USA opener Steven Taylor top scored with 97 as USA achieved a 30-run win over Bermuda in the third place playoff match at St. David’s Cricket Club in Bermuda on Sunday at 2013 ICC WCL Division Three. Taylor was named Man of the Match for his knock and finished as the tournament’s leading scorer with 274 runs in six games, 82 runs ahead of the next man on the list, Italy’s Peter Petricola with 192.
“If we could have done it yesterday that would have been really sweet,” USA coach Thiru Kumaran said after the match. “The thing about today’s match is if we win this it’s not really important but if you lose you go back really, really sad. So it was really important to win this game and guys played really well. They understood what they did wrong yesterday. They played a really good game today.”
USA won the toss and elected to bat making two changes to the side that lost on Saturday to Bermuda at the National Stadium. Danial Ahmed and Naseer Jamali both got their first games of the tournament in place of Rashard Marshall and the injured Neil McGarrell. Sushil Nadkarni also stayed out with a pinched nerve that has been causing numbness in his left leg. Meanwhile, two of Bermuda’s heroes from Saturday, Man of the Match Christopher Douglas and captain Stephen Outerbridge, sat out along with Lionel Cann in favor of Greg Maybury, Jason Anderson and Curt Stovell with Rodney Trott serving as the stand-in captain.
USA got off to a slow start initially with two wickets falling inside the first four overs. Akeem Dodson opened with Taylor but only lasted nine balls before he was caught for 4 flicking a full toss from the off-spin of Stovell to Tre Manders at deep square leg. Steve Massiah was caught behind for a golden duck after edging an attempted cut off Janeiro Tucker’s medium pace to make it back-to-back ducks against Bermuda for USA’s captain as the tourists slipped to 15 for 2.
Image (right) - Steven Taylor goes to sweep early in his innings of 97 vs. Bermuda. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
Taylor was joined by Orlando Baker and the pair produced USA’s largest partnership of the tournament, 156 runs for the third wicket. Taylor had earlier offered a chance on 5 and produced another one on 9, both driving to the catching fielder at short extra cover, but Taylor moved on in quick fashion to punish Bermuda’s bowlers early and often through the off side. He brought up his 50 in 48 balls with his seventh boundary, smashed through the covers in the 18th over which ended with USA on 89 for 2. The partnership ended with Taylor one shot away from his second century of the tournament when he pushed Stovell softly to Rodney Trott at cover in the circle to make it 171 for 3 in the 32nd.
“Steven, he got to a brilliant start in this tournament, 160 [sic 162 vs. Nepal],” Kumaran said. “He hit every ball that was there for him to hit, but the wickets didn’t play well. He continued playing the same game but he didn’t adapt to the different wickets. So today I think, after we spoke to him so many times, today I think he adapted to the wicket. He settled himself in. He paced his innings beautifully. After the innings, I spoke with him. This is how most of your innings will be. One in ten will be the kind of 160 [sic 162] he scored against Nepal. So hopefully he learns from this experience and can give us a consistent run all the time.”
Timroy Allen entered at five as USA approached the batting power play looking for a boost, particularly with Marshall not in the lineup, but he only managed 4 when he was bowled by Treadwell Gibbons after missing a swipe across the line to make it 193 for 4 in the 37th. Baker was out in the following over for 72, giving a return catch to Stovell, but not before becoming the third batsman to pass 1,000 runs in 50-over cricket for USA.
Image (left) - Orlando Baker runs between the wickets for USA. On Sunday, Baker joined Steve Massiah and Sushil Nadkarni as the only three USA players to score 1000 runs in 50-over cricket. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
Stovell claimed his fourth when Barrington Bartley was bowled for 1 to make it 199 for 6 in the 40th. USA managed to score just 12 runs for the loss of three wickets during their five-over batting power play between the 35th and 40th overs.
Elmore Hutchinson and Japen Patel got things back on track for USA with a 62-run partnership for the seventh wicket to take USA to a defendable total. It included 18 runs plundered off Tucker in the 48th over, including a six by Hutchinson over long off that nearly struck a man on a moped as he was driving out of the parking lot at the ground. Patel was dismissed with four balls to go in the innings for 34, slicing an edge to Jacobi Robinson at short third man for 34. Muhammad Ghous and Hutchinson each took a boundary and a single off the final four balls to take USA to their final total of 271 for 7. Stovell finished with 4 for 38 for Bermuda’s best figures on the day.
On Saturday, Douglas toyed with USA’s bowling unit while opening the innings for Bermuda but Stovell experienced something entirely different in his place at the top of the order, trapped LBW by Jamali on the first ball of the chase. His fellow opener Gibbons made 5 before he was bowled by Hutchinson going for a slog over midwicket to make it 22 for 2 in the sixth. Manders became the first scalp for Ghous on the day, edging to Massiah at slip for 18 to make it 44 for 3 in the 12th.
Bermuda had their first solid partnership of the day forged by Anderson and David Hemp as the two experienced batsmen added 57 for the fourth wicket. Hemp looked set for a long stay but he was bowled for 45 by Allen’s off-spin when he could not keep out a full length delivery to make it 101 for 4 in the 26th. Anderson went two overs later, caught for 30 by Dodson running out from behind the stumps after a bat pad chance ballooned into the air toward square leg.
Bermuda still had plenty of fight left though as Malachi Jones and Tucker added 61 for the sixth wicket in just 8.4 overs. Each man took on USA’s spinners, belting Allen and Bartley out of the attack before taking Hutchinson for 11 runs in the 36th over at the start of the power play. It was left to Ghous to break the stand, pinning Jones for 29 with a ball that kept low to make it 171 for 6 in the 37th. Ghous also claimed Tucker for 34 to end the 39th when the batsmen was bowled while backing away from the stumps trying to clear the off side field.
Hutchinson claimed Trott for 2 to make it 182 for 8 in the 40th. Yet Bermuda still refused to give in as Robinson entered at number nine and attacked Bartley for 18 in the 42nd. After being dropped off a skied chance to mid on earlier in the over, Robinson made USA pay with back-to-back sixes slogged over the leg side. His luck ran out when he gave Ghous the charge in the following over and was stumped for 31. The match ended in the 49th when Taylor’s off spin claimed Delray Rawlins LBW for 9 as Bermuda was bowled out for 241 in 48.4 overs. Ghous fell just short of his first five-wicket haul for USA at the senior level, taking 4 for 43 in his 10 overs to lead USA in the field.
In the 2013 WCL Division Three Championship match at the National Stadium in Hamilton, Nepal got revenge over Uganda in their rematch from the second day of the tournament, beating them by five wickets to claim the tournament title. Uganda won the toss and batted but could only muster 151 for 8 with Deusdedit Muhumuza’s 28 finishing as the top score. In response, Nepal tumbled to 30 for 3 but opener Pradeep Airee weathered the early storm to score 60 and put on 77 in partnership with Sharad Vesawkar for the fourth wicket. Vesawkar saw his side over the line with 50 not out as Nepal chased the target in 39.2 overs.
Oman ensured that Italy finished the tournament winless with a five-wicket win over the European side at Somerset Cricket Club in the fifth place playoff. Italy won the toss and batted first, posting 207. Captain Alessandro Bonora scored 42 while Oman speedster Munis Ansari took 4 for 72 and finished as the tournament’s leading wicket-taker after claiming 16 scalps in six matches. Oman completed their chase in 44.5 overs with Zeeshan Siddiqui making 64 to lead the way. Italy looked like they might pull off their first win with Oman at 148 for 5 in the 36th over, but Amir Ali and Sultan Ahmed added 60 in an unbeaten sixth wicket stand as Ali finished 42 not out in 39 balls.
Nepal and Uganda will now advance to the 2014 ICC World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand. USA’s next tour will take place in July when they head to Edmonton, Alberta for the 2013 Auty Cup. However, USA’s next 50-over tournament in ICC competition may not be until 2015 when the next Division Three is anticipated to take place.