USA Cricket News

USA Cricket: Nisarg 4-for sets up 10-wicket win over Bahamas to complete 6-0 undefeated title run in Antigua

2021 Nov 13 by DreamCricket USA

Nisarg Patel's career-best 4 for 17 sparked USA in the field to set up USA's over Bahamas, completing USA's second ever undefeated run to the ICC Americas Men's T20 title, their first since 2013 in Florida. 

Image credit: Peter Della Penna

By Peter Della Penna in Antigua (Twitter @PeterDellaPenna)
After the disappointment of 2019 in Bermuda when USA failed to make it out of regional qualifying for the T20 World Cup, the squad has bounced back in resounding fashion and finished off the 2021 ICC Americas Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in style with another 10-wicket win over Bahamas to end the even 6-0 as undefeated tournament champions in Antigua. Nisarg Patel was named Player of the Match in Saturday’s win over Bahamas after taking T20I career-best figures of 4 for 17 to help restrict Bahamas to 90 for 7 before Aaron Jones and Ian Holland chased down the target in 12.1 overs. 

Bahamas won the toss and elected to bat first on what proved to be a sticky wicket as USA made one change to their lineup from the win over Argentina, bringing back Saurabh Netravalkar in place of Rusty Theron. Against the Powerplay bowling trio of Netravalkar, Elmore Hutchinson and Steven Taylor, Bahamas could only manage seven runs off the first five overs and ended the Powerplay at 12 for 0 as USA exploited the moisture in the wicket (from overnight rain) that produced variable bounce and made scoring difficult. 
Taylor finally struck for the first wicket in the 8th over, getting Marc Taylor to slice a drive to Jones at backward point for 9 to make it 20 for 1. Brother and Bahamas captain Greg Taylor Jr lasted until the 13th over before his frustration finally resulted in a charge to Nisarg’s second ball upon entering the attack for a swing and a miss to be bowled. 
Nisarg struck again in the 17th when Jonathan Barry sliced a catch to Trinson Carmichael at backward point for 16. The pressure built trying to recover from the slow start produced a wicket next ball when Jagnauth Jagroo was runout without facing a ball, slow to respond to Kervon Hinds’ dicey call taking on Carmichael’s arm at backward point as a relay to Monank beat him in plenty of time to make it 64 for 4. 
Holland kept up his string of wicket-taking performances in Antigua, ending the tournament with at least one in every game after Hinds charged with Monank standing up to the stumps and missed to be stumped for 23. USA then had a brief injury scare early in the 19th over as Monank went down having been hit on the knee off a thick edge while bending forward to Nisarg’s bowling, leaving his knee exposed. The USA captain had to leave the field and it forced Jaskaran Malhotra to take the gloves for the remaining 11 deliveries in the innings. 
Malhotra was in the action just two balls later, taking a catch to dismiss Marlon Graham for 2 after a delivery from Nisarg popped off the gloves to sit up for a simple catch. Nisarg then rounded off his haul with the final ball of his spell to end the 19th by bowling Goud for 8 after a slog that went awry. 
Aside from Nisarg’s figures, Taylor took 1 for 11 in his four overs while Holland ended with 1 for 19 in his four. Netravalkar (2-1-1-0), Hutchinson (2-0-4-0), Malhotra (2-0-10-0) and Carmichael (2-0-18-0) all ended wicketless. 
Jones got USA’s reply off to a quick start striking three boundaries in the first two overs while Holland took his time to get settled at the opposite end before finally unleashing a cut for his first boundary in the fifth as USA ended the Powerplay at 43 for 0. The pair coasted along before getting a bundle of extras to add to the score in a bizarre sequence during the 10th over. Bhumneshwar Jagroo came on to bowl his first over of the day, starting with an overstep for a no ball. His second delivery bounced twice before reaching Holland, resulting in another no ball. He then followed it up with consecutive head high full tosses, the first of which Holland whacked for a boundary over the leg side, after which the umpires declared he had to come out of the attack after his second full toss above waist height. He wound up conceding nine runs without bowling a legal delivery. Jones wound up slog sweeping a six off Graham during the six remaining legal deliveries that followed in what was eventually an 18-run over. 
The only chance during the partnership came in the following over when Jones was dropped on 39 at long-on by Rodrick Mitchell on a skied drive off the bowling of Hinds. Otherwise, the USA pair took singles to get across the line, with Jones hitting the winning run to begin the 13th over.
USA’s next scheduled T20I action will be against Ireland in December. After finishing as ICC Americas T20 champions, they will now move on to the global T20 World Cup Qualifier anticipated for early 2022.