Secure Third Win Over Jersey
By John L. Aaron
with a 2-0 record going into the third match series of the ICC’s
World Cricket League Division 5 tournament, won the toss and elected
to bat against Jersey, to whom it had lost in 2008. Whether it was
the hazy and humid conditions that contributed to what can only
be described as a frightening start for the North American squad,
is still being debated. However, this time history would not repeat
itself, as the USA resurged on to a 66-run victory over the Jersey
boys, although it was not as easy as the final scores reflect.
Aditya Thyagarajian (top) and Carl Wright (below) shared a
partnership of 118 against Jersey, as USA continues with their
winning ways in the ICC Division 5 Tournament. (Photos by
Sushil Nadkarni and Orlando Baker, the USA were soon experiencing
technical difficulties in Kirtipur, Nepal, as Nadkarni was bowled
after scoring a solitary run in the second over. Skipper Steve Massiah
who had two excellent outings with the bat in victories over Fiji
and Bahrain was only able to scratch a single also, before being
caught with the USA tally at a ghastly three runs. The ghost of
the Channel Islands and the earlier defeat of the USA by the Jersey
boys appeared to be visiting the USA camp.
This time it
was the reliable Cush who earlier had enjoyed two excellent trips
to the middle against Fiji and Bahrain, who ducked back into the
USA’s tent having only chalked up five runs off 15 deliveries,
with the score on 11.
opening pair of bowlers Ryan Driver and Australian-born Matt Hague
placed the clamps firmly down on the USA’s top-order batsmen,
as the USA lost its fourth wicket at 30, with Baker exiting after
posting 20, c & b Driver. Exactly 10 overs later and the addition
of 25 runs, Sudesh Dhaniram would record a disappointing nine runs
in 19 balls. USA 55 for 5 in 22.1 overs.
was looking for someone to step up and stop the hemorrhaging, as
the overs sans runs crept up on the batsmen. The critical care nurses
would be Carl Wright and Aditya Thyagarajian. The two went to work
soon after the exit of the Jersey opening pair of bowlers Driver
10-1-25-3 and Hague 10-1-23-1. The USA pair clinically dispatched
the Jersey back up crew in a stunning partnership of 118 runs, before
Wright was dismissed for a well-played 76 (7x4s, 1x6) off 120 balls.
This was the partnership that propelled the USA to victory.
Field Marshall Rashard (for the record you may wish to reverse those
last two words for the batsman’s real name). Rashard Marshall
met Thyagarajian (83 not out) who was well on his way to a first-class
ODI century, but reassured the partisan crowd that he was in the
house, establishing his presence with a blistering display of power-hitting
as he made the second crop Jersey bowlers pay dearly. The hard-hitting
sturdy right-hander scorched 42 runs not out off 21 balls with 5x6s.
The Field Marshall owned the Tribhuvan University ground at Kirtipur,
as he had the crowd in a frenzy yelling for more sixes, as the USA
middle-order bats made a resurgence from 55 for 5 in 22.1 overs
to 253 for 6 in the allotted 50 overs.
the awesome display of power-hitting by Marshall, it was the steady
and self-assuring inning of Thyagarajian’s 83 n.o. off 82
balls with 7x4s and 2x6s, along with Wright’s vital earlier
contribution of 76, which was the spine of the USA inning, and kept
the situation from becoming a total disaster. Carl Wright was later
adjudged Man-of-the-Match for his sterling contribution is helping
the USA stabilize its inning.
middle-order was particularly harsh on twin bowlers Jonny Gough
9-0-58-1 and Peter Gough, 8-0-60-0 as the pair was gouged for a
combined total of 118 runs off 17 overs with only one wicket to
show for their troubles. The USA batsmen also roughed up Ben Stevens
10-1-48-1 and Andy Dewhurst 2-0-28-0. USA batsmen now occupy six
of the top ten individual run production slots of the tournament,
with five of them having recorded 100 or more runs over the three
matches so far. Only Carl Wright with 99 misses that exalted position,
a remarkable come back by Team USA to post 253 runs off 50 overs
when it all seemed nigh impossible with the top-order reliable batsmen
crumbling away. It is a testimony to the depth of batting within
the USA squad, that on any given day if three of the top five batsmen
were to post 60 runs each off of any 25 overs, the USA would bring
pressure to bear of the opposing team. It would appear as though
the USA did exactly that against Jersey, as Jersey must have been
kicking themselves at the conclusion of the USA’s inning,
and asking themselves how could they have allowed the USA to creep
back into the match in such a splendid fashion. The USA wickets
fell 2; 3; 11; 30; 55 and 173.
to the USA’s 253, Jersey opened with left-hander Dean Morrison
– Jersey’s Cricketer of the Year and Matt Hague, but
quickly lost Hague for six in the seventh over with the score on
15, caught wktpr. Wright off Darlington. Hague was followed Peter
Gough, 24, stumped Wright off the bowling of Cush, who struck again
with an lbw decision against Morrison for 36. Jersey 76 for 3. Darlington
would come back 42 runs later to disturb the stumps of Samuel de
la Haye, who had an aggressive 36 off 32 balls including 2x4s, 3x6s
continued to struggle against some splendid bowling by the USA and
despite a few dropped catches, were not able to explode a la the
USA on a pitch that seemed to aid the bowlers on such a muggy day.
Samuel de la Haye and opener Dean Morrison each contributed 36,
while Andy Dewhurst scored 34 and Ryan Driver, 29. Once Jersey’s
top order five batsmen fell for an average of 26 runs each, the
tail collapsed in a heap, as Cush 10-1-37-4 and Verma 4-0-19-3 wrapped
things up for the USA. However, it was a remarkable spell by Sudesh
Dhaniram 10-2-30-0 that contained the Jersey batsmen, who later
fell to Messrs. Cush and Verma, and following Darlington’s
two-part spell of 10-1-40-2. The Jersey wickets fell at 15; 67;
76; 118; 128; 169; 172; 183 and 186, as the Jersey boys succumbed
to the USA at 187 for 9 in 50 overs, 66 runs shy of their target.
Jersey struggled as much as the USA did to scratch runs on the board,
however, the difference today was the depth of the USA’s batting
and the stinginess of its bowlers. It was a fantastic all round
victory for the USA, who now maintains an unbeaten record of 3-0
alongside host Nepal, and going into tomorrow’s match against
2-1 Singapore at Lalitpur.
GO TEAM USA!