Photo credit: Peter Della Penna
Fast bowler Cameron Stevenson took Man of the Match honors in only his third appearance for USA, scoring a vital 33* off 23 balls before taking 2 for 27 in a 43-run win over West Indies Emerging, USA's first victory of the Super50 tour.
By Peter Della Penna in Tarouba (Twitter @PeterDellaPenna)
Cameron Stevenson’s fabulous 33 not out off 23 balls was followed by 2 for 27 with the ball to lift USA past West Indies Emerging by 43 runs on Tuesday night at Brian Lara Academy, USA’s first win on tour at the CWI Super50. Stevenson generated a crucial 33-run ninth-wicket stand with Timil Patel, who top-scored on the night for USA with 35 off 60 balls on a sluggish pitch in which eight batsmen on both sides crossed 20 but no one passed fifty.
USA won the toss and elected to bat first, playing on a new strip that meant a shorter boundary to the east side of the ground. USA continued their rotation policy that has been in place through the tour as Steven Taylor once again took over as stand-in captain on the night in place of the rested Saurabh Netravalkar. Rusty Theron came into the XI for his first match of the tour – after arriving in Trinidad over the weekend – along with Timil Patel, Sagar Patel, Nosthush Kenjige and Stevenson. Karima Gore, Akshay Homraj, Ian Holland and Jessy Singh were all rested along with Netravalkar.
USA’s first wicket fell in the seventh over when Xavier Marshall skied an attempted leg-side slog high over point to left-arm spinner Camarie Boyce’s third ball to fall for 14. Taylor joined Sagar and built up the first of four 30-plus stands on the night, adding 39 for the second wicket in a partnership that stretched through 12.2 overs. It ended when Sagar tried to heave a pull off Keon Harding’s medium pace over the 80-yard western boundary, caught at deep square leg for 22 to make it 63 for 2.
Aaron Jones fell in the next over, responded to a poor call for a single by Taylor into the off side as a relay from Justin Greaves at cover to the keeper Joshua Da Silva beat Jones by two yards. Taylor went in the 22nd over for 22, skying a drive to long-off for Kevin Sinclair to claim a wicket and complete a brief wobble of 3 for 19 as USA slipped to 82 for 4.
Nisarg Patel got an excellent start once again, adding 17 off 23 balls before he was bowled on an ill-advised slog against the turn of Yannick Cariah targeting the 80-yard boundary. Monank Patel was run out three overs later for 27, done in by Timil who changed his mind after initially setting off for a run to midwicket as Roland Cato fielded and threw down the stumps at the non-striker’s end with Monank several yards short. Elmore Hutchinson then fell second-ball for 1 in the 34th, chopping on an attempted cut against Jermaine Levy to make it 134 for 7.
With more than 16 overs left to bat, Timil and Theron focused on batting out time, pushing for singles and twos wherever possible. They added 30 for the eighth wicket across 9.2 overs before Theron fell for 14, sending a leading edge to extra cover after charging Cariah’s legspin.
Stevenson arrived and intelligently used the short boundary to his advantage, one of the few players on either side to do so on the night. He slammed Dominic Drakes over midwicket to the short side in the 48th for six, then did so again in a 15-run final over before ending the innings with a four to the same region as USA added 52 off the final 50 balls with Stevenson at the crease. The only blemish in that stretch was Timil finally losing his wicket to Boyce with 11 balls to go on a failed reverse sweep. West Indies Emerging didn’t help themselves on the night with 24 extras that included four no balls as USA ended on 216 for 9.
Boyce ended with 2 for 40 in nine overs and Cariah 2 for 35 in 10. Drakes had bowled exceptionally in his first two spells, but he leaked 27 in his two overs at the death to end with 0 for 42 in nine. Harding (1 for 47 in eight), Levy (1 for 18 in seven) and Sinclair (1 for 26 in eight) rounded out the wicket-takers for West Indies Emerging.
Hutchinson and Theron bowled exceptional spells in the Powerplay to give USA early momentum in the field. After a maiden to begin by Theron, Hutchinson struck on his first ball of the night in the second over, getting Gidron Pope to edge behind a back of a length delivery for a golden duck. Kimani Melius then fell in identical fashion to Hutchinson on the last ball of the 10th for 19 to make it 34 for 2. Stevenson took over for Theron and struck in the 11th with another back of a length ball that resulted in Monank’s third catch behind the stumps as Greaves fell for a second-ball duck to make it 41 for 3 in 11.
Kenjige, who had struggled on tour entering the night, struck the biggest blow of the chase after entering in the 16th, getting the in-form Da Silva to miss a sweep, resulting in a successful lbw appeal for 31. Stevenson then claimed Cariah three balls later with another lbw decision, angling one into the left-hander on a full length from around the wicket to make it 59 for 5.
Cato and Sinclair battled back for West Indies Emerging after entering at No. 6 and 7 respectively and at one stage it looked like they had put their side in front. The pair added 35 for the sixth wicket before Cato chipped a soft return catch off the toe of the bat to Kenjige for 17, an inevitable dismissal after several close shaves on punches back down the pitch when the ball was stopping on him repeatedly.
After Stevenson ran out of gas in a fantastic unbroken seven-over spell that ended with figures of 7-2-24-2, Sinclair bided his time against Kenjige and Taylor before targeting Hutchinson and Timil in back-to-back overs, slogging each for six. However, a hubristic attempt to clear that 80-yard boundary off Taylor in the 34th resulted in Sinclair being caught by Hutchinson at deep midwicket for 44 to make it 132 for 7.
With 85 runs to get in 16 overs, the West Indies Emerging tail was unable to wag in the same manner as USA had done earlier in the night. Harding was given lbw to Kenjige for a third-ball duck prodding down the wrong line to an arm-ball for the left-arm spinner’s third wicket of the night. Boyce went too far across his stumps trying to flick Taylor through the leg side and was bowled for 11 in the 40th over before Timil ended the night bowling last man Levy with a googly for 8 to end the innings for 173 as Drakes was left stranded on 28.
Kenjige took USA’s best figures on the night with 3 for 34 in 10. Stevenson bowled one more over to end with 2 for 27 in eight. Hutchinson (2 for 28 in seven) and Taylor (2 for 40 in eight) also contributed well with the ball while Timil’s final figures were 1 for 19 in 5.2. Theron bowled a pressure-building new-ball spell to tie down an end for Hutchinson but went unrewarded with 0 for 20 in six.
USA has a day off on Wednesday before returning to action against Trinidad & Tobago on Thursday at Queen’s Park Oval.