Lennox Cush during his superb knock.

On a morning where the temperature was in the 50′s USA Team won the toss against Bahrain and decided to bat. The rhododendrons might not yet be blooming in Nepal but an early springtime had come for the USA batting in their previous game, and they hoped to continue the momentum. Carl Wright and Orlando Baker opened the batting, and like most of the USA batsmen were helmet-less, making a statement about Bahrain’s bowlers that challenged the bowling attack, which came up wanting.

Wright off drove beautifully,and flicked over midon for 4s. Baker hooked over square leg and ondrove for boundaries too. The bowling was often overpitched or short and Wright and Baker punished it to bring up 52 off 9 overs

Qamar Sayeed and Adil Sayeed slowed the scoring rate before Wright skied a full one to point and got caught, USA 64/1 off 13.1 overs Captaiin Steve Massiah strolled to the wicket to pick up where he left off in the Fiji game (72). However he soon lost Baker for 34, caught and bowled and USA was 100 for 2 off 25 overs.

The in-form and dynamic Lennox Cush resumed the USA onslaught with a few of his favorite things – glorious shots all around the wicket ! A cut for 4, then a straight drive over the bowler’s head brought up his 50 in 44 balls, with 4 fours and 2 sixes ! The 150 came up, for the loss of 2 wickets in 31 overs. Bob’s Seger’s “Kathmandu” probably ringing in his ears, Massiah played the solid captain’s innings whilst the mountains were ablaze with the sound of music from Cush’s bat.

USA took the powerplay at the 41st over, and the 200 came up, USA 202/2 off 42 overs. Shortly after though Cush went foor a bg hit off a flighted one from Zaheer and was bowled for a brilliant 91. He and Massiah had put on 140. Massiah’s own responsible 50 came up in 84 balls. Most importantly for Bahrain was the fact that they contained the USA batsmen in the powerplay and USA was 223/3 after 45 overs when they had looked set to post another score over 300.

Hitting out Massiah offdrove for 6, then was caught at midwicket for 67. USA finished with 273 for 6 off 50 overs. Considering Bahrain only made 98 against Singapore the day before this total looked like Mt Everest to Bahrain’s batsmen. But it wasn’t over ’til Julie Andrews sang.

Shahzad Ahmed and Imran Sajjad opened for Bahrain whilst Kevin Darlington and Timroy Allen did the bowling honors for USA. Sajjad immediately took matters into his own hands by cracking the bowlers to the boundaries. Imran Awan was brought on and recieved the same tratment. Bahrain’s 50 came with a 6 over longon in the 8th over. Awan then got Ahmed lbw and Bahrain was 55/1.

Sajjid continued his onslaught and Bahrain’s 100 came in the 18th over for the loss of 1 wicket. Cush soon put his stamp on th Man of the Match award by ending Sajjid’s Himalayan effort, bowled for 75 off 77 balls, 8 fours and 2 sixes. A dropped catch gave MAjeed a reprieve before Massiah took a brilliant catch off Baker to dismiss the dangerous-looking Majeed for 47.Bahrain 162/4 off 33.1 overs. Still Bahrain was in a good position to get the USA total of 273.

Adil Haniff, 46 (4 fours),continued Bahrain’s effort until a number of astute bowling changes by Massiah, aided perhaps by hasty strokes by Bahrain’s lower order ended Bahrain’s fighting effort at 254 off 48.4 overs, giving USA victory by 19 runs. Four USA bowlers, Allen, Cush, Baker and Darlington took 2 wickets each, though Darlington had a Gucci quality, being expensive.

Many Nepalese schoolkids watched the game; something cricket around the world should emulate, letting school kids fill the stands at no charge, and planting the seeds of the game’s future fans.

United States of America 1st innings
Wright+ c Ashraf Yaqoob b Qamar Saeed 22
Baker c & b Qamar Saeed 34
Massiah* c Qamar Saeed b Tahir Dar 67
Cush b Zafar Zaheer 91
Marshall st Shahzad Ahmed b Zafar Zaheer 16
Thyagarajan c Halal Abbasi b Zafar Zaheer 0
Dhaniram not out 3
Allen not out 12
Extras (b 4, lb 6, w 16, nb 2, pen ) 28
Total 273
Extras (b 4, lb 6, w 16, nb 2, pen )

Yaser Sadeq 5.0 0 31 0
Halal Abbasi 6.0 1 37 0
Qamar Saeed 8.0 0 36 2
Adil Hanif 5.0 0 18 0
Tahir Dar 10.0 1 59 1
Zafar Zaheer 10.0 1 48 3
Imran Sajjad 6.0 0 34 0
Fall of wickets: 1 – 64 (Wright, 13.1), 2 – 68 (Baker, 15.3), 3 – 208 (Cush, 42.5), 4 – 240 (Marshall, 46.1), 5 – 244 (Thyagarajan, 46.4), 6 – 251 (Massiah, 47.2)

Bahrain Innings
Shahzad Ahmed+ lbw Imran Awan 16
Imran Sajjad b Cush 75
Abdul Majeed c Massiah b Baker 47
Ashraf Yaqoob lbw Baker 6
Adil Hanif c †Wright b Darlington 46
Azeem ul Haq lbw Dhaniram 9
Tahir Dar b Cush 10
Qamar Saeed c Massiah b Allen 4
Yaser Sadeq* b Allen 12
Zafar Zaheer not out 2
Halal Abbasi b Darlington 8
Extras (b 4, lb 7, w 8, nb 0, pen ) 19
Total 254

Darlington 7.4 0 51 2
Allen 6.0 0 30 2
Imran Awan 3.0 0 23 1
Dhaniram 10.0 1 34 1
Verma 2.0 0 17 0
Cush 10.0 1 44 2
Baker 10.0 0 44 2
Fall of wickets: 1 – 55 (Shahzad Ahmed, 8.4), 2 – 131 (Imran Sajjad, 22.6), 3 – 145 (Ashraf Yaqoob, 27.5), 4 – 162 (Abdul Majeed, 33.1), 5 – 204 (Azeem ul Haq, 39.5), 6 – 227 (Adil Hanif, 44.3), 7 – 230 (Tahir Dar, 45.2), 8 – 244 (Yaser Sadeq, 47.1), 9 – 245 (Qamar Saeed, 47.3), 10 – 254 (Halal Abbasi, 48.4)

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