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ICC Under-15 Tournament
Canada Perseveres To Defeat USA

The Canadian team posed for a photo.
By Sam Sooppersaud
August 19th, 2009
An invaluable and unbroken eight-wicket partnership pulled Canada out of a hole and put them in a commanding position, later proven to be a winning one, when they met the USA in the third game of the ICC Americas Northern Zone’s Under-15 Tournament, now being staged at the Gateway cricket facility, in Brooklyn, New York.

As the saying goes - the race is not for the swift, but he who endure to the end. This is exactly what Canada did. They persevered to the end of their allotted 40 overs. With wickets falling in succession they did not capitulate. They resorted to damage control whic h ultimately resulted in them seizing the initiative away from the USA and eventually winning the match. Team USA assisted in this rebuilding process by grounding at least three vital catches, two during the crucial eight-wicket partnership. Their ground fielding needs to be improved drastically.

Canadian batsmen

The Canadians batted first and sent in their regular openers, all-rounder Nitish Kumar (Capt.) and Nikhil Dutta to commence their inning. Both openers played confidently and runs came freely. With the score on 40 Dutta was run out attempting a second run. Ten runs later Yog Rao was adjudged LBW playing across to a full-length ball from spinner Trevis Ross. Tragedy again struck Canada when fourth man in Talha Shaikh played the ball to a shortish extra cover and inexplicably took off for a run. Kumar, the non-striker, hesitated then took off for the striker's end. He was caught short of his ground, having scored an exciting 41 runs. Four more wickets fell and Canada at 100 for 7 were in danger of being bowled out for a lesser score than may have been projected by those in attendance, and by the Canadians themselves.

With the score on 120 for 8 wickets, USA had the upper hand in the contest, but then they appeared to have lost all control of the game. The numbers nine and ten batsmen, Stephen Rajasingham and Amarpal Gillar staged resurgence for their team. They at first played themselves in and once they were settled, they attacked the bowling with such ferocity that many balls were hit for sixes in the surrounding bushes. The USA skipper Steven Taylor switched his bowlers from one end to the other. He changed bowlers frequently, but nothing seemed to work, employing eight bowlers in all. To compound the situation, the USA fieldsmen put down two catches during an eight-wicket partnership, which yielded 68 runs. The Canada inning ended at 168 for 8 wickets with Stephen Rajasingham 26 not out and Amarpal Gillar 37 not out. The USA had let Canada off the hook.

For the USA, Krishneal Goel was very economical in the eight overs he bowled capturing two wickets for 20 runs. Trevis Ross got one for 30 in his 8 overs and Vikram Valluri was the only other wicket-taker with one for 21. At one stage, one would have thought that Canada had wanted to run themselves out of the game as four batsmen were caught out of their ground trying to score.

The USA commenced their inning disastrously. In the second over of the inning, opener Arsh Buch was caught behind flashing at a short-pitched ball outside the off-stump and with the score at 2 runs.

United States bowlers.

Skipper Steven Taylor walked out to the middle and in his cavalier style of batting was soon battering the bowlers all around the ground. Just when it seemed that he had settled in, he fanned at a ball wide of the off stump and skied a simple catch to point. He was out for 29 and with the USA score on 43. Vikram Valluri (12), the other opener, was the next to go, via the run out route. From here on the USA was giving up a wicket for an average of every ten runs scored. From 61 for 3 the USA slumped to 100 for 7. New Yorker Amarnauth Persaud scored 17. He was unfortunate to be caught off a hook shot, which was heading over the fence until the fieldsman snagged the ball with a well-timed leap. Roshan Varadarajan staged a one-man revival of his own in the latter part of the inning and was the last man out for a well-made 43 runs. USA was bowled out for 155 runs, 33 runs short of their target.

For Canada all-rounder Vikram Valluri claimed 3 wickets for 12 runs in 8 overs. Vidura Ratnayake returned figures of 2 for 41 in 7 overs, Tru Manoosingh 2 for 40 in 7.2 overs. Ahmed Shayan (1 for 14) and Jeevan Sidhu (1 for 18) were the other wicket takers.

Each team in the tournament has played two games. Each has won one game. USA defeated Bermuda, while Bermuda steam rolled over Canada, and Canada took the honors from the USA. The remainder of the schedule for this tournament is as follows: Thursday, August 20 - USA vs. Bermuda; Friday, August 21 - Bermuda vs. Canada; Saturday, August 22 - USA vs. Canada. Play starts at 10:00 AM each day. Team USA will be going all out to avenge the loss suffered at the hands of Team Canada. Folks, come out and watch the cricket stars of tomorrow in action at the Erskine Cricket Ground at Exit 15 on the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn, NY.
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