Photo credit: Peter Della Penna
Jessy Singh is bowled by a Dominic Drakes yorker, one of three wickets for the medium pacer as USA struggled to put up a total on a pitch that had water seep through the covers during afternoon rain which forced a lengthy delay in a match reduced to 20 overs.
By Peter Della Penna in Trinidad (Twitter @PeterDellaPenna)
West Indies Emerging wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva dug his side out of a sizable hole at 25 for 4, scoring an unbeaten half-century as part of an 85-run unbroken fifth-wicket stand alongside captain Yannic Cariah to send USA to a six-wicket loss at Brian Lara Academy in Tarouba on Saturday night. USA were sent in to bat following a five-hour, 32-minute delay caused by water seeping through the covers into the pitch after early afternoon rain.
Showers had stopped by 2 pm in Tarouba, just 30 minutes after the scheduled start of play. But the match didn’t start until 7:02 pm as a result of the mishap with the covers, which left USA coach James Pamment frustrated with proceedings after his side lost a crucial toss.
“It’s a little bit disappointing that the wicket stopped us playing a longer game through the covers leaking,” Pamment said after the match. “I think you come to these sorts of grounds and you shouldn’t be having covers leaking on a length. You can’t beat the natural elements but it could have been avoided. So that’s a little bit disappointing for a tournament of this standard to let happen but you’ve got to put up with it and move on.”
USA struggled to 44 for 4 at the halfway stage of their innings after being asked to bat first on a sticky wicket. After surviving a caught and bowled chance on 3 in the second over to left-arm spinner Ashmead Nedd, Xavier Marshall fell for 9 in the third cutting medium pacer Keon Harding to Nedd at short third man. Steven Taylor then fell for 2 in the fifth chipping a return catch back to Nedd on a ball that held back in the wicket. Aaron Jones was bowled for 2 by Nedd playing back to a good length ball before Monank Patel was bounced out by left-arm quick Dominic Drakes, mistiming a pull to short midwicket for 15 in the ninth.
Nisarg Patel breathed life back into USA’s innings after his arrival in the seventh over, striking four of USA’s seven boundaries on the night. He drove Kevin Sinclair over cover for four in the eighth before pulling Carriah’s legspin through wide long-on in the 10th. A drive over long-off against Carriah produced USA’s first six of the night in the 14th before he slugged a Carriah half-tracker over wide long-on in the 17th for another six. However, he fell for 32 trying to repeat the stroke next ball and was caught on the boundary by Harding to make it 83 for 6. It came a few overs after debutant Akshay Homraj became Nedd’s third victim chopping onto his stumps for 9.
Elmore Hutchinson replaced Nisarg and drove Harding over long-off for consecutive sixes in the 18th to take USA past 100. With two overs left, 125 looked possible. But Drakes was outstanding at the death, conceding just one run off the bat in the 19th while trapping Karima Gore lbw for 11 with a full length delivery before Jessy Singh was bowled with a yorker for a three-ball duck. USA then failed to bat out their overs as Hutchinson was caught at deep midwicket two balls into the 20th for 18 before Timil Patel was runout on the fourth ball of the over after a brilliant relay from long off be Leonardo Julien denied a second run off a drive from Saurabh Netravalkar to end USA’s innings for 109.
Nedd ended with the best figures of the innings claiming 3 for 12 while Drakes ended with 3 for 17. Harding took 2 for 30 in 3.4 overs while Carriah took 1 for 31 in his four.
After Netravalkar conceded 11 runs off the first over of the chase, the captain called on his spinners to rally USA in the field and before long West Indies Emerging were under heavy pressure thanks to Gore, Taylor and Timil. The 21-year-old Gore struck with his first ball of the night, cramping Kimani Melius for room trying to cut as a thin edge was well held by Homraj for 8. Taylor replaced Netravalkar for the third and trapped Gidron Pope on a failed sweep to win an lbw appeal for 6. Julien was defeated by a quicker ball on a failed charge to Gore in the fourth for a straightforward stumping by Homraj before Justin Greaves fell to Timil Patel’s first ball in the sixth over misreading a googly to be given lbw, making it 25 for 4.
But with the required run rate still under a run a ball, captain Carriah never panicked, regularly stroking singles and twos straight down the ground. Da Silva helped relieve the pressure at the other end. His first boundary came via a sweep off Nisarg’s left-arm spin in the seventh. At 47 for 4 in the 11th with the required run rate climbing above a run a ball for the first time, Da Silva decided to use his feet to Timil with great effect by driving him over wide long-on for six and four in a 13-run over. Gore was brought back in the 13th and after an edge through vacant slip for two, was pulled off a full toss through cow corner for four.
USA’s bowlers regularly worked to dry the ball off as it became damp along the outfield and it resulted in the ball being changed during the 13th but the replacement ball brought no fortune. After 12 straight overs of spin, Netravalkar brought himself back on in the 14th but Da Silva showed his deft touch glancing the captain off an open face through third man for four. Carriah finally struck his first boundary of the night in the 15th driving Gore elegantly through extra cover as part of a 13-run frame.
West Indies Emerging needed just 21 off 30 balls but Da Silva didn’t slow down, cutting Netravalkar behind point and then driving him over mid-off for back-to-back fours to bring up a 36-ball half-century, then capped the over smoking a six over extra cover. A series of singles and twos produced the final seven runs between the pair to get West Indies Emerging across the line.
Gore’s last two overs spoiled his figures to end with 2 for 29. Taylor ended with 1 for 15 in his four while Timil took 1 for 19. Netravalkar was USA’s most expensive on the night conceding 0 for 31 in his three.
USA has a day off on Sunday before they get back into action on Monday at Queen’s Park Oval against Guyana. Trinidad & Tobago defeated Guyana by six wickets at Queen’s Park Oval on Saturday in a match reduced to 43 overs. Guyana had defeated West Indies Emerging by two wickets on Thursday in the opening day of Zone B competition in a match that went down to the final ball chasing a target of 186.