Quicks shine in low scoring affair

Day four of the ICC Americas U19 Division 1 Championships saw USA taking on Bermuda in a tournament defining match. USA was looking to bounce back after a heartbreaking loss to Canada two days earlier, while Bermuda was playing for survival after two early losses.

USA won the toss and elected to bat, and in a harsh blow for the Americas, star all-rounder Alex Shoff rolled his ankle in the warm-up and was ruled out of the match. The USA needed a strong start from their openers, and Mohak Buch and Yadunandan Polisetty provided just that, negating the lively pitch well early, and keeping the score ticking along with singles and the occasional boundary. Chare Smith got the first breakthrough in the 8th over when he went through the defence of Buch to dismiss him for 11. Smith followed up with the wicket Polisetty for 31, and with the score at 2-50 the match was evenly poised. From there, wickets fell at regular intervals, as batsmen struggled to come to terms with the slow, but lively pitch.

Charles Trott picked up his first wicket when he had Guaranshu Sharma caught behind for 5. From here, Trott and Smith traded wickets every couple of overs, as only three USA batsmen registered double figure scores. Finally, on the last ball of the 29th over, Nahusha Rao skied one to give Smith his first five wicket haul of the tournament. With this, USA’s innings came to a close with just 109 runs on the board. Smith ended with figures of 5-27 off 9 overs, while Trott also claimed 5 wickets for 30 runs of his 10 overs. Jahnoi Bean-Wilson was also featured heavily, claiming 5 dismissals behind the stumps.

The Bermudan innings began in lightening fashion, taking 17 runs off the first two overs. The wayward but talented Keifer Phill needed to stand up for his team, and stand up he did. He removed Bean-Wilson in his second over, before dismissing Jordan Smith three balls later with a beautiful in-swinger. He followed up with a fast, full delivery which was far too good for Jade Morrisey, sending him back without scoring. This brought the team to life, and soon fellow opening bowler Rao joined the party, trapping the ever dangerous Delray Rawlins in front for 8. With the score at 4-37, USA were right in the contest as Rao picked up another, followed by a fourth to Phill as he continued his team lifting performance.

When Phill picked up his 5th wicket, Bermuda was reeling at 7-62 with a couple of overs from Phill and Rao still to negate. Charles Trott, confident from his 5 wicket hall, joined forces with Shakeal Outerbridge, and slowly worked their way back into the match. USA continued their tournament habit of erratic bowling, sending down 27 wides and 3 no balls as Bermuda continued to chip away at the lead. After putting on a handy 35 run partnership, it was Phill who again provided the breakthrough, dismissing Outerbridge for 17 to claim his 6th wicket.

Some tense moments would follow for the Bermudians, with a number of appeals turned down, and a sharp catch in slip off Sahil Patel deemed not to have carried. Sahil Patel would strike with the score on 108, bringing Micah Simons to the crease with 2 runs required to win. It would only take Bermuda 3 balls to finish the game however, as Simons turned a ball through midwicket to collect the winning runs. Trott would remain 18 not out at the other end.

Bermuda coach Cleve Wade was exceptionally proud of his player’s performance “The players showed a lot of character. I was very pleased with the boy’s performance in the field. Due to the loss of early wickets, the middle and late order bats showed a lot of discipline and guts to get the win. The partnership between Shakeal and Charles was vital for us to get the victory.”

The Man of the match would be awarded to Charles Trott, whose five wickets and match winning 18 not out would be the difference between the two sides.

This result leaves the competition wide open, with USA win tomorrow against Canada, putting them firmly back in the battle for top spot, while a loss would see them anxiously await the result of Saturday’s match between Bermuda and Canada to see who will progress to the repechage event to be held later this year.

Scores in Brief:

USA v Bermuda

USA 109/10 from 30 overs (Polisetty 31, C. Smith 5-27, Trott 5-30)

Bermuda 110/9 from 22.2 overs (Trott 18*, Phill 6-46, Rao 2-40)

Bermuda won by 1 wicket

Man of the Match: Charles Trott (Bermuda)

Tournament Standings:

ICC Americas U19 Division 1 Championship – BERMUDA 2015
Team Played Won Lost No Result Points NRR Runs
Canada 2 2 0 0 4 0.720 498 426
USA 3 1 2 0 2 0.185 604 470
Bermuda 3 1 2 0 2 -0.748 415 621

For tournament statistics please visit: http://iccamericas.com/livetournament.php