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By Peter Della Penna in Dubai (on Twitter)
Scorecard powered by the New Inning Foundation I Match Commentary
Stand-in captain Aditya Mishra scored 62 to lead a thrilling chase
for USA as they knocked off Scotland by 7 wickets on Tuesday at the 2012
ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in Dubai. Mishra was named Man of the
Match after notching USA’s highest individual score of the tournament
which included five boundaries and two sixes before he was run out on
the first ball of the final over with four needed to win.
“I just told myself it’s my day,” said Mishra after the win. “I never
believed that I’m not gonna get the USA through so I was a little
disappointed to get run out in the end but I envisioned this thing when I
was sitting in the dressing room. When I left from the hotel bus, I saw
myself winning this game.”
USA finishes Group B in sixth place at 2-5 with the same record as
Uganda but ahead of them on net run rate. Scotland ends at 4-3 with
Kenya but was seven thousandths of a point better than Kenya on net run
rate to wind up in third place and in the six-team playoffs for
qualification to the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
Scotland won the toss and elected to bat first on a warm and dusty
day at the ICC Global Cricket Academy. USA made three changes to the
lineup, with captain Sushil Nadkarni resting while Adil Bhatti and Andy
Mohammed came out in favor of Mishra, Asif Khan and Nauman Mustafa, who
took over the gloves from Steven Taylor.
Usman Shuja got USA off to an outstanding start in the field with a
wicket maiden to open the match. On his fourth delivery to Richie
Berrington, he beat the batsman for pace with a short ball as an
attempted pull was skied behind the stumps where Mustafa took the catch.
Berrington’s fellow opener Calum MacLeod got off to a brisk start with
16 off his first nine balls, but when he tried to slog Muhammad Ghous
for a second six on his 10th delivery, he failed to middle the ball and
instead found Japen Patel at deep square leg to make it 21 for 2 on the
first ball of the fourth over.
Preston Mommsen came in at three and scored 21 at a run a ball
including four boundaries but he succumbed to Abhimanyu Rajp, driving
back a low return catch to give the off-spinner his team-leading eighth
wicket to make it 55 for 2 in the eighth over.
The loss of early wickets didn’t stem the aggressive charge made by
Scotland as they continued to try to bat USA out of the game. Jan
Stander and stand-in captain Kyle Coetzer put on 54 runs for the fourth
wicket, Scotland’s best partnership of the match. The pair took Scotland
to 89 for 3 in 10 overs after scoring 17 off Rajp’s second over in the
10th. Stander hit him for six on the second ball of the over and then
lofted him down the ground to long off on the fifth ball where
Hutchinson was in position for a possible catch but the ball burst
through his hands to go over the rope for six and take Stander to 47.
Stander was dropped again on 49 by Ghous running in from long off to
take him to his half-century in 24 balls and survived a run out chance
on 54 before his luck finally ran out. Ryan Corns bowled a full and wide
delivery that Stander tried to slog against the spin, resulting in
another top edge taken safely by Mustafa at silly point after jogging
out from behind the stumps to dismiss Stander for 58 on the first ball
of the 15th.
Saafyan Sharif came in and turned the over back Scotland’s way with a
four and a six off the side of the academy building and Scotland
finished the 15th at 122 for 4. USA did well to not let them race toward
180, only conceding 39 in the final 30 balls, aided by a steady stream
Coetzer was done in by a slower ball from Shuja, caught by Hutchinson
at long off for 19 to make it 131 for 5 at the end of the 16th. Sharif
was run out five balls later for 13 after a mixup with Fraser Watts.
Watts scooped a Hutchinson delivery to Mishra at cover to go for 5 with
the score at 147 in the 19th. Majid Haq hit a six first ball and was out
second ball edging behind to Mustafa off Shuja to make it 156 for 8
with two balls to go in the final over. Craig Wallace finished with 16
not out off 10 balls, hitting three fours including the final ball of
the innings which was dropped by Patel at deep midwicket before bouncing
over the rope to take Scotland to 161 for 8 in 20.
Shuja finished with USA’s best figures in the innings with 3 for 39
and it could have been 4 for 35 if not for the drop to end the innings.
Hutchinson bowled a key two-over spell at the end of the innings to
finish with 1 for 10. USA’s sloppy fielding cost them at least 20 runs,
but Scotland’s own woeful effort in the field more than compensated for
it in the end.
Nadkarni sitting out, Mishra moved up to open with Taylor and they
produced USA’s best opening and overall stand of the tournament with 78
runs. The previous best was also between Taylor and Mishra when they put
on 64 for the third wicket against Namibia. Instead of USA falling
short like they did against Namibia, this time the partnership was
enough to catapult USA toward victory.
Image (right) - Aditya Mishra completes a drive down the ground
off Preston Mommsen in the 19th over to inch USA closer to victory.
Mishra was named Man of the Match for his 62, USA's best individual
score of the tournament. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket]
The partnership was not without its nervy moments though. Mishra was
dropped on 1 four balls into the chase when he skied an attempted pull
off a short ball from Sharif toward Coetzer at midwicket. Coetzer ran
back to the edge of the circle and stuck two hands out before the ball
snuck through to hit the turf. Mishra would make Scotland regret it.
Just as Carl Wright guided USA’s successful chase over Scotland at the
2010 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier with 62 at the top of the order, it
was déjà vu for the Scots as Mishra duplicated the score from the same
position on Tuesday.
With Mustafa taking over the behind the stumps for USA in the field,
Taylor had plenty of energy at the crease and he used it to intimidate
Scotland with a series of menacing shots. Sharif tried to bounce him in
the third over but Taylor responded by muscling him over mid on for a
boundary. In the fourth, Taylor flicked Matthew Parker’s medium pace
over square leg for his third boundary and when Parker tried going
around the wicket, Taylor blasted his next ball over cover for another
four. USA was 35 for 0 after four overs. Both players showed they were
just as comfortable against spin with each player carting Mommsen for a
boundary in the fifth before Taylor blasted Haq for six over mid on to
take the total to 53 after six. At no point did USA’s run rate dip below
seven per over.
“In the first six overs we got a very good start. Steven Taylor I
think played fantastically well. It was good to see him score some runs
there and give us a very good start,” said Mishra. “It shows the
potential the guy has… I think he has tremendous and great talent. We
all believe that he is the future of US cricket.”
Taylor finally showed signs of slowing down in the eighth when he was
dropped on 37 by Sharif at deep midwicket off the bowling of Haq.
Scotland got Taylor in the next over when Stander made a bid for Man of
the Match by getting the 18-year-old clean bowled with a fuller delivery
to make it 78 for 1 in 9. Taylor ended with 40 off 30 balls, eclipsing
his previous high of the tournament when he scored 23 against another
ODI nation, Ireland.
Hutchinson came in at number three and didn’t skip a beat with
Mishra, putting on a 40-run stand. Hutchinson survived a missing run out
on 5, then a botched stumping on 10, but hung around long enough to
clear the ropes in a crucial 14th over against leg-spinner Moneeb Iqbal
which went for 17 runs. Whereas USA stumbled at the same stage of their
chases against Italy and Namibia, they took full control at this
juncture against Scotland. Hutchinson slogged the first ball for six
over long on before Mishra hopped down the track on the fourth ball to
lift Iqbal over long off.
Hutchinson finally fell on the first ball of the 15th, clean bowled
by a quicker delivery from Mommsen to make it 118 for 2. Orlando Baker
came in and gave tremendous support to Mishra right from the first ball.
Baker finished 21 not out off 13 balls and did not have a single dot
ball in his innings. With five singles taken off the first five balls of
the 16th, Baker hit a crucial boundary down the ground off Haq to
finish the over.
Mishra then started off the 17th with a top edged pull off Sharif
that cleared the keeper Wallace to bring up his second half-century of
the tournament in 42 balls. Three balls later, USA caught a break when
Baker drove to long off but a Parker misfield turned a single into a
boundary and USA’s equation stood at 22 from 20 balls for victory.
After Mishra hit Haq down the ground for his fifth boundary on the
fourth ball of the 18th over, it knocked the equation to less than a run
a ball for the first time in the chase as Scotland started to sweat
over net run rate calculations. If USA chased the target by scoring 162
in 19.4 overs, Kenya would finish third. After taking seven runs off the
19th, USA needed four runs to win in six balls.
Mishra was run out on the first ball trying to push a single to
cover, but Coetzer charged in and fired a direct hit to the
non-striker’s end to deny Mishra a chance to walk off unbeaten. Baker
took a single off the second ball to put Asif Khan on strike. Khan then
smashed a full delivery straight back to Sharif for a crucial dot ball
in the net run rate calculations. After a single on the fourth ball,
Sharif pulled up with a rib injury and had to leave the field.
Berrington came on to bowl the fifth ball and even though there were
only two runs needed to win, Scotland kept five men on the boundary. A
two would ensure they finished third, but if a boundary was struck then
Kenya would jump ahead of them on net run rate. Baker got a full toss
from Berrington that he popped up over midwicket. Coetzer ran back and
spilled the chance as Khan and Baker ran hard while the ball was in the
air to get the second run and seal the win for USA. However, Scotland
hung on to third on net run rate, finishing at +0.347 to Kenya’s +0.340.
All teams have an off day on Wednesday. USA will play Bermuda in the
11th place semifinal match on Thursday in Sharjah. Bermuda finished
seventh in Group B at 1-6 with their only win coming against Papua New
Guinea. The winner of that match will play the winner of the first 11th
place semifinal match in Sharjah between Hong Kong, who finished sixth
in Group A at 2-5, and Uganda, who finished seventh in Group B at 2-5.
Live coverage of USA’s match against Bermuda from Sharjah begins at 5:45
a.m. EST on Thursday. DreamCricket.com’s tournament coverage is made
possible in part by the New Inning Foundation.
Scorecard powered by the New Inning Foundation I Match Commentary