By Orville Hall
The USA steamrolled the Bahamas in game one today, before turning their fury on Bermuda to unleash another round of explosive batting in the penultimate round of the ICC T20 tournament, which is being played in Lauderhill, Florida. Opener Steven Taylor made history when he scored the first-ever century in the ICC Americas T20 tournament.
In the first game against the Bahamas, USA batted first, with Steven Taylor and Timothy Surujbally opening the innings. Taylor was the first to go for 13. Japen Patel, promoted to number three, joined Surujbally and the pair added a mere 5 runs before Surujbally was run out for 22. Orlando Baker and Patel took the score to 108 before Patel was next to go for 32. Stanford didn’t last very long, and when Baker was caught at deep square leg for 32, the score was 135 for 5. Dodson fell for 26 in the 18th over with the score on 152 for 6, but Barrington Bartley and Adil Bhatti added another 35 runs in 17 balls to take the score to a series-high total of 187 for 6.
This was always going to be a challenging total for the Bahamas, but Marc Taylor, 30, and Julio Jemison, 52 not out, showed some resistance, adding 62 for the first wicket. After this partnership, it was all downhill for the Bahamas, as they loss their next 7 wickets for 53 runs to finish on 115 for 8. Danial Ahmed, Barrington Bartley and Steven Taylor picked up two wickets each. The USA won by 72 runs.
Then it was on to game two against Bermuda, and it would be the Steven Taylor show. Taylor, who got a life at 88, smashed 5 fours and 6 sixes on his way to 101. Except for a few nervous moments in the nineties, he hammered the ball to all parts of the field.
The Strongly-built opener made his intentions known when he smashed the first ball of Malachi Jones’ first over the square leg boundary for six, and followed it up with another powerful six off the third ball, as he and Akeem Dodson took the score to 68 before Dodson was caught on the long off boundary for a well-played 23.
The score was 68 for 1. Nicholas Stanford was LBW for 18 and Orlando baker got 16 not out, and the USA finished on 184 for 4. Set a target of 185 to win, Bermuda’s opening pair of Lionel Cann and Dion Stovell took the score to 27 for 1, before Cann was out for 10. Stovell went on to get 26 and Janerio ,who was lucky to be let off with his individual score on 11, when Japen Patel floored a sitter in the outfield, top scored with 27.
It was not a very costly chance for the USA, as wickets fell at regular intervals, and when the fading light forced the players off the field for the end of play, Bermuda was teetering on 113 for 8 at the end of 17th over. After the USA’s score was adjusted via the Duckworth/Lewis system to 161, the USA won by 48 runs. The USA has won every game of the tournament to date. Yesterday was much-needed rest day for the home team, and they try to make it a “clean sweep” when they take on the Cayman Islands in the final game today.