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By Peter Della Penna in King City, Ontario (on Twitter)
DreamCricket.com's coverage on site from Canada at the 2013 ICC Americas U-19 Division One Tournament is sponsored by New Inning Foundation.
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In a scene reminiscent of their encounter at the same tournament in 2011, Bermuda U-19 was sent into bat and bundled out for 55 to pave the way for a comfortable win by USA U-19 by 8 wickets on Friday at the 2013 ICC Americas U-19 Tournament in King City, Ontario. Two years ago in Florida, Bermuda U-19 lost to USA by 10 wickets when they were bowled out for 50 after being asked to bat first. Steven Taylor was named Man of the Match after taking 1 for 14 in 10 overs of off-spin before finishing 32 not out in USA’s brief chase.
Seven members of the Bermuda U-19 squad that was steamrolled by USA U-19 in that match at Brian Piccolo Park in Florida once again suffered at the hands of a focused USA bowling unit that needed just 31.2 overs to run through the Bermuda order. USA chased down the target in 9.4 overs, which resulted in their net run rate going from -0.807 to +1.257. For USA to clinch first place, they would need a Bermuda win over Canada on Saturday.
Image (right) - Steven Taylor bowled a stifling spell of off-spin, conceding 1 for 14 in 10 overs with six maidens. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
If Bermuda wins by fielding first, there is no mathematical way they can pass USA on net run rate. If Bermuda wins by batting first, based on unofficial calculations they would need to score 300 and restrict Canada to 77 in order to pass USA on net run rate. If Bermuda scores 250 batting first, based on unofficial calculations they would need to restrict Canada to 47 to pass USA on net run rate. If Canada wins, they clinch the tournament title outright with a 2-0 record.
"Bermuda has a couple of impact players and today they didn't click but tomorrow's a different day and anything can happen," USA U-19 off-spinner Roshan Varadarajan after the match. "Of course we're hoping for their success tomorrow and definitely it's not out of the realm of possibilities."
USA made two changes from Thursday’s loss to Canada, bringing in Randall Wilson and Kwiese Edmondson for Rishi Patel and the injured Patrick Palmer. Arsh Buch opened the bowling with seam from one end while Taylor bowled spin from the opposite end. The pair built pressure early on with Bermuda openers Shaquille Jones and William White only scoring off eight deliveries combined in the first six overs.
Buch made the initial breakthrough, inducing a checked drive from White that lobbed up for a simple return catch to make it 14 for 1. Taylor struck six balls later without anything added to the total when he trapped the left-handed Jones LBW for 7 with a top-spinner bowled from over the wicket. The big scalp of Tre Manders was claimed two overs later by Buch for 2 as the number three batsman chased a wide delivery and guided a catch to Taylor at slip, who took the ball diving to his right.
Alex Dore made just 1 before he got into a mixup with Onais Bascome and was runout to make it 23 for 4. Varadarajan had just entered the attack in place of Taylor and Bascome clipped his first delivery to Buch at square leg. Dore called for a run while Bascome stayed put and both batsmen wound up at the striker’s end. A hurried throw came to Shakeel Ahmad over the stumps at the striker’s end, but there was more than enough time to relay to Varadarajan who dislodged the bails at the bowler’s end. Varadarajan got full credit for a wicket on his very next ball when Bascome drove a full delivery straight to Wilson at mid off to depart for 5.
Allrounders Kamau Leverock and Bermuda U-19 captain Joshua Gilbert were their team’s last remaining batsmen but Bermuda’s downward spiral accelerated when the pair departed with the score on 37. Leverock was the first to go for 11, chasing a wide delivery from Varadarajan that he wound up toe edging to Ahmad who held onto a superb catch behind the stumps. Buch accounted for Gilbert in the next over for 2, edging low to Omar Afridi at slip and Bermuda arrived at the first drinks break with the scoreboard reading 37 for 7 in 18.5 overs.
"I think as a team we all thought that it would be easier to chase knowing that we needed to have an emphatic victory in order to have a chance to make it to the World Cup," Buch said about the strategy behind fielding first. "The pitch was almost the same as yesterday, maybe just a little bit more bounce."
When play resumed, Varadarajan claimed his third wicket by drawing Christian Burgess into a swipe across the line that resulted in a skied chance toward Krish Goel at mid off, who took the catch running forward to make it 39 for 8. Taylor returned to the attack in place of Buch and combined with Varadarajan to run off a string of four maidens in a row. At one point, Taylor went 31 consecutive deliveries without being scored on as USA maintained a stranglehold on the Bermuda order.
Image (left) - Off-spinner Roshan Varadarajan took 3 for 11 in seven overs for USA U-19 against Bermuda U-19. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
After Taylor wrapped up his 10 overs, Goel came on and struck in his first over claiming Delray Rawlins with a thin edge behind to Ahmad for 1 to make it 50 for 9. Ryan Persaud wrapped up the innings when he bowled Kamel Easton for 3 with a full delivery that pierced the gap between bat and pad. Varadarajan had USA’s best figures with 3 for 11 in seven overs while Buch claimed 3 for 22 in his unbroken 10-over spell. Extras wound up being the highest score for Bermuda, accounting for 12 runs while Leverock was the only one to reach double-digits off the bat.
In the rain affected first match between these two teams on Monday, Ahmad top scored with 71. He was the first man to go for USA on Thursday though when Leverock bowled him with a full length delivery for 4. Taylor ended any fantasy Bermuda had of mounting a fightback with an assured innings that included three boundaries. After batting at seven against Canada, Waqas Shah received a promotion up to three and added 13 before he was out to Gilbert with only two needed to win as he top edged a slog trying to finish off the game. Trevis Ross entered next and after a single by Taylor leveled the scores, Ross sealed the win with a four through midwicket.
While the match between Canada U-19 and Bermuda U-19 on Saturday is the last official game of the tournament, ICC Americas officials are organizing a pair of Twenty20 games to be played on Sunday for the players to get match practice and exposure. The proposed schedule would have Bermuda and Canada playing in the afternoon while USA would play one of the other two teams in the morning.