By Orville Hall | Scorecard Below
If it were being built as the Battle of the Titans yesterday at Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida, it surely lived up to that name. With two unbeaten teams – the USA and Bermuda – both vying for the top spot.
However, in the end, it was the USA who would have the last laugh, as they defeated the visitors by 3 wickets. Bermuda won the toss and batted first, and lost their first wicket at 24, when Captain Stephen Outerbridge skipped down the track to loft Danial Ahmad out of the grounds only to present a simple stumping chance to wicketkeeper Dodson. Janerio Tucker and Dion Stovell added another 29 runs, before Stovall was bowled by Baker for 35. Corns picked up his first wicket when he had David Hemp caught by Japen Patel for 26. Lionel Cann soon followed, and Bermuda was in trouble on 83 for 4.
Rodney Trott and Malachi Jones followed in quick succession, and when Tucker was brilliantly caught on the boundary by Ryan Corns off the bowling of Ahmed for a top score of 36, Bermuda had loss their 7th wicket for 122 runs. Jekon Edness was run out off the last ball of the innings for 2 and Bermuda finished on 133 for 8. Danial Ahmed was the pick of the USA bowlers with 3 wickets for 26 runs.
With 134 required for victory, it would be up to the in-form Steven Taylor, and regular opening partner Timothy Surujbally to set the platform for the USA. Surujbally started off with two fours in the first over, and followed up with two more in the second before he was adjudged LBW in the third over for 21. The USA was on 27 for 1. Akeem Dodson joined Taylor, but would only last one ball, as he was bowled for a duck.
On 27 for 2, and the USA in a bit of trouble, Orlando Baker and Taylor would be looking to rebuild and get USA closer to the finishing line. The pair added 24 runs, before Taylor, trying to get on with the game, skipped down the track and lofted a catch to Samuel Robinson on the long on boundary. He was gone for 14. Baker took a single, but was run out the very next ball by a smart piece of fielding at the backward point position. A direct hit caught him just short of his ground and he was on his way for 12.
On 53 for 4, and still needing another 81 runs to surpass Bermuda, all eyes would be on Ryan Corns, as he joined Nicholas Stanford and the pair set about the rebuilding process, but wickets began to fall frequently, Corns went for 15, Stanford was bowled by Jones for a well-played 36, and when Patel was caught and bowled by Robinson for 18, the USA needed only 3 more runs for victory. Barrington Bartley would seal the victory with a boundary off the first ball of the penultimate over, as the USA bench erupted, and the home team had won by 3 wickets.
With Round One of the tournament completed, the USA will play Suriname today and will take on the Bahamas and Bermuda on Friday. The tournament wraps up on Sunday, with the USA playing the Cayman Islands in the final game at Brian Piccolo Park.