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By Peter Della Penna in Dublin, Ireland
Scorecard powered by New Inning Foundation I Ball-by-Ball Commentary
Number eight batsman Adam Coughlin rescued Ireland U-19 from being 86
for 6 in the 25th over to score 49 runs in a one-wicket win for Ireland
U-19 over USA U-19 at Clontarf CC on Thursday afternoon at the 2011 ICC
U-19 World Cup Qualifier in Dublin, Ireland. Coughlin was named Man of
the Match after top scoring in the game. He was part of two vital
stands, 46 runs for the seventh wicket and 40 runs for the eighth, to
help Ireland get over the line.
“First of all
I want to say hats off to the Irish team,” said USA U-19 captain Greg
Sewdial. “I thought they played well. I thought they came back and their
batsmen did their job. Unfortunately a few dropped catches proved to be
costly for us.”
Image (right) - Adam Coughlin receives Man of the Match award
from Cricket Ireland President Richard Johnson. [Courtesy: ICC/Rob
Ireland won the toss and elected to field first as the match got
underway after a 50-minute delay due to morning rain. The initial
breakthrough was made by Gloucestershire contracted fast bowler Graeme
McCarter when he removed Cameron Mirza without scoring to make it 6 for 1
in the third over. Steven Taylor was joined by Amarnauth Persaud and
the two added 63 runs for the second wicket, the highest partnership in
the match. Taylor finally departed when edged an attempted drive to give
wicketkeeper Niall Hodgins his second catch and medium pacer Barry
McCarthy his first wicket.
McCarthy then claimed his second when Sewdial left for 4 after edging
a full delivery to Jason van der Merwe at first slip to make the score
77 for 3 in the 23rd over. Ireland U-19 captain George Dockrell then
entered the mix when he bowled Abhijit Joshi for 1 to make it 82 for 4
before McCarthy and Hodgins teamed up again to get rid of Persaud for 24
and USA was in trouble at 83 for 5 in the 25th over.
Pranay Suri tried his best to keep the Irish bowlers at bay, but
finally got out for 8 when he came down the track and was beaten in
flight to be bowled by off-spinner Andy McBrine to make the score 106
for 6 in the 38th over. Salman Ahmad joined Jodhbir Singh at the crease
and the two put on 32 runs for the seventh wicket, doing their best to
accelerate the scoring rate. Singh made the most of a second chance
after he was dropped on 4 off a simple skied chance at mid on. He went
on to score 36, tops in the USA innings, before he was stumped by
Hodgins off McBrine to make it 138 for 7 in the 42nd over.
Ahmad and Shayan Abdulghani put on 36 for the eighth wicket as
Abdulghani also benefitted off a dropped chance at cover when he was on
6. The two took USA into the final over before Ahmad was caught for 21
on the boundary off the bowling of medium pacer Josh Hall before
Abdulghani was run out on the final ball of the innings for 20. USA
finished their 50 overs at 177 for 9. Extras finished as the second best
score for USA as Ireland gave away 35 of them, including 25 wides.
“Our first thoughts were I thought we were about 20 runs short,” said Sewdial. “Obviously in the end it proved to be short.”
Ireland’s chase was a struggle the entire way as the USA bowling
attack bowled marvelously to keep the pressure on the hosts. Ahmad took
the first of his three wickets when he had Hugh MacDonnell caught by
Abdulghani at backward point for 7 to make it 8 for 1 in the third over.
Mital Patel struck in the next over when he had Ireland’s other opener
Ryan Hunter caught behind by Taylor for 4. Ahmad struck again in the
fifth, as van der Merwe edged to Joshi at first slip for 4 and Ireland
was behind the 8-ball at 16 for 3.
USA had a chance to create even more pressure when Adam Berry was
fresh at the crease with Dockrell. Berry was on 1 with the score at 22
for 3 in the seventh over when he edged an Ahmad delivery to second slip
where Sewdial put down a difficult chance diving to his left. As a
result, the two batsmen produced a 53-run stand for the fourth wicket
which was extended a second time when Gurpreet Sandhu dropped a skied
chance at midwicket off Singh’s medium pace when Berry was on 17 and the
score at 55 in the 17th over.
Berry’s stay finally came to an end when a thick edge off a drive
went to Abdulghani at backward point to give Singh his first wicket. Two
balls later, Singh trapped McBrine LBW to make it 69 for 5. Singh’s
spell of medium pace got even better when he removed Dockrell for 29 to
make it 86 for 6 in the 25th over when the captain drove Singh to
Sewdial at cover.
“Defensively, I thought we played outstanding,” said Sewdial. “Our
bowlers hit their areas. We had a long team meeting last night. Our
bowlers did their job, did what they were supposed to do.”
At that stage USA looked ready to keep pressing on for victory, but
Coughlan and McCarter focused on survival before delicately rebuilding
the innings. Abdulghani and Suri tried to keep the pressure on bowling
spin in tandem as Adbulghani’s second spell only conceded 18 runs in
seven overs while Suri finished with figures of 10-1-37-0. The run rate
steadily started to rise as Ireland inched toward the target.
McCarter finally perished when Abdulghani beat him in flight coming
down the pitch to be stumped for 35 as the match swung back USA’s way at
132 for 7 in the 41st over. Just as soon as things were looking bright
for the visitors, the hosts clawed their way back into control with
Coughlan and McCarthy’s 40-run eighth wicket partnership. USA had a
chance to stop the partnership for 17 at 149 in the 44th over when
Coughlan was on 37 as he slogged Suri to deep midwicket, but Persaud
couldn’t come up with a chance diving forward and the two batsmen moved
on. That 44th over, Suri’s 10th, wound up being the first double-digit
over of the innings for Ireland as they scored 11 runs in the frame to
get their nose in front at 155 for 8.
They scored 10 more in the 47th to get within five runs of victory, but
Ahmad had McCarthy caught down the leg side by Taylor for 17 and USA
once again had the door open with a chance of winning. The door was
pushed wide open when Patel struck on the second ball of the 48th over
as Coughlan fell one short of his half-century, pinned on the crease by a
full delivery and given LBW to make it 175 for 9 with 16 balls
remaining and three runs needed to win.
Patel and Ahmad
bowled eight consecutives dot balls between them after the fall of the
wicket until a single off Ahmad’s final ball in the 49th over left
Ireland needing two to win with the numbers 10 and 11, Hall and Hodgins,
at the crease.
Image (right) - Mital Patel screams in delight after claiming
Adam Coughlan's wicket to set up the thrilling finish. [Courtesy:
Patel bowled four straight dot balls to start the final over, giving
USA confidence with each delivery. But Hall decided to risk everything
on the fifth ball and scooped a full delivery just out of the reach of
Mirza’s diving effort at mid on as Ireland’s bench erupted in
celebration while Coughlan breathed a sigh of relief.
For USA, it was a missed opportunity to score a massive upset against
the hosts and now they have to regroup quickly before getting back into
action on Friday morning against Papua New Guinea, who lost by 89 runs
to Namibia in their first game. In the other three matches, a Nitish
Kumar unbeaten century was the difference for Canada as they held on for
a 6-run win over Scotland. Nepal defeated Afghanistan by 42 runs and
Kenya had the widest margin of victory on day one with a 133-run win
DreamCricket.com’s live coverage of USA’s next contest against Papua
New Guinea , made possible in part by New Inning Foundation, will start
Friday morning at 10 a.m. local time with first ball due to be bowled at
10:45 a.m. in Dublin, 5:45 a.m. EST in the USA.