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By Peter Della Penna in Dublin, Ireland
USA U-19 medium pacer Mital Patel took six wickets and wrapped up the
first innings with a hat trick to help lead USA to a three-wicket win
over Afghanistan U-19 at The Hills CC on Monday afternoon at the 2011
ICC U-19 World Cup Qualifier in Dublin, Ireland. Patel was named Man of
the match after finishing with figures of 6 for 35 and is now the
leading wicket taker in the tournament with 13.
USA won the toss and elected to field first and Afghanistan got off
to a quick start with 22 runs in the first three overs. A steady rain
began to come down after the third over finished but the umpires allowed
play to continue and on the first ball of the fourth over, Patel struck
for the first time on the day, getting Javed Ahmadi to edge behind for 8
to USA U-19 captain Greg Sewdial at first slip. Before the next batsman
arrived at the crease, the umpires took the players off the field for a
one hour 53 minute delay.
When play resumed, Patel finished the over by taking the wicket of
the new batsman Shir Shirzi, also caught in the slips by Sewdial for a
duck. Jodhbir Singh struck next, having Afsar Zazai caught by Cameron
Mirza on the cover boundary for 11 to make it 47 for 3 in the 10th over.
Hammad Shahid had entered the attack in the fifth over and bowled a
fantastic eight-over first spell, taking 2 for 12 with three maidens.
His first wicket was that of Rahmat Sahaq for a duck in the 13th over
before he removed opening batsman Hashmat Shaidi for 25, caught at point
by Nair on the last ball of the 15th over to make it 60 for 5.
As was the case in USA’s matches against Ireland and Namibia, the
opposition was allowed to regroup as Afghanistan middle order batsmen
Nasir Ahmadzai and Najib Zadran led a mid-innings revival for their
team. Zadran played a magnificent innings of 70 to dominate a 96-run
sixth wicket stand with Ahmadzai. The left-hand batsman hit exactly 14
fours and 14 singles in an elegant display before falling to the
off-spin of Abhijit Joshi, edging an attempted cut to wicketkeeper
With Zadran gone, Patel returned for a third spell and finished off
the order. Mohib Paak drove a simple return catch back to Patel for 4 to
make it 167 for 8 in the 38th over before Yamin Ahmadzai was bowled for
2 to end the 39th. Number 10 batsman Aftab Alam was caught slogging to
Shahid at long on to start the 41st as Patel claimed USA U-19's first
five-wicket haul since Gurpreet Sandhu took 5 for 7 against Bermuda U-19
on 47, crossed while the ball was in the air to get on strike for the
next delivery. Ahmadzai also attempted to slog Patel out of the ground
but skied a ball high over midwicket where Sewdial ran back to take an
excellent catch, giving Patel his hat trick as Afghanistan was bowled
out for 183 in 41.2 overs.
Image (right) - Mital Patel poses with the match ball after
taking a hat trick and 6 for 35 in the field for USA U-19.
[Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
Because the rain interruption took place after the match had started,
the Duckworth Lewis calculation for USA’s target became 183 in 46 overs
instead of 184. Mirza opened with Taylor, who continued his red hot
form by blazing 49 in 43 balls with six fours and three sixes. He got
out attempting to flick a single against the turn through midwicket
while facing the off spin of Zadran and sent a leading edge to Shirzi at
cover who stumbled to the ground but managed to take a one-handed catch
anyway to stun Taylor and make the score 73 for 1 in the 15th over.
From there, USA’s scoring rate dropped rapidly as Afghanistan’s
captain Shirzi applied tight fields to put pressure on USA. Shirzi moved
himself into silly point in the 23rd over and two balls later Joshi
tapped a catch straight to him off left arm spinner Abdul Naseri to
leave for 10. Shirzi then remained there for Naseri or at short leg for
the off spin of Ahmadi for the majority of the rest of the innings.
Mirza departed LBW for 37 in the 32nd over playing back to a full
length ball from Ahmadi and Amarnauth Persaud, batting with a runner,
lasted only three balls before he edged Ahmadi behind to the keeper
Zazai for his second duck of the tournament to make it 128 for 4 in the
Sewdial tried to alleviate the mounting pressure with a brief
counterattack to notch 28. One ball after hitting his fifth boundary
through the covers, he went for another big drive and missed while
dragging his back foot out of the crease to allow Zazai time to flick
off the bails for a stumping and Ahmadi had his third to make it 149 for
5 in the 36th. Pranay Suri was run out for the second time in three
games two overs later for 7 and Shahid got out LBW for 4 to a yorker
from Yamin Ahmadzai as USA was teetering at 169 for 7, 14 short of
Afghanistan’s bowling unit lost their nerve though, bowling a series
of wides down the stretch, finishing with 21 in all which cost them very
badly in the final result. Singh and Salman Ahmad patiently crept their
way to the target until Singh cracked a four over mid off on the final
ball of the 45th to clinch the second win of the tournament for USA
while handing Afghanistan their third loss.
In the other matches of the day, Nikhil Dutta’s century for Canada
was not enough as they lost by three wickets to Namibia. Duncan Allan
hit his second century of the tournament for Kenya but like Dutta his
came in a losing cause as Ireland won by two wickets. Scotland defeated
Papua New Guinea by two wickets in a 33-over match. In the only match of
the day that didn’t go to the wire, Nepal beat Vanuatu by 159 runs.
After the conclusion of the first week of matches in Dublin, four
teams are tied at the top with 3-1 records – Nepal, Namibia, Scotland
and Ireland. Canada, USA and Kenya are tied for fifth at 2-2 with USA
sixth on net run rate. Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea are 1-3 while
Vanuatu remains winless.
Tuesday is a travel day for all teams as the tournament shifts to
Londonderry in Northern Ireland. USA’s next match is against Scotland on
Wednesday at Eglinton. DreamCricket.com’s live coverage, made possible
in part by New Inning Foundation, begins at 10 a.m., 5 a.m. EST in the
USA, with the match starting at 10:45 a.m.