Americas U15 Championship
The three clear title contenders – Bermuda, Canada and USA – all registered their second consecutive victories of the Americas U15 Championships on day two in Bermuda, and the race for the 2008 title is set to intensify on day three when Canada meet the USA in the first head-to-head of the three teams.
Hosts Bermuda were never in danger of losing against the Cayman Islands after bowling out their opponents for only 80 at the National Sports Centre. After winning the toss, the Bermuda bowlers justified their decision to bowl first and claimed wickets regularly to set up a relatively undaunting run-chase.
Tre Govia, with 3 for 12 off 8 overs, and Keishon Wilson, 3 for 7 in 3 overs, returned the most impressive figures, but all the bowlers played their part. Kashwayne McKenzie provided stern resistance to top score for the Cayman Islands with 12 off 50 balls.
There was perhaps a brief flutter for the Bermudians when they were reduced to 12 for 2, but despite losing another 2 wickets along the way, the target was never going to be enough, and Bermuda reached 81 for 4 in 14,2 overs to claim the victory.
After earlier taking 1 for 9 in 6 overs, player of the match Joshua Gilbert was his teams and the days top batsman with an undefeated 27, scored off 30 balls with 4 fours.
Canada made short work of the Bermuda Development XI at Bailey’s Bay with their second 8 wicket win of the event. After electing to field first, Canada’s bowling line-up proved too strong for the local side and the Development XI were all out for 82 in 31,4 overs, despite a bright opening stand of 37, spearheaded by Lateef Trott, who made 27 off 28 balls with 6 attractive fours.
Three Canadian bowlers stood out, particularly player of the match Jeevanjot Sidhu, who took 3 for 6 in 5 overs, but also captain Nitish Kumar, 3 for 13 in 7,4 overs, and Axay Patel, with 2 for 9 in 6 overs.
Opener Nikhil Dutta led the way to the modest target, top-scoring with an undefeated 34, made off 61 balls including 3 fours, with Kesavan Juvarajan also undefeated on 14.
The match of the day was probably that between defending champions USA and affiliate nation Bahamas, with the highlight of the day undoubtedly the courageous display by the Bahamas. After having been bundled out for a mere 29 on day one, the Bahamas produced a courageous and spirited performance against powerful opposition even though eventually going down by 42 runs at Somerset CC.
After being put in to bat, prolific captain and opening bat Abhijit Joshi registered his second half-century of the tournament with an outstanding innings of 70, scored off 75 balls and laced with 9 sparkling fours. Opening partner Cameron Mirza made a bright 26 off 23 balls, with 5 fours, and their opening stand of 75 in 12 overs threatened to be the onset of another miserable day for the Bahamas.
But the Bahamas attack, allied to keen fielding, stuck to their task, and apart from Pranay Suri, with 28 off 28 balls including 3 fours and a six, no other USA batsman reached double figures, and the innings eventually closed in the 34th over on 171. The Bahamas had in fact claimed all ten USA wickets for 96 runs.
After his five-wicket haul on day one, Matthew Jesubatham continued his fine form, with 3 for 29 in 8 overs, while Turan Brown produced a superb display taking 3 for 16 in his 7 overs. Also noteworthy was Robert Smith with 2 for 8.
In reply, and at 86 for 3 after 24 overs, the match was definitely in the balance, and day one was a distant memory. Opener Turan Brown completed a fine all-round display, making 37 off 83 balls, with 4 fours, while skipper Jermaine Adderley top-scored with 40, including 4 fours and a six off 58 balls.
However, once Pranay Suri had snagged both Brown and Adderley, the Bahamas could not maintain their brave challenge but nevertheless batted out their 40 overs to finish on 129 for 9. Suri’s spell proved important, finishing with 4 for 24 off his full 8 overs.
Tomorrow sees the hosts Bermuda take on the Bahamas, while the Cayman Islands meet the Bermuda Development XI, but the match-up that will be undoubtedly capture most attention will be that between Canada and the USA at the National Sports Centre.
The traditional North American derby promises to be a quality contest, with the key perhaps being who proves more dominant between the stylish USA batting line-up led by Abhijit Joshi, with consecutive half-centuries under his belt, or the penetrative Canadian bowling attack, including Nitish Kumar who will be looking for at least a third three wicket haul.
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