‘We can’t make the same mistake twice’ – Allen
USA allrounder Timroy Allen says the experience gained while playing for the 2016 Caribbean Premier League champion Jamaica Tallawahs was a key factor in his match-winning half-century that took USA to a one-wicket win over Italy on Sunday at WCL Division Four in Los Angeles. In particular, Allen credited the Tallawahs coaching staff led by Paul Nixon for fine tuning parts of his game and building his confidence levels after having spent nearly three years away from the US national team leading into Division Four.
“The batting stance I’m using right now is from the CPL coaches,” Allen told ESPNcricinfo after making 53 off 27 balls in Sunday’s victory. “A lot of that stuff comes from there. Hitting the ball, striking the ball, being able to stay confident in yourself and back your ability to clear the boundary at any given time. I tell myself that at any given time I could get 10 runs out of one over and consistently and repeatedly I keep telling myself that. So I don’t put any pressure, just get the ones and the twos.”
The performance was near deja vu for Allen against Italy, who three years ago made 51 not out off 26 balls in a 74-run win at 2013 WCL Division Three in Bermuda. On Sunday, he arrived at the end of the 26th over with USA 107 for 5 chasing Italy’s 41-over total of 185 for 5. Despite the twin setbacks of Akeem Dodson and Timil Patel to set USA back to 131 for 7 by the 31st over, Allen counterattacked and struck two fours and two sixes from the 32nd to the 34th over as USA scored 36 runs in that three over stretch to reduce their target to 17 off the final 42 balls.
“The wickets are great to bat on,” Allen said. “I think once we stick there, you’re gonna get a couple good balls here and there. The guys at this level, they’re not gonna be that consistent where they’re gonna bowl six good balls so you just have to be patient and wait for the bad ball and that’s all I did today.
“We were in a crucial position but at some point one of the senior guys are gonna have to step up. Yesterday, Taylor stepped up front and gave us a great start. Today unfortunately we didn’t get that good of a start but we come down in the middle order and were able to capitalize. A win is a win, I’m just a little bit disappointed I wasn’t able to finish the game so I’ll just have to go back and make sure the next time I’m in the situation again, I put my head down and finish it for us.”
Allen said he feels the USA batting lineup is capable of posting huge totals on the small boundaries being used for the tournament at Woodley Park, with Wright Cricket Field the smallest featuring 55-yard boundaries straight down the ground. But more consistency and patience are needed in terms of waiting for the right deliveries to pounce on to keep fielding sides under pressure.
“We’re capable of making 400 runs in this tournament so if we’re chasing 180-200 runs, we shouldn’t have any problem with it,” Allen said. “The situation we were put in today, the wicket was really good. It’s just the top order needs to come and help us out a little bit. Yesterday, [against Bermuda] they came big for us so we’re not gonna put them under too much pressure. The guys have a lot of talent. They know exactly what we need to do. We need to come here and win but for us to win we need to come here and make runs. That’s it.”
USA’s fielding has also been poor in spite of the victories. The tournament hosts had six missed chances against Italy a day after dropping two chances against Bermuda. USA has also conceded a tournament high 45 wides, including another 16 against Italy. No other team has bowled more than 18 wides in their first two games. Allen says they have been fortunate these errors haven’t cost them a victory yet but says they run the risk of doing so if they don’t sharpen focus for their next encounter on Tuesday against Oman.
“I think we’re gonna have to go back to the drawing table with our fielding in our whole approach,” Allen said. “Again, yes we’re not playing cricket all year round so we’re gonna make mistakes. It’s just for us to admit our mistakes and go back to the drawing table and capitalize, just make sure we don’t make the same mistake twice. You make it today and we got away with it today but that doesn’t mean you’re gonna get away with it the next time you do it.”
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo