A tidy bowling effort by USA was backed up by a career best effort with the bat from Ryan Corns as the host side defeated Bahamas by 8 wickets on Tuesday in the 2013 ICC Americas Division One Twenty20 tournament at the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida. USA reached the target of 114 with 33 balls to spare and the Red, White and Blue now stands at 3-0 in the tournament with the win while Bahamas remains winless at 0-3.
Corns opened USA’s chase and finished unbeaten on 61, his highest score for USA at the senior level. He also helped establish a USA record partnership for the third wicket in T20 cricket by adding an unbeaten 80-run stand with USA captain Orlando Baker.
“Just before we went on the field to bowl, the coach informed me that I would be opening the batting so I was very excited about the opportunity and I wanted to make full use of it,” Corns said. “I had nerves, but they were more good nerves than bad nerves and I just kept telling myself that this is your opportunity, make use of it and thankfully I did.”
USA made three changes to the starting lineup from their previous match against Bahamas, leaving out Karan Ganesh, Timothy Surujbally and Danial Ahmed in favor of Abhimanyu Rajp, Naseer Jamali and Saqib Saleem. Bahamas won the toss and elected to bat first. While the decision was a positive one in the face of a much stronger opponent, Bahamas displayed a conservative approach throughout their innings.
Bahamas inched along to 39 for 3 in 10 overs as Jamali and Barrington Bartley did the early damage with the ball for USA. Jamali cleaned up Marc Taylor four balls into the match for 1 while Bartley claimed Julio Jemison for 15 before striking Whitcliff Atkinson on the toe to remove him leg before without scoring.
Ryan Tappin made a patient 26 off 39 balls at number three before he lost his cool and slogged Rajp to Corns at midwicket to make it 59 for 4 in the 14th. Bahamas lost their fifth wicket three runs later when captain Gregory Taylor swept against the legspin of Saleem and was caught at deep midwicket by Japen Patel for 2.
Bahamas’ most productive partnership of the match was a sixth-wicket stand of 36 runs between Jonathan Barry and 18-year-old Turan Brown. Barry was eventually bowled by Baker for 29. Brown’s innings was short and sweet, clubbing three sixes including two in the final over off Elmore Hutchinson to finish with 31 in 16 balls before he was run out on the last ball of the innings as Bahamas finished on 113 for 7 in 20. Bartley had USA’s best figures with 2 for 9 in three overs.
Corns joined Steven Taylor for the start of USA’s chase and the pair added a breezy 24 before Taylor was unlucky to be run out for 12. Corns drove a full delivery from left -arm seamer Alfred Peters back down the pitch and the bowler deflected the ball onto the stumps in his follow through with Taylor two yards out of his crease. Akeem Dodson lasted five balls for his 9 before he was caught at midwicket top edging a pull against medium pacer Dereck Gittens to make it 34 for 2 after four overs.
Baker joined Corns and the pair methodically moved the scoring rate along before Corns targeted left-arm spinner Narendra Ekanayake in the 12th over. Corns started the over by stroking a six over long off, then followed it up by paddling a four to fine leg. After taking a single on the third ball, Corns got back on strike for the final ball of the over and brought his 50 up in 35 balls with his second six straight down the ground.
Image (above) - Ryan Corns hits left-arm spinner Narendra Ekanayake down the ground for his fourth boundary to move to 28 while USA captain Orlando Baker takes evasive action at the non-striker's end. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
“We don’t get to bat that often, but the times that we have batted together we’ve always had some sort of a good partnership,” Corns said of his partnership with Baker. “We understand each other very well. I understand his game and vice versa he understands my game. So when that happens you’re bound to get a good partnership.”
Corns and Baker each hit boundaries in a 12-run 14th to take USA within a boundary of victory. After three singles off the first three balls of the 15th, the winning run came courtesy of a chest height no ball to Corns. Gittens finished with 1 for 30 as the only wicket taker on the day for Bahamas.
USA’s opponent on Wednesday will be Bermuda, who survived a nervy match with Suriname before prevailing by 6 wickets. Suriname advanced to 80 for 2 in the 12th over and looked set for a minimum of 150 before the Bermuda bowling unit reined them in. Shazaam Ramjohn finished with 42 off 25 at number three but the innings lost momentum with his dismissal three balls into the 12th and Suriname eventually finished on 138 for 8.
Bermuda looked shaky at 91 for 4 when Lionel Cann was pinned with a yorker on the first ball of the 14th over, but Janeiro Tucker eased Bermuda’s nerves with three sixes in the 18th over before hitting another in the 19th to finish the match with nine balls remaining. Tucker walked off unbeaten on 65 in 30 balls with four boundaries and six sixes.
DreamCricket.com’s live coverage, sponsored by New Inning Foundation, of the 2013 ICC Americas Division One Twenty20 continues on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. EST as USA looks to maintain their undefeated record against Bermuda. First ball is scheduled to be bowled at 3 p.m. EST.