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By Peter Della Penna in (on Twitter)
USA exercised some mental demons on Thursday in Kuala Lumpur when
they defeated Denmark by four wickets in a warm-up fixture at Royal
Selangor Club ahead of 2012 ICC WCL Division Four, which starts Monday
in Malaysia. In January 2011, USA lost twice to Denmark at ICC WCL
Division Three in Hong Kong, failing to chase targets of 194 and 241,
but on Thursday they were set 173 to win and managed to get across the
line with 15 overs to spare.
USA won the toss at Royal Selangor Club and sent Denmark in to bat.
The three players in USA’s squad who didn’t participate in the warm-up
are the three players still yet to arrive in Malaysia: Aditya Mishra,
Usman Shuja and Steven Taylor. However, USA’s victory without them will
give the squad a big confidence boost knowing that they won without
three players who will almost certainly be in USA’s first choice
starting XI come Monday, September 3 in USA’s first match of the
tournament against Malaysia.
Denmark’s highest score off the bat came from opener Shehzad Ahmed,
who made 25 off 62 balls, as no one was able to go on to make a
significant score after getting a start. The biggest partnership of the
innings for Denmark was 47 runs for the second wicket between Ahmed and
Anders Lambert, who made 22. It was broken by Muhammad Ghous, who had
Ahmed caught behind by Akeem Dodson, one of three dismissals completed
by the wicketkeeper.
The second high score in the innings for Denmark came from extras
with 24, including eight byes. USA’s bowling attack turned in a solid
combined performance. Playing in his first match in a USA uniform since
July 2011, Timroy Allen opened the bowling and took 2 for 37 in 10 overs
with three maidens. Left-arm seamer Elmore Hutchinson finished with 0
for 18 off six and Orlando Baker took 1 for 26 in seven.
In the spin department, Ghous claimed 1 for 25 in 10 overs while
fellow off-spinner Abhimanyu Rajp finished with USA’s best figures on
the day, taking 3 for 33 off 10 including the wickets of Lambert and
Denmark captain Michael Pedersen. USA captain Steve Massiah took 2 for
15 in six overs while Ryan Corns bowled one over, taking 0 for 7.
Denmark was 74 for 1 at one stage but lost wickets at fairly regular
intervals from there on out, eventually getting bowled out on the final
ball of the innings for 172.
Dodson and Sushil Nadkarni opened the batting for USA. The side
stumbled at the start of the chase when Dodson was dismissed for a
second-ball duck followed six balls later by the departure of Massiah
for 5 to put USA in an early hole at 11 for 2 in the third over.
Thyagarajan joined Nadkarni and the two veterans steadied the ship for
USA by adding 74 for the third wicket. Nadkarni scored at the quicker
pace, eventually finishing with 41 off 36 balls, including five fours
and three sixes before he was dismissed by Hamid Shah in the 15th over.
Image (right) - Aditya Thyagarajan file photo. [Courtesy: Bryan Vandenburgh/ICC]
Corns came in and scored 12 off 29 at number five before he was
bowled by Henrik Hansen to make it 110 for 4 at the start of the 23rd.
Thyagarajan, playing in his first match for USA since getting injured
against Denmark in Hong Kong last year, fell just short of a
half-century when he was caught behind off Hansen for 48 off 78 balls,
including seven fours and a six, to make it 133 for 5.
Baker fell LBW for 11 in the 32nd to leave the score at 151 for 6 and
give Denmark a sniff at victory but Andy Mohammed and Allen erased any
doubts with a 27 run-stand off just 19 balls to seal the match for USA.
Mohammed struck four boundaries in his 18 not out off 20 balls while
Allen clubbed two sixes, including one maximum that brought up the
winning runs, in his short stay to finish 14 not out off 10 balls as USA
sealed the win with 90 balls remaining.
DreamCricket.com will have live coverage for all of USA’s matches at
ICC WCL Division Four beginning with the team’s first match on Monday
against Malaysia from Bayuemas Oval. Each match is scheduled to begin at
10:30 a.m. local time, 10:30 p.m. EST and 7:30 p.m. PST the previous
day in America.