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By Peter Della Penna (on Twitter)
Comments I Match One Scorecard I Match Two Scorecard
Openers Hiral Patel and Rizwan Cheema each produced a half-century to push Canada to a 36-run win over USA in the early game before Timil Patel’s 67 not out at the top of the order propelled USA to a 46-run win over Canada in the second of two Twenty20 matches played on Saturday at the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida. Canada’s 148 for 9 in the morning match was more than enough to defend against a struggling USA batting unit, but USA finally clicked in game two to post an easily defendable 162 for 5.
The day’s play was delayed by 90 minutes due to a wet outfield from overnight rain. When the field was finally deemed fit for action, USA won the toss in game one and sent Canada in to bat. USA made five changes from the team that lost to Canada by four wickets in the 50-over match on Friday. Andy Mohammed, Ryan Corns, Adil Bhatti, Japen Patel and Adrian Gordon came in for Barrington Bartley, Karan Ganesh, the injured William Perkins, Hammad Shahid and the injured Steven Taylor. Canada made just one change bringing in Manny Aulakh for Henry Osinde.
Gordon opened the bowling for USA and wound up being rocked by Cheema. After a single by Hiral Patel on the first ball of the match, Cheema slammed three fours and connected with two big sixes straight back over Gordon’s head as part of a 26-run opening over for Canada. Cheema scored 24 runs in his first five deliveries faced and took another 21 balls to score his next 26 runs to bring up a half-century. Cheema got slightly carried away after reaching his 50 and tried to reverse sweep Timil Patel a few overs later but wound up bowled in between his legs for 54 to make it 86 for 1 in the 11th.
While Cheema and Hiral Patel capitalized on any width offered by USA’s bowlers, Japen Patel bowled a tight stump to stump line and was rewarded with his best bowling return in a USA uniform, 4 for 26 off four overs. He started off by claiming number three batsman Ruvindu Gunasekera for 3 thanks to a good catch by Mohammed running back from midwicket in the circle to make it 103 for 2 in the 14th. Raza-ur-Rehman fell for 7 to give Japen Patel his second after the batsman failed to clear Neil McGarrell with a lofted drive to long off. Damodar Daesrath entered and missed a flick to midwicket off his first delivery and was promptly judged LBW to put Patel on a hat trick to end the 17th.
USA took three wickets in three balls as a team when Corns opened the 18th by taking the wicket of Hiral Patel for 54 after he had been dropped on 8 in the third over. Patel drove a delivery to Timothy Surujbally on the cover boundary to make it 126 for 5 as momentum shifted completely toward USA.
Usman Limbada was the next to go for 1 three balls into the 19th, slogging across the line to be bowled by Japen Patel for his fourth wicket. Hamza Tariq was caught slashing a thick edge to Gordon at short third man off the bowling of left-arm spinner Neil McGarrell for 3 to make it 139 for 7 with four balls remaining in the innings. Junaid Siddiqui was run out for 1 trying to complete a tight second for Jimmy Hansra with one ball to go in the innings. Jeremy Gordon was run out without facing a ball after he tried to take a second run on the final ball of Canada’s innings and Canada finished 148 for 9 off their 20 with Hansra not out on 17. McGarrell was USA’s most economical bowler, finishing with 1 for 14 in three overs.
For the second day in a row, USA had their opening partnership disrupted by an injury to a batsman attempting to complete a sharp single. On Friday it was Taylor who walked off injured and in the first T20 on Saturday, his club teammate Surujbally succumbed to a pulled hamstring. Surujbally got off to a rollicking start opening the chase with Mohammed. Seemingly inspired by what Cheema did in the first innings against Adrian Gordon, Surujbally rocked Canadian opening pace bowler Jeremy Gordon for 23 runs in the first over, including four boundaries and a six with four of the shots finishing up at the ropes between midwicket and fine leg.
However, Surujbally pulled up lame on the first ball of the third over bowled by Cheema and after staying out for two more deliveries could no longer continue, retiring hurt on 27 off just 10 balls with the score on 31 in 2.3 overs. Mohammed fell on the first ball of the fifth trying to hit a six over midwicket and instead sent a leading edge in the air to Daesrath in the covers for 11. Timil Patel lasted just two balls before he was caught on the long on boundary to give Junaid Siddiqui a wicket to make it 45 for 2. Two overs later Corns fell for 5, caught driving in the air to the cover sweeper off the left-arm spin of Rehman to make it 53 for 3 in 7.2 overs.
A day after getting out for a duck, Nicholas Standford got his eye in and appeared to be on his way to a sizable score, but he was dismissed for 23 playing back to a good length ball from Aulakh and was pinned LBW to make it 72 for 4 in the 11th as USA’s run rate began to plummet with the procession of wickets. Bhatti was stumped for 7 after he was beaten in flight by a quicker delivery from Daesrath. McGarrell slogged against the turn of Rehman and was caught at mid on for 3. Japen Patel skied an attempted slog off Daesrath that wound up in the hands of Rehman at mid off for 9 as USA fell to 95 for 7 in 16.
After being punished by Surujbally to start the innings, Jeremy Gordon was finally brought back in the 19th over and responded with a double-wicket maiden to end the match. He dismissed Saami Siddiqui for 7, caught at point by Rehman, before Mital Patel was bowled off an inside edge for a duck. With Surujbally unable to resume his innings, USA finished all out for 112. Rehman had Canada’s best figures, finishing with 2 for 21 in four.
In match number two, USA won the toss again but this time chose to bat first. While Timil Patel captained the team in match number one, Ryan Corns was tasked with leading the side for match number two and wound up shepherding USA to their only victory of the week. USA made six changes from the team that lost the first match of the day. Perkins, Bartley, Ganesh, Shahid, Danial Ahmed and Naseer Jamali entered the XI in place of McGarrell, Mohammed, Japen Patel, Mital Patel, Saami Siddiqui and the injured Surujbally. Canada made one change, swapping Aulakh out for Osinde.
Timil Patel opened the batting with Perkins and the two manufactured a 61-run stand for the first wicket in just 5.4 overs to put USA in a dominant position which they never relinquished. Perkins met his downfall when he made an ambitious attempt to clear Cheema at long off, one of the two fielders outside the circle in the power play overs, and was caught for 32 off the bowling of the leg-spinner Siddiqui. Standford got a start for the second match in a row, but fell in disappointing fashion when he spooned a full toss from Daesrath to Hansra at midwicket in the circle for 18 to make it 93 for 2 in the 12th.
Bartley entered at four and just as he did in the 50-over match on Friday, rarely wasted a delivery. He struck two sixes in his 26 off 14 balls, but just as importantly continued to turn over the strike at every opportunity to keep the scoreboard ticking. He was given LBW after being hit on the back leg to a full length delivery from the pace of Jeremy Gordon to make it 135 for 3 in 16. Corns entered at five and lasted until midway through the 19th before he played across to Cheema and was given LBW for 5 to make it 150 for 3. Bhatti entered and was caught on the midwicket boundary first ball to put Cheema on a hat trick.
While wickets were falling at the other end, Timil Patel played the anchor role for USA in the innings, knocking the ball around for singles and taking advantage of loose deliveries when possible to strike seven fours and a six. He brought up his 50 off 40 balls and by the time the innings was done, he finished with 67 not out off 55 balls, the second highest score by a USA batsman in T20 cricket behind Aditya Thyagarajan’s 72 not out against Ireland in Abu Dhabi at the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier.
Canada made a good start to the chase, taking 32 runs off the first 4.5 overs with Gunasekera and Hiral Patel at the crease. But Canada’s chances of winning were essentially wiped away when the openers were dismissed on consecutive deliveries. Gunasekera was the first to go, hit on the back leg by a skiddy off-spinner from Ganesh to depart for 17. Patel went on the first ball of the sixth over for 10 when he skied a return catch to left-arm spinner Ahmed after an attempted slog to midwicket against the turn went awry. It was part of a wicket maiden by Ahmed who recovered superbly to give up only one run in his last two overs after giving up 12 runs in the opening over of the chase.
Tariq was the next to go for 12 after he slapped a wide delivery from Corns to Ahmed, who made a leaping catch in the covers. Hansra was the next to go for 19, runout after bolting for a single from the non-striker’s end while Daesrath rightly stayed put after hitting a delivery from Corns straight to Ganesh at midwicket. Daesrath departed three balls later for 15 at the start of the 13th as Ahmed made the catch of the week with a brilliant effort running from short cover to the edge of the circle to complete an over the shoulder catch, giving Timil Patel his only wicket of the match and Canada was at 79 for 5 to start the 14th.
Limbada was run out by Ganesh on the very next ball for a diamond duck when he hesitated coming back for a second run. Rehman was on strike and edged a delivery from Patel past the keeper Perkins. Ganesh ran from short fine leg across to short third man to field and it was his hustle that created the confusion. He threw the ball to Perkins with Limbada and Rehman halfway down the pitch, unsure whether to go for the second or return to their respective creases. Both wound up doing neither and Limbada paid for it in the end.
Cheema was dismissed by Bartley for 1 to make it 86 for 7 and two overs later Bartley got his second when he bowled Siddiqui for 3. Bartley claimed wicket number three in the 19th, bowling Osinde for 2 after he missed a slog backing away from the stumps. Adrian Gordon took the final wicket for USA, trapping Jeremy Gordon for 1 to end the match with Canada all out for 116 in 19.4 overs. Bartley had USA’s best figures in the innings with 3 for 14 in three overs. Rehman finished not out on 28 off 23 balls.
According to a press release prior to the Auty Cup, USA’s next scheduled action will be in March at the ICC Americas Division One Twenty20 tournament. Exact dates and location for the event are yet to be finalized. Meanwhile Canada’s next scheduled action will either be the same ICC Americas tournament or the next round of the Intercontinental Cup in Kenya. However, Kenya’s most recent match in the Intercontinental Cup was moved to Namibia after security concerns denied Kenya the opportunity to host the match and the same fate could occur for their fixture against Canada.