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By Peter Della Penna in Bologna, Italy
Cayman Islands delayed the inevitable for only so long as USA completed a crushing nine-wicket victory at Centro Sportivo Dozza on Tuesday at the ICC WCL Division 4 in Bologna, Italy. Sushil Nadkarni was named Man of the Match for the second game in a row at the tournament after finishing 84 not out to lead USA past the Cayman Islands total of 181 for 9. He also took the Man of the Match award against Cayman Islands in June at the ICC Americas Division One when he scored 101 not out off 54 balls.
Image: Sushil Nadkarni tore into the Cayman Islands bowling attack once again to the tune of 84 not out, earning another Man of the Match medal. [Courtesy: ICC]
“I thought it was a very good team performance,” said USA captain Steve Massiah. “I thought we executed our plan very well.”
Cayman Islands won the toss and elected to bat first on a clear day with a temperature in the mid 80s. The Caymanian opening pair of Ricardo Roach and Ramon Sealy were not scoring very many runs against the opening combination of Kevin Darlington and Usman Shuja, but they each had solid defensive techniques and were determined not to be removed.
In stepped Orlando Baker for the ninth over and on the final ball of the over, he got one to jag back to beat Sealy through the gate for 8 to make it 23 for 1. Pearson Best was the new man in but survived for only 11 balls when he was beaten by a bouncer-yorker combo from Shuja. Against the bouncer, he cut Shuja for four behind point but when the yorker came on the next ball, Best had no answer and was bowled for 6 to make it 36 for 2. Roach was finally removed three balls after the first drinks break for 29 when he drove Shuja in the air to mid off where Aditya Thyagarajan sprinted to his left and took a spectacular diving catch.
In stepped Charlie Javed and the leg-spinner bowled a tidy line and length and along with Muhammad Ghous bowling at the other end, built pressure on the Cayman Islands middle order. Javed finally struck in his fourth over with the wicket of the captain Saheed Mohamed, out for 26. Mohamed tried to flick a full length ball through the on side but a leading edge popped up to Javed’s left and he dove forward to take a brilliant catch inches from the ground to make it 79 for 4.
Javed’s second wicket was Abali Hoilett for 3 to make it 91 for 5. Hoilett got a full ball on his legs and tried to sweep but sent it low and fast to Thyagarajan at fine leg in the circle who held on to the catch. For the second time in the match, USA took a wicket three balls after a drinks break as Javed claimed Ryan Bovell for 26 to make it 98 for 6 in the 40th over. Bovell had been batting with great resistance but could hold himself in no more and went for a big swing to midwicket only to send an edge to Lennox Cush at slip to give Javed his third.
“I thought Charlie and Ghous bowled brilliantly, especially Javed,” said Massiah. “10 overs, three wickets, I thought it was exceptional. That was the reason why we had selected him knowing the weaknesses of certain teams and I thought today we exploited that brilliantly.”
USA vs. Cayman Islands Post Match Interview with Massiah & Nadkarni from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.
Cayman Islands took the batting power play at the start of the 41st over and did well to score 41 runs from it while only losing one wicket, that of Kevin Bazil for 9 when he sliced a delivery from Baker to Javed at short third man to make it 126 for 7. Number seven batsman Ronald Ebanks top-scored with 46 and targeted Ghous to score the bulk of his runs. Ghous had figures of 0 for 17 after eight overs, but finished with 0 for 41 in 10 after Ebanks launched him over the sightscreen on consecutive deliveries to start the 48th over. However on the fourth ball of the over, Conroy Wright clipped a ball to midwicket and set off for a single, only to find himself short when Darlington fielded and fired a direct hit at the bowler’s end to send Wright off for 4, ending the biggest partnership of the innings at 37 to make it 163 for 8.
USA should have bowled out Cayman Islands for 168 in the final over, but on the ball after Baker dismissed Ebanks for the ninth wicket, Alassandro Morris was dropped when his top edged pull bounced off Darlington’s hands at midwicket. On the very next ball, Morris sent a catching opportunity to Ghous at long on, who wasn’t paying attention and the ball landed just in front of him and bounced by for four runs. On the next delivery, Morris hit Baker for six before taking a single off the final ball. Instead of finishing with figures of 4 for 17, Baker had to settle for 3 for 30 in 10 overs.
“I thought it was just a little lapse in concentration,” said Massiah. “Probably we got a little complacent. It’s cricket. These things are gonna happen and it’s just unfortunate that we dropped a few catches in the last over but luckily in the end it didn’t hurt us.”
The extra runs conceded only presented an opportunity for Nadkarni and friends to score more runs. On the fifth ball of USA’s innings, Nadkarni declared his intentions with a gargantuan hook over square leg for six off the bowling of Wright. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, Baker launched a mega hit over the fence at midwicket a few overs later against the off-spin of Morris.
The two men took USA to 71 when on the last ball of the ninth over, Baker went back to defend and was hit high on the pads and given out LBW for 32 to pace bowler Marlon Bryan. Massiah joined Nadkarni and the two methodically went about their business to guide USA toward the target.
Nadkarni brought up his 50 in 53 balls when he flicked a ball to fine leg and the fielder let it go through his legs and over the line. Massiah reached his half-century in 56 balls by clobbering the off-spin of Ebanks out of the ground for his third six. Massiah then finished the match two overs later when he spanked a free hit from Bovell over the midwicket boundary for the winning runs.
USA’s position at the top of the table was cemented about 30 minutes later when Nepal lost their match against Tanzania by 9 runs. Italy defeated Argentina by 60 runs to produce a four-way tie at 1-1 for second place while Argentina is at the bottom of the group with an 0-2 record. Play continues on Wednesday with USA playing for the first time in Medicina in a matchup against Italy while Argentina plays Nepal and Cayman Islands take on Tanzania in Bologna.
Cayman Islands vs. USA
USA won by 9 wickets
Cayman Islands won the toss and elected to bat
Man of the Match: SS Nadkarni
Cayman Islands Batting
Batsman Runs Balls 4s 6s Dismissal
RN Roach 29 81 3 0 ct Thyagarajan b Shuja
RA Sealy+ 8 14 1 0 b Baker
PI Best 6 11 1 0 b Shuja
SA Mohamed* 26 49 3 0 ct & b Javed
RD Bovell 20 55 0 0 ct Cush b Javed
A Hoilett 3 20 0 0 ct Thyagarajan b Javed
R Ebanks 46 39 5 2 ct Shuja b Baker
KF Bazil 9 10 0 1 ct Javed b Baker
C Wright 4 11 0 0 runout (Darlington)
A Morris 14 10 1 1 not out
MO Bryan 0 0 0 0 not out
Total Extras 16 (0 no balls, 5 byes, 3 leg byes, 8 wides)
Team Total 181 for 9 in 50 overs
Fall of wicket: 23/1 (Sealy), 36/2 (Best), 47/3 (Roach), 79/4 (Mohamed), 91/5 (Hoilett), 98/6 (Bovell), 126/7 (Bazil), 163/8 (Wright), 168/9 (Ebanks)
USA Bowling Overs-Maidens-Runs-Wickets
KG Darlington 10-0-47-0
KU Shuja 10-2-26-2
OM Baker 10-1-30-3
N Javed 10-1-29-3
MA Ghous 10-0-41-0
Batsman Runs Balls 4s 6s Dismissal
SS Nadkarni 84 92 11 2 not out
OM Baker 32 25 3 2 LBW Bryan
SJ Massiah* 59 62 4 4 not out
Total Extras 7 (2 no balls, 0 byes, 1 leg bye, 4 wides)
Team Total 182 for 1 in 29.3 overs
Did not bat: LJ Cush, A Thyagarajan, CD Wright+, RA Marshall, KU Shuja, MA Ghous, KG Darlington, N Javed
Fall of wicket: 71/1 (Baker)
Cayman Islands Bowling Overs-Maidens-Runs-Wickets
C Wright 4-0-26-0
A Morris 9-0-55-0
K Bazil 8-0-41-0
MO Bryan 3-0-22-1
RD Bovell 4.3-0-22-0
R Ebanks 1-0-15-0