Japen Patel’s responsible innings helped clinch USA’s fifth win in five games on Thursday as they defeated Suriname by 6 wickets on day four of the 2013 ICC Americas Division One Twenty20 tournament at the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida. Suriname fell to 2-3 with the loss while USA strengthened their position at the top of the standings. Patel was named Man of the Match for his 27 not out at number six as USA chased Suriname’s 110 for 6 with seven balls to spare.
“I saw that the wicket was staying low,” Patel said. “I told myself that if me and [Nicholas] Standford can bat on through 20 overs, we can pull through. We just have to play a lot of straight shots and nothing across the line because people before us got out the same way. Our game plan was simple. Look for singles, doubles and when we get a bad ball capitalize on it.”
Suriname won the toss and elected to bat first. USA fielded an unchanged eleven from their win on Wednesday over Bermuda as Naseer Jamali and Saqib Saleem remained on the bench while Karan Ganesh was sidelined with a right knee injury. It was confirmed on Thursday by USA team manager Shoaib Ahmed that Ganesh will not take any further part in the tournament due to the injury. Adil Bhatti is scheduled to arrive on Thursday night in Florida as a replacement player ahead of USA’s pair of matches on Friday against Bahamas and Bermuda.
Romell Douglass and Arun Gokoel opened the batting for Suriname. The pair labored for runs, putting on 40 in 9.1 overs before Abhimanyu Rajp struck as Gokoel was caught at long off by Steven Taylor for 16. Douglass was removed by Ryan Corns eight balls later for 23, caught at long on by Barrington Bartley.
Sauid Drepaul and Shazaam Ramjohn took their side to 67 before Ramjohn was caught at deep backward square leg by Elmore Hutchinson off Bartley for 7. Drepaul was dropped twice, first on 9 and again on 22 before he was run out by a spectacular piece of fielding from wicketkeeper Akeem Dodson. Danial Ahmed bowled a delivery that Drepaul tried to nudge into the off side for a quick single, but Dodson bolted out from behind the stumps, ripped off one of his wicketkeeping gloves and fired a direct hit into the stumps at the non-striker’s end to leave Drepaul stunned as Suriname lost their best batsman for 28.
It was the first of three runouts completed in the field by USA. Vishram Shaw was the second for 3 at the end of the 18th when he decided to take on Bartley’s arm from the boundary for a second run. The throw from long off to Hutchinson over the non-striker’s stumps was on target to leave Suriname at 94 for 5. Suriname captain Mohindra Boodram was out on the final ball of the innings, running on anything from the non-striker’s end only to see Hutchinson field one-handed in his follow-through before flicking off the bails. Rajp and Corns both finished with 1 for 23 while Ahmed bowled a miserly spell to finish with 0 for 15 in four overs.
Taylor and Timothy Surujbally opened USA’s chase with Taylor doing all the scoring in their 22-run opening stand. Surujbally lasted nine balls before holing out to mid off for a duck in the fourth over to Arun Gokoel’s offspin. Taylor made 23 before he was run out for the second time in three matches. The teenager got into a mixup with Dodson and couldn’t make his ground in time at the non-striker’s end ahead of Boodram’s throw from midwicket to Drepaul over the stumps.
Dodson and USA captain Orlando Baker took the score to 49 before the wicketkeeper was bowled for 15 playing across the line to a ball that kept slightly low. Baker made 19 before he fell victim to some variable bounce in the pitch, spooning a return catch to Shaw to make it 69 for 4 in the 12th.
Image (right) - Nicholas Standford drives down the ground on his way to 23 not out. Standford is third on the team in runs at the tournament with 93 at a team best average of 46.50. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
Standford was joined at the crease by Patel and unlike the previous day against Bermuda, this time Standford was able to stay until the end as the pair played it safe with ones and twos to take USA closer to victory. There was only one four and one six, both hit by Patel, during their unbeaten 42-run partnership which culminated in a single by Patel over midwicket for the winning run five balls into the 19th over. Gokoel finished with Suriname’s best figures taking 1 for 19 in three overs.
In the day’s other game, Bahamas shocked Cayman Islands by 9 wickets. Cayman Islands struggled to make 122 for 9 in their 20 overs before Marc Taylor slammed 89 not out off 61 balls as Bahamas reached the target in 16.1 overs. Both teams now stand at 1-4 and the fight to avoid relegation to Division Two could come down to net run rate by the end of the tournament.
USA returns to the Central Broward Regional Park on Friday morning to take on Bahamas at 10 a.m. EST. In the afternoon, USA head over to Brian Piccolo Park to play Bermuda at 3 p.m. EST. DreamCricket.com’s live coverage sponsored by New Inning Foundation, will begin at 9:30 a.m. EST.