Now, you can get all the USA Cricket updates via Facebook. Also follow us on Twitter via @dreamcricket
By Peter Della Penna in Bologna, Italy
A dominant performance in the field was followed by a swift run
chase as USA easily disposed of Tanzania to complete a 10-wicket
victory on Sunday at Centro Sportivo Dozza in Bologna, Italy at the ICC
WCL Division 4. Sushil Nadkarni was named Man of the Match after
top-scoring with 68 not out including three boundaries and eight sixes.
“I thought it wasn’t anything different from what I get to play in
Houston,” said Nadkarni. “I’m backing myself in this tournament because
the wickets we are playing on are exactly similar to what I play in
Texas so it’s easier for me to adjust to these wickets here.”
VIDEO: USA vs. Tanzania Post Match Interview with Baker & Nadkarni from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.
After winning the toss, USA sent the opposition in to bat for the
second day in a row. The match was delayed by 15 minutes due to a wet
artificial pitch that hadn’t yet dried out from Saturday’s rain.
However, the conditions around the ground were warm and clear and the
ground small with the long boundaries only about 55 yards and the
square ones roughly 50 yards. A big score would have been possible for
a good batting side, but Tanzania’s lineup stood no chance against a
focused USA bowling attack.
USA struck on the seventh ball of the match when Adrian Gordon
sent down a searing yorker that Enjo Kiongozi couldn’t catch up with
and the stumps were knocked back for a golden duck. USA made it 3 for 2
on the last ball of the third over when the new man in Abhik Patwa
drove Timroy Allen to Massiah at extra cover, who held on to a low
catch to send Patwa back for 1.
Orlando Baker claimed USA’s third wicket when Shaheed Dhanani
inside edged a ball off his thigh guard, popping it up into the air
behind the stumps. Carl Wright, who was standing up to the stumps,
waited for the ball to come down to complete the dismissal and Dhanani
was out for 16 to make it 40 for 3 in the 15th over.
Opening batsman Seif Khalifa was still there, but with the middle
order now exposed, Muhammad Ghous took the opportunity to put his stamp
on the game. Tanzania captain Hamisi Abdallah was dismissed for 1,
edging a good length ball to Lennox Cush at slip to make it 41 for 4.
Issa Kikasi was out for 4 after he played inside the line of the ball
trying to defend on the back foot and was bowled.
Leg-spinner Charlie Javed got into the action to dismiss Khalifa
for 26 making it 56 for 6. Khalifa tried to drive him over the fence at
long off but didn’t get enough elevation and Ghous took a simple catch
jogging in from the boundary. Ghous then continued to run through the
lineup as Benson Mwita came forward to defend a good length ball and
edged it to Cush at slip for his second catch to make it 61 for 7.
Ghous put Khalil Rehmtullah out of his misery, bowling him through the
gate for a 20-ball duck and Tanzania was reduced to 63 for 8. Ghous
finished with 4 for 15 in his 10-over spell.
“In my opinion, Ghous has been the find for US cricket,” said
Nadkarni. “He’s truly an off-spinner with great great potential in my
mind. He has some skill sets which not many off-spinners have and he’s
come on in very critical times for US in the past and delivered really
well. He’s gone through his 10, he’s got us wickets, he’s kept the runs
low. I mean for a guy who’s just come off the Under-19 levels, I think
he’s truly a find for our US senior team right now.”
Number nine batsman Kassim Nassoro played an intelligent innings
to top score for Tanzania with 49 not out. Nassoro gave Tanzania’s
scorecard a slight measure of respectability as he put on 52 runs for
the ninth wicket with Riziki Kiseto.
“I wouldn’t say we relaxed,” said Baker. “I think those guys who
came and batted, they batted well. We bowled good areas but they batted
well and we have to give credit. In cricket we have to respect people
for putting a good partnership together.”
Gordon came back for a second spell later and struck in the second
over of the spell to have Kiseto LBW for 12. Kiseto went back to defend
a good length ball but played around it and was hit on the knee roll
before being given out. Gordon wrapped up the innings two overs later
to deny Nassoro a deserved half-century when he teamed up with Wright
to dismiss Harsh Ramaiya. With Wright standing back for Gordon’s pace,
Ramaiya decided to stand out of his crease while batting. He let the
first delivery of the 39th over go through to the keeper but
Wright alertly underhanded the ball into the stumps from about 15 yards
away. Wright belted out a loud appeal and the umpire raised his finger
immediately as Ramaiya had to go. Tanzania was bowled out for 128 in
“I thought it was an exceptional bowling performance,” said
Massiah. “We’re off to an ideal start which we spoke about being
disciplined and I thought the guys hit good areas which made it a lot
easier for the bowlers coming after.”
VIDEO: USA vs. Tanzania Post Match Interview with Ghous & Massiah from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.
USA’s reply was short and sweet. They were supposed to complete
roughly 40 minutes of play before the official lunch break, but with
the score at 103 for 0 when lunch was due to be taken at 2:15 p.m., the
umpires opted to play on to wrap things up. Nadkarni and Baker duly
obliged by taking another 15 balls to pass the target.
Nadkarni and Baker both got slightly lucky over the course of
their short partnership. With Nadkarni on 8 in the third over and the
score on 14, he top edged a pull toward midwicket. Dhanani ran a long
way from mid on and dove for the ball but it landed just out of the
reach of his fingertips. Nadkarni established his authority once more
on the next delivery by pulling it for six over square leg.
On the fifth ball of the eighth over from the off-spin of Nassoro,
Baker top edged a pull to square leg. Khalifa, who was fielding about
five yards in from the boundary, backpedaled and jumped up about two
yards in from the line to take a catch over his head. However, he
landed with his back over the boundary line and the umpires rightly
ruled it a six. Had he been standing on the boundary when the ball was
delivered, he most likely would have completed the catch without losing
his balance. Like Nadkarni had done before, Baker rubbed salt into the
wound by smashing a six over the leg side on the very next delivery.
Pic: Sushil Nadkarni poses with his Man of the Match medal at the post match presentation ceremony. [Courtesy: ICC]
Baker brought up his 50 first and did so in bizarre fashion. He
defended a delivery from Nassoro back to the bowler. Nassoro
inexplicably hurled the ball to the keeper but missed with a wild throw
and the ball went racing away along the ground to the boundary for four
overthrows to bring up the half-century. Nadkarni notched his in
slightly more conventional style three balls later by scooping Nassoro
over square leg for six. Baker scored his 50 in 34 balls while Nadkarni
did his in only 25. Baker then finished the match a short time later by
scooping his third six over square leg.
In the day’s other scheduled matches, Nepal defeated Italy by five
wickets in a low-scoring match that was reduced to 40 overs because of
a wet outfield from yesterday’s rain. Italy was bowled out for 71
before Nepal passed the target in 25 overs. Mahesh Chhetri’s 19 opening
the chase for Nepal was the high score in the game. Argentina’s match
against Cayman Islands was abandoned to due a wet outfield in Medicina.
That match will be replayed on Monday.
Saturday’s round of matches, which included USA vs. Nepal, will be
replayed on Thursday as long as no other matches on the following three
days are left incomplete due to weather or ground conditions. That will
mean USA will potentially play five days in a row to end the tournament.
“It’s daunting to think that we’re going to play five games in a
row, but I’d like to believe that given our bowling attack and our
batting strength that some of those games are not going to go full
span,” said Nadkarni. “So just like this one finished pretty early,
we’re hoping some of the others might finish early. If that happens,
it’ll help us preserve our energy for the big games like Nepal and
ICC Official Scorecard