Nosthush Kenjige wiped out Lancashire's batting lineup, taking the first five wickets to fall as USA routed Lancashire for 221 before overhauling the target with three overs to spare.
By Peter Della Penna in Dubai
Nosthush Kenjige burrowed through the Lancashire top-order, beginning with England Test opener Keaton Jennings, to reel off wickets in his first six overs during a career-best haul before another pair of fifties from Xavier Marshall and Aaron Jones secured a dominating six-wicket win for USA at the ICC Academy on Tuesday.
USA captain Saurabh Netravalkar won his first toss of the tour and sent Lancashire in to bat first on the adjacent, and much bigger, oval to where USA had played their first three matches of the tour against UAE. England’s experienced international opening pair of Jennings and Haseeb Hameed took England comfortably through the first nine overs before Kenjige began wreaking havoc upon his arrival in the 10th.
Jennings was on 14 when he prodding away from his body to the last ball of the over and a thin edge was well held by Jaskaran Malhotra to make it 37 for 1. Josh Bohannon entered at No. 3 and swept Kenjige twice for boundaries in the 14th, but it was the last time Lancashire would score off him until the 22nd over during his unbroken 10-over spell.
Kenjige got his revenge on Bohannon on the first ball of the 16th when a good length ball held up in the pitch and resulted in a scoop to Jessy Singh at midwicket in the ring to make it 71 for 2, sparking a slide of 14 for 5 by Lancashire with Kenjige involved for the entire journey. Rob Jones tried to loft Kenjige over the infield to start the 18th but failed to clear Marshall at mid-on for Kenjige’s third wicket. Four balls later, Steven Croft played down the wrong line to an arm ball and was lbw for Kenjige’s fourth. Another arm ball produced his fifth as Brooke Guest offered no shot and was given leg before as Kenjige had figures of 5 for 14 in six overs.
At the other end, Hameed was doing his best to see off Kenjige’s spell and had looked very assured in his 46 off 53 balls. But his innings ended when he responded to a dicey attempt at a single off the bat of new man George Lavelle, who glided behind point looking to get off strike. Hayden Walsh circled quickly at backward point and his sharp relay to Malhotra beat Hameed’s dive to make it 85 for 6 in the 22nd.
Kenjige bowled his fourth maiden in the 24th before Tom Hartley began a counterattack that continued through to the final over of the innings as the 20-year-old produced an unbeaten 75 off 87 balls. He was on 2 off 18 balls before smacking Kenjige for his first boundary off the final ball of the 26th. A rare USA error on the day occurred two balls later when Monank Patel dropped Lavelle on 7 at slip off Steven Taylor’s offspin.
Lavelle went on to drive Kenjige for six in the 28th and moved on to 26 before Taylor induced a second edge. This time Marshall was at slip and pulled off a one-handed stunner lunging to his left to make it 122 for 7. Taylor dropped a chance as well at slip when Liam Hurt edged Walsh on 4 but the miss only cost USA a handful of runs as Walsh bowled him with a skiddy topspinner four balls later to make it 137 for 8.
Hartley refused to go into a shell in spite of running out of partners, peppering the boundary with a series of drives, reaching his 50 off 72 balls in the 47th over off Netravalkar with a square drive over backward point. Another four through extra cover later in the over took Lancashire past 200 and Hartley hit Netravalkar for six over cow corner in the 49th.
Jessy Singh, who had claimed Hurt with the first ball of his second spell in the 46th beating him for pace on a slog, claimed the final wicket on the fifth ball of the final over when Matt Parkinson drove flat in the air to Walsh, who covered excellent ground to take a catch on his knees as Lancashire were all out for 221. Kenjige eventually ended with 5 for 27 while Singh claimed 2 for 31 in 5.5 overs. Taylor bowled a stifling spell of 1 for 31 that included three maidens while Walsh ended with 1 for 24. Netravalkar and Timil Patel both went wicketless on the day, ending with 0 for 56 and 0 for 47 in respectively in nine overs each.
Lancashire struck on the second ball of the chase as Monank’s sluggish start to the tour continued when he was out first ball beaten for pace trying to pull Hurt only to send a catch to mid-off for a golden duck. Hurt struck again at the end of the fifth, getting Taylor to drive to mid-off for 7.
It was the last time Lancashire would have a sniff at victory as Marshall and Jones combined for a 116-run partnership. The early part of their stand was a clinic in rotating the strike before Marshall brought up his half-century in 63 balls smashing Parkinson down the ground for six for the second time in the 22nd over to send the legspinner out of the attack. Jones continued picking singles off his hips with regularity while Marshall appeared set for a century at the other end until he fell to Parkinson in a second spell for the leggie, prodding an edge behind for 75 in the 33rd.
Malhotra kept USA on course, smoking Bohannon’s medium pace for six over long-on in the 34th. He fell trying to drive another six off Parkinson to be caught at long-off for 10.
Walsh arrived and looking at ease with his Barbados franchise pal Jones, the pair closed off the match with an unbroken 64-run stand. Jones had reached 50 off 90 balls and continued humming along with his singles fest, ending with five fours and a six to finish unbeaten on 84 off 138 balls, including the winning single. Walsh walked off with a brisk 33 not out off 31 balls.
USA has a rest day on Wednesday before taking on a UAE Developmental XI in their next match on Thursday at The Sevens Ground in Dubai.