USA Cricket News

USA Cricket: Farooq takes career-best 3 for 8 as USA Women brush past Brazil by 42 runs

2021 Oct 22 by DreamCricket USA

Sara Farooq earned Player of the Match honors for her impressive haul of 3 for 8, including a tag-team effort with Gargi Bhogle at extra cover, to keep Brazil under wraps. 

Image credit: Peter Della Penna

By Peter Della Penna in Mexico City (Twitter @PeterDellaPenna)
Medium pacer Sara Farooq showcased her decade of experience in the national team on Friday afternoon, taking 3 for 8 in four overs to help restrict Brazil to 47 for 9 in an eventual 42-run win for USA on day four of the 2021 ICC Americas Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier at the Reforma Athletic Club in Mexico City. Having sat out USA’s win over Argentina a day earlier as part of USA management’s squad rotation policy, Farooq came back with authority to ensure USA’s first innings total of 89 for 6 was easily defendable. 

USA won the toss and chose to bat first, with Farooq coming back into the lineup along with Akshatha Rao as Isani Vaghela and Uzma Iftikhar sat out for the first time in the event. USA got off to a poor start in the Powerplay as vice-captain Shebani Bhaskar fell on the first ball of the match, her second duck of the event, trapped lbw playing down the wrong line of an offcutter from Nicole Monteiro. Captain Sindhu Sriharsha fell in the sixth over, edging behind off a good length ball from Laura Cardoso for 8 to make it 26 for 2. 
The teenage left-right duo of Gargi Bhogle and Anika Kolan steered USA’s innings back on course with a 37-run partnership. The pair each struck a pair of boundaries, Kolan’s coming off back-to-back deliveries driving straight down the ground and again with a flick over midwicket in the 10th over against Renata Sousa. But the partnership was highlighted more by aggressive running between the wickets as the pair regularly put pressure on Brazil’s infielders, in particular pushing hard for tight singles to mid-on and mid-off.
The stand finally came to an end when Kolan took one gamble too many, runout for 21 trying to pinch a tight single to midwicket but was denied by Erika Reinehr’s relay to Sousa over the non-striker’s stumps in the 14thover. Brazil made it two wickets in three balls at the start of the 14th as Chetnaa Prasad’s attempted slog first ball to Lara Moises wound up resulting in her being bowled. Bhogle who had survived two chances on 11 and 20 by Daniella Staddon, as well as a missed runout chance on 24, finally fell for 26 when she top-edged a pull off Cardoso that was taken safely by Moises at square leg to make it 76 for 5. 
Tara Norris played a brisk cameo at No. 6, scoring 13 off 19 balls including an elegantly flicked boundary over wide long-on, before she was caught trying to continue to up the scoring rate with a lofted drive that found Alice Nascimento at long-off, giving Cardoso her third wicket. Moksha Chaudhary and Geetika Kodali added on the remaining seven runs to USA’s final total. Cardoso’s 3 for 24 to lead Brazil on the day also meant she overtook USA’s Suhani Thadani as the leading wicket-taker in the event with eight in four matches. 
USA’s revitalized fielding prowess produced the first wicket of the day as Prasad pounced on a push into the covers before relaying to Sriharsha behind the stumps to catch Sousa out of her ground for 2. Three balls later, Farooq took the first of her three wickets on the day, bowling Reinehr on a misguided pull shot for 1 to make it 6 for 2. Norris then kept the pressure on, bowling Laura Agatha for 1 to make it 7 for 3 in the fourth and at the end of the Powerplay, USA had Brazil handcuffed at 10 for 3 as the chances of an upset became further remote. 
Cardoso was next to go for 7 when Farooq returned for a second spell in the ninth, once again capitalizing on uneven bounce with a misguided pull shot to get her second bowled dismissal of the day. Brazil produced their best partnership of the day for the fifth wicket as captain Roberta Moretti Avery and Staddon added 27 runs to frustrate USA through the middle stages of the chase. It took a moment of brilliance from Rao at mid-on to break the stand as a pitched up delivery from Norris was driven powerfully by Avery. Rao moved left and stuck out her weaker left hand to parry the ball up into the air initially before completing the catch on a second effort as Brazil’s captain had to go for a top score of 12. 
Evelyn de Souza was then runout by Moksha Chaudhary, who denied an attempted second run on a ball pulled through square leg but the relay to Sriharsha was true. Farooq came back for her final over in the 17thand took her third scalp of the day, getting Monteiro to drive a simple catch to Bhogle at extra cover for a duck, making it 44 for 7. 
The final two wickets of the innings came in the 19th with Chaudhary factoring into both. A straight drive by Staddon was knocked down by Chaudhary diving to her right in her follow-through. Staddon tried to take a single as the ball rolled away into midwicket but Bhaskar alertly recovered the ball before tossing gently to Sriharsha with both Staddon and Nascimento almost at the same end. Nascimento was the one given out after belatedly leaving her crease to allow Staddon to continue, and she eventually finished unbeaten on 11. Chaudhary struck two balls later though, bowling Moises for the ninth wicket. Staddon and Ribeiro saw off the remaining eight deliveries to ensure Brazil were not bowled out. 
Aside from Farooq’s career-best day, Norris claimed an impressive 2 for 4 in her four overs while Chaudhary ended with 1 for 7 in her four. Thadani had her first wicketless match of the tournament, but still ended with a very economical 0 for 4 in four overs with two maidens to keep the pressure on while bowling in partnership. Rao (0 for 9 in two) and Geetika Kodali (0 for 13 in two) also went wicketless for USA on the day. 
In the day’s other contest, Canada bounced back from their loss to Brazil by defeating Argentina by nine wickets, chasing a target of 60 with 9.2 overs to spare. All teams have an off day on Saturday before resuming action on Sunday October 24 in Mexico City. USA will take on Canada in the first match of the day at 10 am local time.