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Canada, Argentina and USA qualify for Americas Championship group play-off
Trinidad & Tobago Development XI win ICC Americas T20 Tournament

May 21st, 2009
On a day of storm clouds and lightning-enforced interruptions, the unheralded Argentina side claimed their second big scalp of the tournament by beating the fancied and experienced USA in a thrilling mathematical finish in Lauderhill, Florida.

The young South American team, with an average age of 21, showed real maturity in testing situations to overcome the powerful USA by 9 wickets on the Duckworth-Lewis method, with two balls to spare, and confirmed their sensational first day victory over Bermuda was no fluke.

Trinidad & Tobago Development XI squad.

Earlier in the day, the final round of T20 group matches saw Canada ease past Bermuda by 7 wickets, and the Trinidad & Tobago Development XI beat the USA by 6 wickets, at the Central Broward Regional Park grounds.

Bermuda were put in to bat and were soon in trouble, stumbling to 17 for 4, before fighting back to post a score of 70 for 7 in their 20 overs, largely thanks to an innings of 27 off 48 balls from Maryellen Jackson. Pick of the Canadian bowlers was seamer Deshanee Yahathugoda, who took 2 for 7 in her 4 overs.

In reply, Canada started disastrously, losing their first two wickets for a mere 6 runs. But an assured third wicket partnership of 47 between Sheryl Tittlemeir (21 off 39 balls with 2 fours) and Monali Patel (16 not out off 28 balls) took the Canadians to the brink of victory, eventually claimed by reaching the target of 71 in 14,3 overs for the loss of 3 wickets.

The T&T Development XI’s decision to field first in their clash with the USA proved to be a good decision as the US batters struggled to score against tight bowling and tigerish fielding, and could only muster 58 for 5 in their 20 overs. Shirley Ann Bonaparte batted bravely to top-score with 24 off 46 balls, with two fours, while for the young Caribbean outfit, Sharda Saroop shone with the ball, taking 2 for 8 in 4 overs.

The USA made a meaningful fight of it by reducing the T&T Development XI to 28 for 4, but their total was always going to be on the small side to defend, and Saroop completed a fine all-round performance, making 19 not out, 20 balls, 1 four, as the Development XI reached 59 for 4 in 13,2 overs.

This meant that Canada would take on the Trinidad & Tobago Development XI in the Americas T20 tournament final, with USA and clashing with Argentina for third place, and Bermuda vs Brazil completing the final round of T20 matches.

The afternoon was ultimately dominated by rain and the sound of wailing sirens and interruptions to play due to lightning warnings in the area. The play-off between Bermuda and Brazil was abandoned without a ball being bowled, and both other games were resolved by Duckworth-Lewis method.

In the T20 final, the talented Trinidad & Tobago Development XI clinched the T20 title by virtue of a 23 run victory by the D/L method. Put in to bat, T&T made a strong 111 for 2 in their 20 overs, led by a fine 39 not out, off 31 balls, with 2 fours and a six, with all the batters getting into double figures.

In reply, Canada were 31 for 2 off 10,4 overs when the game was stopped due to rain and the threat of lightning, and with no further play possible, the result was predictably determined for a comfortable and deserved T&T victory.

The thriller was played out by tournament surprise package Argentina and the hosts USA on an adjacent field. The USA elected to bat first, and compiled a respectable 90 for 6 in their 20 overs. Doris Francis top-scored with 32 in 41 balls, with 3 fours. For Argentina, Lucia Culley took 2 for 11, and Sofia Retamales 2 for 18.

At the first lightning-threat interruption, Argentina were 34 for 1 after 8,4 overs, and this, by D/L method, meant that if there was no further play, the game was tied. The game was continued for two balls only before the second interruption, and again the situation was tied.

With time ticking away, there was eventually only enough time for 2 final overs, with Argentina needing 12 runs from them to secure a second historic victory in as many days. Victory was clinched with 2 balls to spare, as Argentina passed their final target of 48 by reaching 51 for 1 in 9,4 overs.

The second phase of the event now gets underway, with Canada, Argentina and USA all looking to fill one of the two berths on offer to advance closer down the Women’s World Cup pathway, as well as to determine the 2009 Americas champion.

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