narendra Ekanayake.
Wickets then fell at regular intervals for the rest of the innings as
almost every USA batsman got a start without carrying on to a major
score. Massiah fell for 34 to Ekanayake to make it 156 for 3 in the
28th over. Cush got some valuable time at the crease after notching
back-to-back ducks, scoring 48 for USA. He put on 44 runs for the
fourth wicket with Williams before Williams fell to Dwight Weakley for
a run a ball 25. Cush fell soon after to the same bowler to leave USA
at 227 for 5 in the 41st over.
A sharp burst from Aditya Thyagarajan helped get USA past 300. He
continued his impressive form by hitting six fours and three sixes on
his way to top score with 58 in only 43 balls, which makes it hard to
believe he hasn’t earned a promotion up the order. Rashard Marshall
teamed up with Thyagarajan for a 54-run sixth wicket stand before
Marshall was dismissed by Marc Taylor for 24. Ashhar Mehdi was out for
11 to Whitcliff Atkinson before Thyagarajan was dismissed on the final
ball of the innings by Jonathan Barry. Adrian Gordon finished not out
Gordon then came out and took the first wicket with only one run on the
board courtesy of an extra as Atkinson was bowled for a six-ball duck
at the end of the first over. Bahamas provided some resistance though
in the form of Rohan Parks and Taylor, who played for the Bahamas U-19
squad against the USA U-19 team in Toronto last July at the Americas
Qualifier for the ICC U-19 World Cup. The two put on 58 runs for the
second wicket before Ghous took his first wicket of the tournament,
having Parks caught behind by Mehdi for 39, which turned out to be the
top score in the match for Bahamas.
Taylor and Barry tried to keep Bahamas in the hunt, forming a 35-run
partnership before Taylor was finally dismissed by Baker for 31 to make
it 94 for 3 in the 21st over. From there, wickets fell quickly as Ghous
had Ford caught by Thyagarajan for 1 before Weakley was out LBW to
Massiah, also for 1, making it 108 for 5 in the 27th. Barry and captain
Gregory Taylor teamed up to add 30 runs before Barry was finally sent
packing by Cush for 37. Massiah accounted for Ekanayake as he became
the third Bahamas batsman to be out for 1, making the score 147 for 7
in the 33rd.
Bahamas did their best to survive all 50 overs as Albert Peters hung
around until the 44th over before he was out for 11 to Cush. In the
next over, captain Taylor was given out LBW to Bilal Khan for 33 before
Gordon wrapped up the match, getting rid of Dereck Gittens for 2 to
bowl out Bahamas with 14 balls to spare.
One thing USA will be looking to focus on heading into their Tuesday
encounter with Bermuda will be cutting down on wides. USA gave up 27
wides and 36 extras in all on Monday with Cush the chief offender as he
conceded 13 of his 38 runs on wides. Ghous was the only one of USA’s
six bowlers on the day not to bowl a wide and he also returned the best
bowling analysis for USA, taking 2 for 34 in 10 overs of off-spin with
Bermuda improved to 3-0 on Monday with a 148-run win over Cayman
Islands. In Monday’s other match, Canada also joined the host country
at 3-0 but is slightly behind Bermuda on net run rate after beating
Argentina by six wickets. Cayman Islands are fourth at 1-2 while
Argentina is at the bottom of the table with three losses in as many
games. Argentina also has a worse net run rate than Bahamas at the
moment with the teams sharing identical records.