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By Peter Della Penna in Lauderhill, Florida (on Twitter)
Scorecard powered by the New Inning Foundation I Match Commentary
Canada fought back from 77 for 6 as Gurkaran Dhillon combined with Trevor Manoosingh and Abrash Khan for two vital partnerships that helped their side chase down a target of 199 in 47 overs to defeat Bermuda by two wickets on Monday at the 2012 ICC Americas U-18 Match Play Camp in Lauderhill, Florida. Dhillon top scored with 63 not out off 100 balls to take Canada across the line in a match that Bermuda seemed destined to win only for Canada to make a great fightback in the last 13 overs.
Canada won the toss and elected to field first on a humid day that was slightly overcast. William White and Christian Burgess took the score to 52 for Bermuda before White ran himself out for 17 going for a tight single. Six balls later, the new man Tre Manders was dismissed without scoring when he drove the off-spin of Nikhil Dutta toward Armaan Kapoor at cover where the fielder took a stunning one-handed catch diving to his right.
Onias Bascome came in and worked with Burgess to pick up the scoring rate and produced 16 off 18 balls, including a straight six off Dutta, before Dutta induced a return catch to make the score 72 for 3 after 14 overs, which gave Canada a bonus point under the tournament rules for taking Bermuda’s third wicket inside of 15 overs. Not long after, play was stopped at the end of the 19th over due to showers that came across the ground with the score 94 for 3. The delay lasted more than an hour after which three overs were reduced from the game.
Burgess brought up his 50 in 57 balls but fell on his next delivery when he tried to hit the medium pace of Amanpal Gillar over midwicket but instead skied a chance to mid off to make the score 106 for 4 in the 23rd. Bermuda’s pace slowed considerably afterwards. Manoosingh, who conceded 20 runs off his first two overs, bowled much better in his second spell and finished with 1 for 44 in nine overs. Dutta bowled 10 overs and took 3 for 32 including four maidens while captain Sudeepta Aurka took 0 for 23 in nine.
Bermuda was at 143 for 6 before Delray Rawlins teamed with Joshua Gilbert to give Bermuda their second-half century partnership of the innings to boost the side to a competitive total. Rawlins finished on 29 off 37 before being stumped off Dutta in the 46th over. Two more wickets fell in the final nine balls, including a run out off the final delivery of the innings, as Bermuda finished on 198 for 9, gaining a bonus point for batting through their innings without being bowled out. Gilbert finished on 47 not out off 100 balls after coming in at number five to start the 15th over.
Bermuda got off to an excellent start in the field as Canada struggled to produce boundaries despite the rope being set at no more than 55 yards straight down the ground. Stephan Joseph was given LBW to Bascome off the first ball of the 10th to make it 31 for 1 and Canada lost two more wickets for just three runs when Aurka fell in the same fashion to Bascome for 19 while Kapoor was leg before to Christian Gibbons without scoring.
Rawlins then pulled off a stunning one-handed catch over his head at point to dismiss number three batsman Dutta for 5 as Canada slumped to 46 for 4 in the 18th. Kwaisi James took his second wicket when Siddharth Shekhar skied him to mid on for 13. Four overs later, Arjun Parikh was caught behind to the left-arm spin of Rawlins for 2 as Canada fell to 77 for 6.
Dhillon had been struggling to time the ball throughout his innings after coming in at number five but seemed to gain confidence when Manoosingh joined him at the crease. Manoosingh showed positive intent from the moment he arrived. Bermuda had 10 fielders inside the ring for most of the innings but started to send more players out to the boundary with each shot Manoosingh played. The partnership produced 46 runs to breathe life into Canada’s chase and when Manoosingh was dismissed for 27 off 31 balls, the score was 123 for 7 with 8.5 overs to play and Canada needing 76 to win.
Abrash Khan, who was the leading scorer at the 2011 ICC Americas U-15 Northern Division Tournament in Winnipeg, came in at number nine and produced a fluent and nerveless knock, scoring 30 off 21 balls. While most of the Canadian batsmen struggled to score off the spin of Gilbert and Rawlins, Khan never had to face a ball against them as Bermuda’s strategy changed to bring on seamers despite the fact that Rawlins had taken 1 for 23 in just five overs while Gilbert had 0 for 28 in seven. Putting pace back on the ball backfired for Bermuda, as Canada went from 101 for 6 in 34 overs to score 77 off the next 10, reducing the equation to just 21 needed to win in the final three overs.
It appeared Canada would coast across the line from there, but Khan was run out by the bowler Gibbons going for a sharp run with eight runs still needed to win and nine balls remaining. Bakshpreet Gill held his nerve though and the number 10 bat struck a pair of boundaries off the first and third deliveries of the final over to give Canada the win with three balls to spare.
Canada has an off day on Tuesday while Bermuda has a chance to bounce back with a game against USA. Live coverage on DreamCricket.com, powered by the New Inning Foundation, begins at 9:30 a.m. EST.