Photo credit: Peter Della Penna
DreamCricket.com announces its best XI players from this year's T20 Regional Final in Bermuda which sees the squad dominated by six members of the tournament champions from Canada while Bermuda and USA are also represented.
By Peter Della Penna in Bermuda (Twitter @PeterDellaPenna)
1 Okera Bascome (wk, Bermuda) – The leading scorer amongst wicketkeepers in Bermuda with 93 runs at a strike rate of 124.67, Bascome powered Bermuda to some confident starts. His best effort came against USA on match day four when he blitzed Saurabh Netravalkar and Timroy Allen in the Powerplay, making 35 off 16 balls to put the home side in great position to chase down a target of 142 to earn their first trip to the T20 World Cup Qualifier since 2013.
2 Rizwan Cheema (Canada) – The 41-year-old turned back the clock in Bermuda, leading all openers with 126 runs at a strike rate of 185.29. He brutalized Bermuda in both encounters, making 25* off 10 balls in four overs before rain stopped the match while in the rematch he struck eight sixes in a 35-ball 72. He’s still got enough gas in the tank to make a major impact at the qualifier in the UAE.
3 Navneet Dhaliwal (capt., Canada) – Taking over from Davy Jacobs, the new captain led his side to an undefeated title in style by finishing as the tournament’s leading scorer with 190 runs at an average of 63.33 and a strike rate of 132.86. He claimed two Man of the Match awards along the way with a pair of fifties against USA and Cayman Islands.
4 Delray Rawlins (Bermuda) – The Sussex star showed how one player can make a massive difference to his team’s fortunes in T20 cricket. Making his first appearance for Bermuda since WCL Division Four in 2016, Rawlins started the tournament in style with a Man of the Match performance in Bermuda’s six-run win over USA, top-scoring with 63 in Bermuda’s total of 141 for 7 before taking two key catches on the boundary the wickets of Aaron Jones and Hayden Walsh Jr. before dismissing Timroy Allen with the first ball of a four-run 19th over that left USA needing 14 off the last six balls, which they couldn’t get.
Rawlins scored another 49 against Cayman Islands, striking three sixes in an over to calm what had been a tense chase 10 minutes earlier. He then repeated his heroics with the ball against USA, taking 2 for 22 and two more catches to set up a four-wicket win. He finished fourth overall in runs with 130 at a strike rate of 122.64, and was the leading fielder with seven catches while playing just five games before jetting back to Sussex towards the end of match day five.
5 Ravinderpal Singh (Canada) – The recipient of the Best Batsman award at the tournament, Ravinderpal became the first player to score a century on T20I debut on day one against Cayman Islands. He bookended the tournament with another roaring knock, this time against USA in which he blasted eight sixes in a 33-ball 67. He was also a constant presence taking key catches on the boundary throughout the week, ending with five catches.
6 Hayden Walsh Jr (USA) – The allrounder was finished seventh overall in runs on the week with 99 but was the leading scorer batting from the No. 6 slot, doing so in a USA lineup that needed him to prop up the innings after numerous top-order failures. His largest statistical contribution came on the final day with 28 against Canada in a failed chase. He also took four wickets on the week with his legspin but made more contributions in the field with two catches and a runout.
7 Saad Bin Zafar (Canada) – The left-arm spinning allrounder was key to Canada’s success, finishing tied for fourth with eight wickets at an average of 17.62 and an economy of 6.13. Both times against USA, he made key contributions – taking 1 for 19 and scoring 20 off 19 balls in a four-wicket win the first time around before a quick 11 off 7 balls in the final two overs before 3 for 34 in the field to close out a 15-run win in the rematch.
8 Onias Bascome (Bermuda) – The younger of the Bascome brothers was a handful to manage on both sides of the ball during the week. He was Bermuda’s leading wicket-taker with eight scalps including 4 for 10 in a Man of the Match effort against Cayman Islands. He stood tall against the bigger teams too, with 3 for 32 in the deciding match against USA that included Steven Taylor, Timroy Allen and Cameron Gannon. With the bat, he stroked 93 runs from the middle-lower order, fourth on Bermuda during the week and was at the crease with Deunte Darrell to help secure victory on day four.
9 Dillon Heyliger (Canada) – The recipient of the Best Bowler award on the week, he tormented Bermuda in particular claiming eight of his tournament-best 11 wickets against the hosts with a pair of four-wicket hauls. He was also handy with the bat down the order as his 23 not out off 11 balls, including a key six off Cameron Gannon in the 19th over, helped seal the four-wicket win in the first encounter against USA.
10 Karima Gore (USA) – America’s best player in Bermuda nearly helped spin them to an improbable comeback against Bermuda on match day four. His spell of 4-2-5-3 will end as a footnote to the larger story of Bermuda’s qualification at the expense of USA but it was one of the finest T20 spells ever produced by a USA bowler. He took 3 for 21 on the final day against Canada too. He only took one catch in the field but was a speed demon on the boundary constantly denying a second run by swiftly attacking the ball and also had a highlight reel save against Canada flicking a six back into the field of play as he fell over the rope with a leaping effort to prevent another six from Ravinderpal Singh.
11 Romesh Eranga (Canada) – The left-arm swing bowler finished tied for second on the week with nine wickets at an average of 13.44 and an economy of 5.44. He was extremely effective against Bermuda, taking 2 for 4 in three overs during their washed out first encounter at the National Sports Centre before 2 for 17 in the rematch victory to effectively clinch the tournament title.