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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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USA U-19 captain Steven Taylor capped off his team’s tour to Canada with a stunning bowling performance, taking five wickets for just two runs across four overs before scoring 24 in USA U-19’s brief chase in a 7-wicket win over Canada U-19 in a T20 practice match at the conclusion of the 2013 ICC Americas U-19 Division One tournament in King City, Ontario. Taylor was named Man of the Match on a day in which he recorded a triple-wicket maiden in his first over on the way to restricting Canada U-19 to 85 for 9 in their 20 overs before USA U-19 reached the target in 15.1 overs.
USA won the toss and elected to field first as Keifer Phill opened the bowling in his first match in Canada replacing Roshan Varadarajan in the starting lineup. Phill began the innings with a maiden as Canada would struggle to find runs throughout the innings. Arsh Buch opened the bowling from the opposite end and struck on the first ball of the fourth over when Sudeepta Aurka checked a drive to Kwiese Edmondson at midwicket to go for 9.
Taylor began his demolition of the Canada middle order with the wicket of Dutta, trapped LBW for 6 coming forward to defend to make it 31 for 2 at the start of the seventh. Aniket Joshi lasted two balls before he was bowled and the over ended with Canada U-19 stand-in captain Armaan Kapoor yanking a short ball to deep square leg where Phill took a straightforward catch to complete the triple-wicket maiden.
Image (right) - Steven Taylor, pictured here in a match earlier at the 2013 ICC Americas U-19 Division One Tournament, took 5 for 2 against Canada U-19 in a T20 practice match. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
Gurkaran Dhillon watched helplessly at the other end during the carnage but before long he was Taylor’s next victim in the 11th, bowled playing back to a sharp spinning delivery for 17 to make it 36 for 5. Talha Shaikh was Taylor’s fifth scalp on the day for 4 when a wild charge down the track failed to connect and the stumps were rattled once again to make it 47 for 6.
Krish Goel came on and continued where Taylor left off taking three wickets as Canada struggled facing more off-spin. Trevor Manoosingh reached out to drive a full and wide delivery only to slice it to Randall Wilson at backward point for 17. Vasu Shah fell for 12 four balls later when he pulled Goel to Buch at deep midwicket to make it 71 for 8 in the 18th. Abrash Khan was the final wicket to fall with two balls to go in the innings for 1, getting out in identical fashion to Manoosingh with a thick edge to Wilson at backward point.
Edmondson and Shakeel Ahmad opened the chase for USA and added 14 in the first two overs before Edmondson was bowled by a googly from Manoosingh for 11. Ahmad made 7 before he cross batted a short ball from Khan straight to Aurka at mid off for 7.
Taylor was joined at the crease by Waqas Shah and the pair added 56 for the third wicket. Although few boundaries were scored, both batsmen displayed sharp running between the wickets especially Shah. Taylor got out with nine left to win when he mistimed a full toss from medium pacer Amanpal Gillar to mid on. Trevis Ross came in and cracked two boundaries, including one through cover on the first ball of the 16th to end the match, as he finished 9 not out while Shah walked off with him 30 not out.
At the conclusion of the game, the tournament awards ceremony was held during which Dutta swept the three major awards: Best Batsman, Best Bowler and Tournament MVP. He scored an unbeaten 55 and took 5 for 21 against USA before making 29 and taking 3 for 19 against Bermuda. Christian Burgess of Bermuda was named Best Wicketkeeper. He also claimed the Best Wicketkeeper award four years ago at the 2009 ICC Americas U-15 Tournament in New York.
Image (left) - Nikhil Dutta accepts the Best Batsman Award, one of three awards he claimed at the post-tournament presentation ceremony. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
While the match was in progress, USACA issued a statement on their web site regarding a “breach of team protocols” by two players. The incident in question relates to Taylor, 19, and Ross, 18, after Taylor posted a series of messages on Twitter in the early morning hours of July 13, apparently from a club. Part of the messages includes Taylor stating “Random girl trying to get mi drunk lol”, “Shot after shot!!!!!!!!!” and “I’m drunk” as well as an Instagram image of two glasses appearing to be filled with rum and coke. The photo is alongside the words “Mi and mi dwag @trevis_de_dan”. An Instagram video was also posted at 2:19 a.m. in which Ross and Taylor are singing lyrics to a song with loud music playing in the background while Taylor makes an obscene gesture at the video camera multiple times. The legal drinking age in Ontario is 19.
The photo and video have since been removed from Taylor’s Instagram account. USACA’s web site says they will make an official statement at the conclusion of their investigation. An email was sent to USACA asking about the team’s curfew and alcohol policies on tour for the U-19 team, but at the time of publication, USACA had no response. USACA’s web site states that they will make no comment until their investigation is completed.