USA paid for a lethargic display in the field after sending Denmark in to bat, allowing them to rack up 244 for 9 in 50 overs, before a batting collapse saw USA go from 40 for 0 in the fifth over to 71 for 5 in 20 overs as USA lost by 56 runs on Duckworth-Lewis Method when rain stopped play in the 24th over of their chase on Tuesday at 2012 ICC World Cricket League Division Four in Kuala Lumpur. Denmark captain Michael Pedersen was named Man of the Match after top scoring with 59 off 69 balls. USA drops to 1-1 with the loss while Denmark stays unbeaten at 2-0.
The match was played at the Selangor Turf Club, the same ground where Singapore was bowled out by Nepal for 111 after batting first on Monday. Combining that knowledge with some overnight moisture in the pitch, USA elected to take the field first after winning the toss. USA was unable to make good use of the new ball though to justify the decision as Denmark openers Carsten Pedersen and Shehzad Ahmed grinded out 31 runs in 10 overs for the first wicket.
“What we talked a lot about this morning after losing the toss was obviously making sure we got through the first 10-15 overs when the ball was gonna do a bit and I think the openers did a really good job,” Michael Pedersen said.
Carsten should have been run out on 6 on the first ball of the ninth over with the score on 23 after Ahmed pushed a delivery from Elmore Hutchinson into the covers. Steve Massiah fielded the ball as both batsmen hesitated but his throw from 15 yards out bounced over the stumps at the striker’s end. Ahmed was finally removed for 13 by Usman Shuja at the end of the 10th, chipping a checked drive to Muhammad Ghous at mid on. Carsten kept plugging away until the 14th over when he was caught behind by Steven Taylor off Timroy Allen for 13 to make it 43 for 2. Despite scoring at only three per over, the openers did a very good job of seeing off the new ball to set the stage for a surge later in the innings.
Allen claimed his second wicket in the 18th when Rizwan Mahmood was beaten for pace and top edged a bouncer to Abhimanyu Rajp at midwicket for 7 to make it 57 for 3. USA failed to capitalize on a golden run out opportunity moments later in what would turn out to be a major turning point in the game. Number three batsman Andreas Lambert flicked a full delivery from Hutchinson into the on side and called for a run but his partner fresh to the crease, Freddie Klokker, was slow to respond and both men hesitated as Rajp swooped in from square leg. They finally committed to the run as Rajp fielded adjacent to the pitch and had a clear shot at all three stumps but his underhand effort at the non-striker’s end missed, which would have claimed Lambert on 9 and reduced Denmark to 58 for 4.
Instead, Lambert and Klokker produced the best partnership of the match, 65 runs for the fourth wicket as USA’s bowlers and fielders failed to exert any pressure from there on out. Lambert was methodical at the start of his innings, but played USA’s bowlers with relatives ease once he got set. He brought up his half-century with back-to-back fours off Ghous to end the 29th over, but got out on the next delivery he faced when he was beaten in flight by Rajp two balls into the 30th over and was stumped for 51 to make it 122 for 4.
Klokker teamed up with Michael Pedersen for a 45-run stand across 8.2 overs. Both players were particularly adept at using the sweep to USA’s spin bowlers. Klokker took some time to get going, playing just one scoring shot off the bat in his first 18 deliveries, but he then cruised to 39 off 48 balls before he nonchalantly walked across his stumps to paddle Rajp fine and was bowled behind his legs to make it 167 for 5 in the 38th. Rajp capped the over by bowling Aftab Ahmed for a second-ball duck and it appeared that USA had a chance of bowling out Denmark for under 200.
But just as they showed last year in Hong Kong at ICC WCL Division Three, Denmark will not fold easily and Michael Pedersen got excellent assistance from number eight Bashir Shah to build a 60-run stand in 8.4 overs. Michael brought up his half-century in 59 balls slogging Rajp for a six over long on to start the 46th. Shah smacked another six two balls later as part of an expensive 17-run over.
Image (right) - Denmark captain Michael Pedersen was named Man of the Match after top scoring with 59 in Denmark's win over USA. [Courtesy: ICC/Peter Lim]
It took Ghous to break the partnership, removing Shah for 19 when he drove to Aditya Thyagarajan at long on. Bobby Chawla was run out by Massiah for 4 with 10 balls to go in the innings and Michael top edged to Massiah in the circle off Orlando Baker to end the 49th. Denmark added seven runs off the final over to finish on 244 for 9, making them favorites to defend.
USA’s ragged display in the field was evident in the 32 extras they conceded, including 20 wides. Rajp’s three wickets were tops for USA, but they came for a costly 60 runs. Allen finished with 2 for 33 in nine while Shuja curiously finished with three overs unused in his quota after being USA’s most economical bowler on the day, taking 1 for 20 in seven.
At the start of the chase, it looked like the target was easily achievable as Taylor and Sushil Nadkarni got off to another explosive start. Taylor took a liking to opening seamer Henrik Hansen, hitting six boundaries off him in the 11 deliveries he faced from the bowler as USA finished the fourth at 38 for 0. The partnership ended in the next over though when medium pacer Aftab Ahmed had Nadkarni caught on the point boundary slicing a square drive in the air to Lambert who took a leaping catch to dismiss Nadkarni for 9.
After dominating the opening partnership, Taylor didn’t see any deliveries in the seventh and eighth overs as Massiah couldn’t turn over the strike to him. Taylor started the ninth over on strike, defending the first ball and missing a drive on the second before edging behind another attempted drive on the third ball to give Ahmed his second scalp. Taylor left for 30 in 24 balls and USA was now at 49 for 2. With dark clouds overhead and the possibility of rain looming, the second wicket gave Denmark an edge on the Duckworth-Lewis calculation which they never relinquished.
Thyagarajan came in at number four and scored 4 before being dismissed by the left-arm spin of Shah, taken at slip to make it 54 for 3 in the 12th. Aditya Mishra made 6 before he skipped down the track and was beaten in flight by Shah to be stumped, making it 64 for 4 in the 16th. Massiah finally perished for 15 off 48 balls, trapped in front by Shah to complete a destructive three-wicket spell for the spinner.
Allen and Baker entered and added 15 runs in 3.4 overs with level-headed batting, but thunder began to roll across the ground at the start of their brief partnership and shortly thereafter the rain arrived to put a halt to play. The showers stopped after about 20 minutes and the covers were taken off the field, but just when it looked like play would resume, heavier rains came back and didn’t cease for the next hour until the match was finally called off and a win awarded to Denmark.
Nepal sits alongside Denmark at 2-0 after defeating Tanzania by eight wickets on Tuesday, bowling out the African side for 82 before chasing the runs in 19.4 overs. Singapore moved to 1-1 with a 112-run win on Duckworth-Lewis Method over Malaysia. Singapore was in trouble at 35 for 4 until Christopher Janik and Munish Arora added 138 runs for the fifth wicket, Janik scoring the first century of the tournament with 106 off 144 balls to take Singapore to 230 for 9. Malaysia was then reduced to 91 for 8 before rain intervened.
USA now sits in fourth place on net run rate behind Singapore with identical records. Nepal is above Denmark on net run rate with both teams 2-0. Tanzania is fifth on net run rate and Malaysia sixth as both teams remain winless. All teams have a day off on Wednesday before play resumes on Thursday. USA will take on Tanzania at Kinrara Academy Oval. DreamCricket.com’s live coverage continues on Thursday morning from Kuala Lumpur at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday night in the USA at 10:30 p.m. EST, 7:30 p.m. PST.