Photo credit: Peter Della Penna
USA's conservative approach chasing a target of 226 caught up with them in the end as legspinning allrounder Keron Cottoy took 5 for 37 to follow up his unbeaten 43 off 43 balls at No. 7 in the first innings to hold off USA in a 43-run win for Windward Islands.
By Peter Della Penna in Tarouba, Trinidad (Twitter @PeterDellaPenna)
Keron Cottoy rescued a floundering innings by Windward Islands by top-scoring with an unbeaten 43 off 43 balls to lift his side to 225, then dismantled USA’s chase with 5 for 37 to spark a collapse of 7 for 30 as USA slipped from 152 for 3 to be all out for 182 in a 43-run loss on Wednesday night at Brian Lara Academy in Tarouba, Trinidad. USA paid the price for a timid Powerplay in which they accumulated 51 dot balls and were never able to get their run rate above four an over at any stage of the chase before Cottoy’s spell wiped them out after he entered in the 31st over.
“We need somebody to play a big boy innings,” USA coach James Pamment said after the loss. “We’ve had lots of little contributions. We haven’t had a significant performance with the bat, certainly since I’ve been involved and previous. That’s what we lacked in Bermuda at the T20 competition. It’s what we lacked in Florida. We won three games in Florida out of four but we didn’t have a significant contribution from one of our batsmen. We won a game chasing comfortably which Steven made a good contribution but not a significant one. Once again, here in the first three games we’ve had some little cameos but nobody’s been significant. So that needs to change.”
Windward Islands captain Kirk Edwards won the toss and elected to bat first as USA made four changes on the night. Steven Taylor served as stand-in captain for the rested Saurabh Netravalkar while Jessy Singh, Elmore Hutchinson and Nisarg Patel all returned to the lineup in favor of Aaron Jones, Karima Gore and Akshay Homraj.
Hutchinson started the night with a wicket maiden, ending the first over getting Devon Smith to edge a drive low to Ian Holland at gully who took a sharp catch lunging forward for the first wicket. New ball partner Jessy Singh struck in the fourth, inducing an edge to Taylor at second slip from Emmanuel Stewart for 4. Kirk Edwards was then bowled for a six-ball duck by Singh to end the sixth with a nipbacker that pierced the gap between bat and pad to make it 17 for 3.
But for the first of multiple occasions on the night, Windwards fought back with a gritty stand, this time from Desron Maloney and Kavem Hodge who added 55 for the fourth wicket. Maloney started to get momentum back Windwards way in the 12th when he drove Singh twice over mid-off for four. The partnership was finally broken when Maloney played around his pads to a flipper from Timil and was given lbw for 42 to begin the 20th.
Hodge and Alick Athanaze added another 40 to keep the Windwards innings on course as Hodge pulled Timil behind square twice for four. Hodge looked especially comfortable against spin but was bounced out upon Cameron Stevenson’s re-entry into the attack, hooking a thin edge through to Akshay Homraj in the 30th, who had come on as an injury substitute in the 28th over for Monank Patel after Monank suffered a blow to the chest attempting to collect an awkward bounce.
Athanaze dragged Stevenson onto his stumps in the 32nd before Hutchinson struck in his first over back into the attack in the 33rd, getting Bhaskar Yadram to slice to Taylor at backward point for 7, completing a slide of 3 for 17 to make it 128 for 7 at the second drinks break. But Cottoy and Shane Shillingford lifted Windwards out of danger with a 47-run stand. Shillingford survived a short-pitched barrage from Stevenson before feasting on Timil’s return to the attack in the 39th, driving him over long-off for six before slog sweeping him over midwicket for six more in a 14-run over. Shillingford heaved Stevenson over long-on in the 42nd for a third six before he finally fell attempting a fourth off Holland, caught at long-off by Nisarg in the 43rd for a crucial 31 off 45 balls.
Larry Edwards was then runout in Holland’s next over, taking on Hutchinson’s arm at deep midwicket for a second run to keep Cottoy on strike. At 191 for 9, Windwards had 32 balls to survive but Cottoy got fantastic support from Shermon Lewis as the pair added 34 runs in the stretch. Cottoy heaved a straight six off Hutchinson in the final over as neither Hutchinson nor Holland were able to produce enough yorkers to challenge the last-wicket pair.
Curiously, Singh was not used at the death despite having a better record historically than Hutchinson in that phase of the match. Singh ended with 2 for 24 in eight overs while Hutchinson and Stevenson had identical figures of 2 for 43 in 10. Holland and Timil also had identical returns of 1 for 36 in seven and six overs respectively. Taylor returned 0 for 28 in six while Kenjige had another tame night as a specialist left-arm spinner, returning 0 for 12 in three overs before being pulled from the attack.
For the second match in a row, USA crawled through their Powerplay, setting the tone for a conservative innings. Only nine scoring shots were played, including three boundaries, during the first ten overs. One ball after driving a boundary off Lewis through cover, Sagar Patel fell in the second over playing away from his body to edge behind a back of a length ball for 5. Taylor was then dropped on a straightforward return chance on 0 off his ninth ball to Hodge’s left-arm spin. After two boundaries driven through cover point, Taylor and Marshall then commenced a streak of 18 dot balls that was only broken when Hodge misfielded off his own bowling to allow a single to long-on by Marshall in the ninth. This was after Marshall appeared to be dropped on a leg side chance off Hodge when he was on 2 in the 7th.
Taylor continued his own personal streak of 18 dot balls before driving Lewis for 2 over mid-off in the 12th, following by a flick off his hips behind square for 4. Combined with a four swatted by Marshall through mid-on, USA scored 11 off the over in a rare sequence of aggression. But it was to be their only double-digit scoring over of the night. After being dropped on 16 on a misjudged chance at long-off into the rope for four runs, Marshall chipped a leading edge back to the left-arm spin of Larry Edwards to fall for 20 in the 20th, ending a 61-run stand.
Monank joined Taylor and the pair added another 51 for the third wicket in methodical fashion. But Taylor became worn down through his lengthy stay at the crease. After taking 78 balls to reach his fifty, he was put down at extra cover by Athanaze off Shillingford on 51 in the 27th. Two overs later, he required assistance from the physio as his running between the wickets became labored. He finally fell for 62 in the 31st on Cottoy’s fifth ball of the night on a tired drive to Athanaze at extra cover.
As the required run rate crept above six an over at the end of the 34th, Cottoy continued to apply pressure. His fifth over in the 39th produced a double-strike that broke the back of USA’s innings as Monank fell in identical fashion to Taylor, driving to Athanaze at extra cover for 37, before Nisarg fell pulling a half-tracker to deep midwicket for 16. Promoted to No. 7, Timil then fell for a golden duck edging behind to the offspin of Athanaze in the 40th. After Holland swept Cottoy behind square for four to start the 41st, the legspinner opted to leave fine leg exposed and Holland was suckered into going too far across his stumps in an effort to paddle fine through the region only to wind up being bowled behind his legs for 7. It completed an initial slide of 4 for 8 runs to leave USA staring at defeat with the score 160 for 7.
Stevenson battled from one end after entering at No. 9, striking two boundaries in his unbeaten 18 off 24 balls. But he quickly ran out of partners. Cottoy completed his five-for in the 45th over when Hutchinson was cramped from room trying to cut a fuller delivery through point and instead dragged onto his stumps for 2. He nearly made it six off the next ball when Singh was beaten by a googly that escaped the keeper Stewart as well and went for three byes. But Athanaze finished off the match in the 46th with a pair of successful leg before appeals. Singh was done in by a good length ball that kept low and struck him in front of middle stump for a third-ball duck before Kenjige played around a straight ball and was struck in line with off to end the match, USA bowled out for 182 in 45.5 overs.
Aside from Cottoy’s haul, Lewis bowled a sharp opening spell to take 1 for 26 while Athanaze’s work cleaning up the tail resulted in figures of 3 for 24. Larry Edwards took 1 for 47 in 10 while Hodge produced an unsung spell of left-arm spin with the new ball to end with figures of 0 for 8 in eight overs. USA has a day off on Thursday before taking on Trinidad & Tobago on Friday at Brian Lara Academy. T & T suffered a shock loss by 10 runs to West Indies Emerging on Wednesday at Queen’s Park Oval, ending on 233 for 9 chasing a total of 243.