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By Peter Della Penna in King City, Ontario (on Twitter)
DreamCricket.com's coverage on site from Canada during the 2013 Auty Cup tour is sponsored by New Inning Foundation.
Scorecard powered by New Inning Foundation
USA’s spinners claimed all 10 wickets on an attritional day of cricket as Canada was bowled out for 228 after winning the toss before striking back with the wicket of Steven Taylor ahead of the close of play to leave USA 20 for 1 after the first day of the 2013 Auty Cup two-day match at Maple Leaf CC in King City, Ontario. USA captain Timil Patel finished with USA’s best figures on the day, taking 4 for 66 in 26 overs of legspin.
USA arrived in Canada one short of their full squad as Nicholas Standford is not due to join USA until after the conclusion of the two-day game. It resulted in Steven Taylor being included in the starting lineup despite the fact that USACA had announced last week that he would have to sit out the two-day match after breaching tour protocol on July 12 with the USA U-19 team. According to USA team manager Shoaib Ahmed, team management chose to postpone Taylor’s one-match suspension and decided he will instead serve it on Saturday for the 50-over game between USA and Canada. However, that match is in doubt with a 60% chance of rain in the forecast for Saturday.
Canada also had one change to their squad with wicketkeeper Trevin Bastiampillai arriving as a late addition. He was included after first choice gloveman Ashish Bagai sustained an injury in the leadup to this week’s matches. Bagai’s status for the remaining games on Saturday and Sunday is unknown.
Bastiampillai and Ruvindu Gunasekera opened the match for Canada and cruised to lunch at 96 for 0 in 28 overs on what appeared to be an easy paced pitch in the morning session. USA’s bowlers rarely beat the outside edge and the lone chance that was created, by left-arm seamer Naseer Jamali, was put down by wicketkeeper Akeem Dodson diving across Ravi Timbawala at first slip on the first delivery Bastiampillai faced.
Image (right) - Canadian left-handed batsman Ruvindu Gunasekera drives through the off side on his way to 72. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
The second session was a different story though as Patel turned exclusively to his spinners to make inroads into Canada’s lineup. Danial Ahmed and Abhimanyu Rajp operated in tandem at the start of the session and initially it appeared that Canada would continue on from where they left off as both batsmen raised their half-centuries shortly after play resumed. Bastiampillai secured his off 87 balls with a boundary through fine leg in the 30th over off Rajp before Gunasekera did it in 93 balls with a single off Ahmed in the following over.
Canada’s celebrations were curtailed though when Bastiampillai perished for 55 when he attempted to drive Ahmed through cover but wound up slicing a thick edge to Jamali at backward point to make it 105 for 1. Ahmed nearly claimed both openers when Gunasekera offered a thin edge two overs later that Dodson couldn’t hold on to. Meanwhile, Rajp kept the pressure up at the other end with four consecutive maidens.
After struggling to find rhythm in his initial seven-over spell that went for 31 runs, Patel brought himself back on from the northern end in the 44th over and starting causing problems immediately. His second over of his second spell resulted in a double-strike to reduce Canada to 132 for 3. Nitish Kumar was his first victim for 15, offering a thin edge to Dodson after failing to cover the turn coming forward to defend. Canada captain Jimmy Hansra lasted three balls before Patel pinned him on the back foot to win an LBW appeal.
Image (above) - USA captain Timil Patel bowls to Canada's Usman Limbada during his second spell, which resulted in figures of 10-4-16-2. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
Ryan Corns had to wait until the 43rd over before the ball was tossed his way but was nearly untouchable on the day. Of the 115 deliveries he bowled, only eight were scored off. He kept USA’s momentum going in the second session by nabbing the key wicket of Gunasekera for 72 as part of a wicket-maiden in the 59th. Gunasekera’s scoring rate had plummeted following the lunch break thanks in no small part to Corns, who reeled off six maidens in his first nine overs. A frustrated Gunasekera skipped down the track to try to smash the left-arm spinner over long on, but didn’t get much lift on his drive and found Timbawala who took a simple catch 15 yards in from the rope to make it 148 for 4. Corns finished his opening spell with figures of 10-6-16-1, evidence that he’s made the most of his time this summer playing a higher standard of club cricket in the UK.
“The impact for me playing in England has just taught me how to bowl in the right areas and to bowl for dot balls more than going for wickets and today I guess that showed by my bowling figures,” Corns said. “I just try to bowl in the right areas, get as many dot balls as possible and that in turn is getting the wickets.”
Rajp may have had the highest economy rate of USA’s four spinners on the day at 3.50 in his 14 overs, but he continuously challenged batsmen with a very aggressive line that eventually resulted in a pair of wickets. Rajp outfoxed Usman Limbada for 16 when he followed up a loopy delivery that was swept for a boundary with a quicker and fuller ball that struck the batsman on the toe playing across the line to make it 169 for 5 in the 64th.
Image (left) - USA offspinner Abhimanyu Rajp bowling on day one of the 2013 Auty Cup. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
Canada entered the tea break at 180 for 5 after 67 and the offspinner nearly struck on the second ball after play resumed when Damodar Daesrath offered a leg side chance that Dodson spilled. Rajp didn’t let Daesrath escape though and two balls later induced a false drive in the air to Jamali at backward point for 17 to make it 182 for 6.
“In the first session, the Canadian batsmen batted very well,” Corns said. “It looked pretty easy to bat out there, but we just kept telling the bowlers to keep bowling dot balls, as many dot balls as you can and that eventually gave us wickets after we came back after lunch.”
The only blemish on Corns’ day in the field was spilling a chance at long off in the 76th when Rizwan Cheema was on 28, but Patel kept inviting him to play big shots. Sure enough, Cheema danced down the track in the 80th and was beaten badly in flight to allow Dodson to complete a simple stumping for 31 to make it 219 for 7.
The Canadian tail dug in to stay at the crease as long as possible, but Corns refused to let them score and strung together seven consecutive maidens. He ended the third over in that sequence with the scalp of Junaid Siddiqui, caught behind for 11 after a good length ball spun across to clip the edge of his forward prod. Harvir Baidwan was caught for 1 prodding Patel to Timothy Surujbally under a helmet at silly mid off to make it 223 for 9. Corns finished off the innings one ball into the 91st by inducing a drive from Cecil Pervez to Patel at cover. It was Corns’ 45th consecutive dot ball bowled and allowed him to finish with figures of 3 for 21. His second spell beginning in the 73rd over produced figures of 9.1-7-5-2.
Image (right) - USA's Ryan Corns gets a high five from Abhimanyu Rajp after taking the final wicket of the Canada innings. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
With 35 minutes to bat before the scheduled close of play, Taylor and Dodson went out to open in USA’s reply. Taylor lasted 16 balls before he went to drive a full delivery from the medium pace of Pervez and was caught behind by Bastiampillai for 9 to make it 11 for 1 in the fourth. Surujbally was able to survive an over of spin from each end by Siddiqui and Salman Nazar and USA closed the day with nine wickets in hand.
USA has all of Friday to be able to overhaul Canada’s total and wind up with a first innings lead. However, recent history is not on USA’s side. In 2011 they were bowled out for 166 in the first innings to give Canada a 73-run first innings lead while in 2012 they followed Canada’s first dig of 196 with a paltry 114 to concede an 82-run advantage to Canada.
Play resumes at 11 a.m. on Friday with a minimum of 96 overs to be bowled. DreamCricket.com will have a full match report, sponsored by New Inning Foundation, at the conclusion of the day’s play.