Hosts USA dominate Bermuda in Division Four opener

Akeem Dodson’s one-handed leaping catch helped USA gain momentum in the field © Peter Della Penna

Legspinner Timil Patel‘s five-wicket haul was followed by a pair of half-centuries from the opening combination of captain Steven Taylor and Fahad Babar as tournament favourites USA romped past Bermuda by eight wickets on Saturday at Severn Cricket Field on the opening day of WCL Division Four in Los Angeles.

Timil took 1 for 18 in his initial four-over spell, then came back in the 43rd over and struck with a double-wicket maiden, reducing Bermuda to 163 for 7. Timil then induced a return catch from tailender Jordan DeSilva in the 47th before Curt Stovell sent a catch to long on to be last man out for 56 in the 49th over as Bermuda were bowled out for 201 after opting to bat first.

Timil’s 5 for 29 covered up for a sloppy display earlier in the innings from the rest of the bowling attack, which conceded 33 extras, 29 of them wides. On three occasions a USA bowler sent one down the leg side that beat wicketkeeper Akeem Dodson to go for five runs and by the 13th over they had already conceded 20 wides.

Medium pacer Jessy Singh helped USA regain focus in the field with an outstanding spell, finishing with 2 for 40 in ten. Jessy continuously produced yorkers, one of which removed Bermuda captain Oliver Pitcher for 30 to break a 55-run second-wicket stand with Tre Manders in the 18th. Four overs later, Singh got Manders to drive at a full and wide ball and the edge was brilliantly caught by a leaping Dodson behind the stumps for 19. Bermuda continued to plug away in the middle though before Timil’s intervention stopped them from launching to a bigger total.

In reply, Taylor and Babar got USA off to a rousing start, racing to 74 for 0 in the Powerplay. Taylor brought up his half-century in 36 balls, slog sweeping a six over square leg off Stovell’s offspin to bring up the landmark in the 10th over. Taylor reserved his harshest treatment for Stovell, striking six of his nine fours off of him including three in the space of five balls in the eighth over. He was eventually caught on the square leg boundary for 56 flicking a full delivery from first-change pacer Cejay Outerbridge.

Babar continued with Ravi Timbawala to add 95 for the second wicket as USA cruised against a Bermuda attack minus their best bowler in left-arm spinner Delray Rawlins, who is missing the first two games of the tournament while training in England with the England U-19 squad. The stand was eventually broken when Timbawala took on Kamau Leverock’s arm from inside the circle at midwicket and a direct hit ended his innings for 41.

Babar saw USA the rest of the way, finishing unbeaten on 70, the fifth time he’s crossed 50 for USA in ten career one-day innings. Timroy Allen, promoted to No. 4 ice the game and boost USA’s net run rate, struck a free hit for six over long-on and then followed it with a four over midwicket to clinch victory for USA with 17.2 overs to spare.

Denmark got off to a strong start in Los Angeles with a 114-run win over Italy at Wright. Aftab Ahmed and Freddie Klokker got Denmark off to a brisk start, adding 44 in six overs after being sent in to bat. Both men were dismissed before the end of the Powerplay though as Charanjeet Singh and Luis di Giglio struck back for Italy to make it 60 for 2 in the 10th.

Hamid Shah and Zameer Khan steadied Denmark with a 55-run stand for the third wicket as Hamid produced a top score of 58. A middle overs spell of 3 for 30 from Carl Sandri swung momentum Italy’s way to make it 140 for 6 in the 38th over. But Hamid crucially teamed up with Yasir Iqbal for a 70-run partnership before both men fell in the final over to Gian Pierro Meade as Denmark ended on 214 for 8.

Former England Test bowler Amjad Khan ripped through Italy’s top order in his opening spell with three wickets as Italy stumbled to 23 for 5 in nine overs and were eventually bowled out for 100. Carl Sandri saved face at No. 7, striking 59 off 37 balls before he was the final wicket to fall as Italy lasted just 21.1 overs. Offspinner Bashir Shah rolled through the Italy tail to claim the best figures for Denmark with 4 for 18.

Amjad Khan helped Denmark rip through Italy’s top order on the way to a 114-run win © Peter Della Penna

Oman avenged defeat in May’s Division Five final with a six-wicket win over Jersey at Wong. Oman’s spin attack stifled Jersey after sending in the Caesareans with the run rate crawling along at three an over to reach 120 for 5 in 40. Jersey advanced to 157 after 46 overs before Anthony Hawkins-Kay and Corey Bisson surged for 46 in the final four overs, including 17 in the final frame, to finish on 203 for 5.

Hawkins-Kay cracked three boundaries in the last over to finish unbeaten on 59 off 40 balls while Bisson ended with 42 not out off 53 balls in a 104-run sixth wicket stand. The left-right finger spin tandem of Zeeshan Maqsood and Amir Ali combined to take 2 for 43 in 17 overs while legspinner Khawar Ali took 2 for 47 in his ten.

Maqsood and Arun Poulose added 55 for the first wicket to start off Oman’s chase before Swapnil Khadye arrived at No. 3 and anchored the rest of the innings, seeing Oman to victory with 79 not out off 117 balls. Khadye added 54 for the third wicket with Zeeshan Siddiqui and then an unbroken fifth wicket stand of 51 with captain Ajay Lalcheta to see Oman across the line with 20 balls to spare.

USA faces Italy at Wong on Sunday while Oman takes on Bermuda at Severn and Denmark plays Jersey at Wright. However, a 50 percent chance of rain is expected beginning at 9 am and continuing until 3 pm, which could cause the day’s play to be abandoned and force the second day’s slate into Monday’s reserve day.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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