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By Peter Della Penna (on Twitter)
Comments I First Innings Scorecard I Second Innings Scorecard
Spin bowlers Danial Ahmed and Timil Patel did their best to claw USA back into the match after a batting collapse on day two saw USA bowled out for 114, but Canada battled hard after being reduced to 60 for 6 in their second innings to hold on for a draw in a two-day match to retain the Auty Cup on Thursday at the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida.
USA resumed play in the morning on 38 for 3 as Timothy Surujbally and Karan Ganesh continued in confident fashion with what turned out to be USA’s best partnership of the match. Things were somewhat heated in the morning session as Canada grew increasingly agitated after numerous LBW appeals were denied by the umpires. At one point, Surujbally was hit in the back of the leg with an attempted throw at the stumps by the bowler fielding in his follow through after which the umpires summoned Canada captain Rizwan Cheema to try to restore calm in the field.
Surujbally and Ganesh wound up adding 40 runs for the fourth wicket before Surujbally drove loosely against leg-spinner Junaid Siddiqui to offer a simple return catch to end his innings on 24 with USA 63 for 4. Timil Patel entered and fell in similar fashion for 11 to give Siddiqui his second wicket of the morning and the score was 77 for 5 after 28 overs. Japen Patel then padded up to a Siddiqui googly and was given LBW for a nine-ball duck to make it 83 for 6 in the 32nd.
Ganesh was run out two overs later by Raza-ur-Rehman after failing to pinch a tight single to the off side. Ganesh made USA’s highest score of the match with 29 off 70 balls but both he and Surujbally failed to carry on after being the only two USA batsmen to get good starts as USA was in danger of being asked to follow-on at 84 for 7. In a two-day match a team can be asked to follow on if the first innings lead is at least 100 runs by the side batting first.
However, Ryan Corns took that possibility out of the equation by scoring 20 runs at number nine, USA’s third highest score of the innings. He was given LBW after playing back to an off-spin delivery from Damodar Daesrath that kept slightly low and USA entered the lunch break at 111 for 8 in 43.2 overs.
Adil Bhatti was the ninth man to go shortly after play resumed, caught for 7 trying to slog Daesrath over Rehman on the long on boundary. Naseer Jamali was the last man out for 2, LBW to Jimmy Hansra’s off-spin and USA was all out for 114 in 46.5 overs, giving Canada an 82-run first innings lead. Siddiqui finished with 3 for 34 in 13 overs after his dominant spell in the morning session wrecked USA's batting.
Image (right) - Canada's Junaid Siddiqui ruined USA's chances of gaining a first innings lead with his spell of 3 for 34 to help bowl out USA for 114. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
Hiral Patel and Srimantha Wijeyratne rocked USA’s opening pace attack of Jamali and Japen Patel for 25 runs off the first three overs in the second innings. USA captain Steven Taylor then elected to use spin bowling from the start of the fourth over through the rest of the day. It paid early dividends as Ahmed claimed Hiral Patel at the start of the seventh over, bowled through the gate for 15 to make it 28 for 1. Wijeyratne was bowled on the last ball of the 11th for 14 to an Ahmed delivery that kept slightly low making it 37 for 2.
Two more wickets fell on 37 to boost USA’s chances further of chasing a small target. Usman Limbada played inside the line of a Timil Patel leg-break to be dismissed for 5 before Cheema was struck dead in front of the stumps by Ahmed to be given LBW without scoring to end the 13th. Patel struck twin blows in the 20th and 22nd over to keep pace with Ahmed, first getting Daesrath caught slogging at mid on by Ganesh for 22 before Ruvindu Gunasekera was stumped for a 20-ball duck after being beaten badly in flight.
Despite the fact that they were 60 for 6, Canada still had plenty of batting depth with former captain Hansra fresh at the crease to join Rehman, who top-scored in the first innings with 88. USA’s inexperience showed as they failed to capitalize on their strong position. The pair added 41 runs for the seventh wicket, but more importantly ate up time as they batted together for 15.2 overs. Hansra was finally caught on the off side boundary by Jamali off Timil Patel for 28 off 43 balls to make it 101 for 7.
Ahmed took his fourth wicket after bowling Hamza Tariq for 9 to make it 117 for 8 in the 42nd, but Rehman and Siddiqui continued to keep USA’s bowlers at bay with Rehman notching his second half-century of the match. He finished on 54 not out off 117 balls with Siddiqui 9 off 12 before both sides agreed to call off play early with Canada at 159 for 8 after 51 overs. Left-arm spinner Ahmed bowled marvelously again on Thursday and finished with 4 for 34 off 18 overs with 7 maidens while leg-spinner Timil Patel was slightly more expensive with 4 for 50 off 15 overs with four maidens.
USA and Canada will square off again on Friday at the Central Broward Regional Park in a 50-over match. Play is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. in Florida with a live video stream being provided by Cricket Canada in partnership with CBC Sports. The stream can be viewed at www.cbcsports.ca.