By John L. Aaron
Winning convincingly is sometimes not enough, but winning against all odds, well that’s a whole different story, because winning convincingly convinces others that you are winners.
The USA Women’s Cricket Team convinced their neighboring cricket rivals Canada, that the US women’s cricket team is a winner. Not once, but twice in as many days.
Yesterday, the USA women’s cricket team convincingly defeated their counterparts Canada, by a whopping nine-wicket margin, and following on their 112-run victory the previous day. Tomorrow, the USA goes for the sweep in the three-match 50-overs series, before facing off against Canada in two T20 contests on Saturday. The T20 matches have no bearing on the global qualifying process, and are only intended to give the ladies much needed exposure in the format, and at the international level.
The USA squad with a mix of experience and youth were considered the underdogs and were given a less that 20% chance by some learned pundits, of winning one of the three 50-overs matches against Canada, and a chance to move to the next round of the global qualifiers scheduled for November 2011 in Bangladesh, before the 2013 Women’s Cricket World Cup in India.
Supporting the pundit’s reckoning was the fact that Canada has had a well established women’s cricket program since 1994 and had a team that was well-prepared, not only by coaches such as Canada’s national women’s coach George Codrington, Andy Pick, who coached the Canadian men, England’s Under-19 squad and the England Women’s team, along with that nation’s women’s trainer Allison Dawson and Pubudu Dassanayake, the current Canadian men’s national coach who helped prepare the team during the winter. The Canadian women’s team has also had the benefit of touring the Caribbean in preparation for this week’s tournament.
Unfortunately, Canada was without its regular skipper Joanne White and pace bowler Meara Crawford; however, the squad was boosted by the addition of former Sri Lankan women’s captain, Suthershini Sivanatham, and Mahwish Khan, a former Pakistani national player.
The third and final qualifying match is now a mute point, although it is expected that Canada will try to redeem its pride by going all out on Friday at the Maple Leaf Cricket Club ground in King City, Ontario.
On Tuesday, Team USA led by Durga Das took the offer and demolished the Canadians who had won the toss and elected to have the USA take first strike. The USA posted 225 for 6 in their allotted 50-oves, mainly behind the bats of player/coach Indomatie Goordial-John, 83 off of 151 deliveries and skipper Das’ well-made 53 off 121 balls, a second-wicket partnership that produced 92 runs.
In reply, Canada was shellacked by pace-bowler Shondell Ward (5-20), who clinically removed the top four Canadian batsmen for a mere 12 runs, essentially taking the wind out of the sails of any possible Canadian counter attack. Sixteen year-old Mikaela Turik contributed 40 (4x4s), while displaying tremendous maturity. She was unfortunately run out just as she was beginning to really assert herself in the middle. Canada would record four run-outs, as a sharp fielding USA squad pounced on every opportunity offered them, to make inroads into the match and the tournament.
The USA would go on to defeat the Canadians by a whopping 112 run margin, establishing the first lethal blow in the three-match series. The USA’s player/coach Indomatie Goordial-John was awarded the Player of the Match award for her well-made 83 and capturing bowling figures of 8.2-5-7-1, in the victory.
Wednesday, Canada again won the toss, this time electing to occupy the crease and posting a meager 135 all out in 48.4 overs. Top scorers were Mikaela Turik, 32 and Helen Gaffney, 27 not out, batting at number ten. Bowling for the USA, medium pacer Doris Francis grabbed 3 for 16, while Tuesday’s bowling hero Shondell Ward snatched 2 for 23.
In response Team USA paced themselves after losing skipper Durga Das for 3 with the score at 19. Opener Monique Mathee was determined to redeem herself following her early dismissal the previous day for five runs, she went on to score 70 not out, while paired with Indomatie Goordial-John, 36 not out, as the USA easily cruised to 136 for 1 in 39 overs and the 9-wicket victory, earni9ng them a spot in the continuing global qualifier in Bangladesh next November. Monique Mathee was awarded the Player of the Match for her brilliant knock which included seven boundaries and her three dismissals behind the stumps.
Today is a rest day, with Team USA visiting Niagara Falls, before facing Canada in the final 50-over match tomorrow and the two T20 matches on Saturday.
Congratulations to Team USA on a convincing effort in the tournament thus far.Go Team USA!! Bangladesh, here we come!!