By Orville Hall
It would be the USA’s final game of the tournament, and Skipper Orlando Baker and his men, after winning all of the previous 7 games, wanted to finish with a flurry; and they did just that, as the home team brushed aside the Cayman Islands to win the eighth and final game by 77 runs.
The USA won the toss, and, once again, the explosive Steven Taylor was on a rampage, as he collected his second century in as many matches. The well-built opener blasting his way to an unbeaten 127 off 62 balls, which include 14 fours and 6 sixes. Taylor and Akeem Dodson opened the innings, and with the score on 21, Taylor was put down by Alessandro Morris at fine leg.
The pair took the score to 113, when Dodson sent a sitter to Abali Hoilet at midwicket, but he couldn’t hold on. Dodson was finally out for 46 and the pair had added 155 for the first wicket to register the highest partnership of the tournament. Baker joined Taylor, and they added another 4 runs before Taylor got his second chance on 99, when Ramon Sealy put down a sharp chance at point.
Taylor took a single off the next ball to bring up his second century of the tournament. Taylor and Baker added 43 runs for the second wicket to take the USA to 198 for 1, and the home team had reached its highest total of the tournament. Chasing 199 for victory, the Cayman Islands openers, Ramon Sealy and Zachary McLaughlin, got off to a good start, adding 60 runs before Sealy was caught by Barrington Bartley off the bowling of Danial Ahmed for 27.
Some sloppy out cricket by the USA saw McLaughlin getting three chances before he was finally out for a topscore of 35, and the score was 74 for 2. The Cayman Islands added another 47 runs before their innings ended on 121 for 6, and the USA had won its 8th Game by 77 runs.
Ryan Corns was the USA’s most successful bowler, picking up 3 wickets for 12 runs. Steven Taylor finished with a tournament-leading 413 runs and two centuries. The next highest score for the USA was Akeem Dodson with 173 runs, Orlando Baker finished with 159 runs, and Nicholas Stanford got 111. The leading wicket-taker for the USA was Ryan Corns with 10 wickets, Danial Ahmed picked 9 wickets, and Abhimanyu Rajp took 7 wickets.
The USA, having won the tournament, now goes on to the ICC T20 Qualifier in the United Arab Emirates in November. A finish in the top six in the UAE will gain the USA a berth in the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh in 2014.