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By Peter Della Penna
solid bowling performance paved the way for USA to wrap up a quick
victory over Cayman Islands on Thursday, chasing down a target of 130
for the loss of no wickets in only 13.5 overs at Rangers CC in
Southampton, Bermuda on the final day of the 50-over competition at the
ICC Americas Division One Tournament. Sushil Nadkarni was named Man of
the Match for a rampaging century, smashing 12 fours and 6 sixes to
finish 101 not out in only 54 balls.
Pic (Right): Sushil Nadkarni finished 101 not out - 84 of those runs came from boundaries [File photo from WCL Div 5 - Courtesy Daniela Zaharia/USACA]
USA finished second at 4-1 in the 50-over portion of the event behind
Canada, who beat Bermuda by four wickets on Thursday to go undefeated.
Bermuda placed third at 3-2 followed by Argentina at 1-3-1 after they
tied Bahamas on Thursday.
Cayman Islands finished fifth at 1-4
while Bahamas wound up last with four losses and a tie as they could
not get over the line against Argentina, finishing their chase level at
333 when they lost their last wicket in 33.3 overs with one run needed
to win. If Bahamas had scored a single to win instead of losing their
final wicket on the same delivery, Cayman Islands would have finished
fourth, Bahamas fifth and Argentina last based on net run rate.
Cayman Islands won the toss and elected to bat first as USA brought in
Bilal Khan and Moazzam Imtiaz for Adrian Gordon and Orlando Baker. Khan
struck first for USA, having Sacha De Alwis caught by captain Steve
Massiah for a second-ball duck with the score on 8 in the second over.
Sealy was then joined at the crease by Ricardo Roach, but Timroy Allen
bowled Sealy for 17 to make it 32 for 2 in the fifth. Allen took his
second wicket two overs later, having Omar Willis caught behind by
Ashhar Mehdi for 5 to make it 48 for 3. Khan set Cayman Islands back
even further when Roach was caught behind as well for 12 with the score
still on 48.
A brief recovery by Cayman Islands came with a 34-run partnership
between Saheed Mohammed and Ryan Bovell. It ended when 20-year-old
off-spinner Muhammad Ghous, who has had impressive figures throughout
the tournament, bowled Bovell for 16 to make it 82 for 5 in the 18th
over. Two overs later, Ghous claimed Ronald Ebanks for 5 to make it 96
for 6. In the next over, medium-pacer Imtiaz took his first wicket in
his first match of the tournament when Carl Wright caught Mohammed for
18 with the score unchanged. Wright took another catch for Imtiaz four
overs later as Kevin Bazil fell for 5 to make it 104 for 8 in the 25th.
Ghous made it 109 for 9 in the 26th when he bowled Conroy Wright for 4
to claim his third wicket. He finished with 3 for 21 in 10 overs
including three maidens. A 20-run partnership pushed Cayman Islands to
129 before Massiah had Alessandro Morris caught by Khan for 16 to wrap
up the innings in 32.1 overs as Kervin Ebanks finished not out on 3.
Extras were the high score in the innings as USA conceded 28 of them,
including 18 wides.
Nadkarni put his foot on the throat of the Cayman Islands bowling unit
and never let up as he teamed with Wright to open and close USA’s chase
of 130 in quick time. Kervin Ebanks and Bazil received the harshest
treatment as Ebanks went for 40 in four overs while Bazil was clubbed
for 24 in his two overs. Wright walked off 24 not out in 29 balls with
four boundaries as Nadkarni ended the match and raised his century on
the same delivery, hitting a four off the fifth ball of the 14th over
bowled by Willis.
Nadkarni finishes as USA’s second leading run-scorer with 243 runs in
five innings, including a century and two fifties. Only Aditya
Thyagarajan was better for USA as he chalked up 250 runs in four times
at the crease, with his 159 against Argentina the highest total of the
event to go along with one half-century.
Ghous, Gordon and Lennox Cush all claimed six wickets for USA to have a
share of the team lead. However, Ghous’ average of 12.83 was the best
of any bowler who bowled a minimum of one over per match. He also
possesses the best economy rate at 2.57, well ahead of USA’s next best
bowler in the category, Khan at 3.46.
The Twenty20 portion of the tournament begins on Friday as USA takes on
Argentina in Group A while Cayman Islands and Bahamas face off in Group
B in the only matches of the day.