USA, Oman, Denmark stay perfect at Division Four

Timroy Allen struck 53 off 27 balls to lift USA towards victory over Italy © Peter Della Penna

USA preserved their perfect start to WCL Division Four with a tense one-wicket win over Italy at Wong Cricket Field. Timroy Allen was named Man of the Match for rescuing USA with 53 off 27 balls coming in at No. 7 with the score 107 for 5 chasing Italy’s first innings total of 185 for 5 in a match reduced to 41 overs.

Allen struck four fours and two sixes in a vital knock to propel USA towards the target. He teamed with Elmore Hutchinson to add 46 for the eighth wicket, USA’s best partnership of the match, before falling with nine still needed to win to left-arm seamer Luis di Giglio. Hutchinson was also caught behind off di Giglion two overs later in the 37th to force last man Danial Ahmed into the fray with two runs still required.

Two dots followed to end the over and No. 10 Jessy Singh took a single to third man off the first ball of the 38th from Gian Meade to level the scores. Ahmed then guided the next ball to short third man as Jessy called him through for a frantic single to clinch victory for the hosts. It was a moment of sweet redemption for Ahmed after he gave up 19 runs in his only over of the day.

Italy elected to bat first on an overcast morning and rain fell shortly before play was due to start, causing a 30-minute delay and a reduction to 46 overs. Allen took the new ball and sent down one delivery before the rain returned and play was delayed a further 45 minutes, causing the overs to be reduced again down to 41.

USA’s pace bowlers struggled to grip the wet ball but what chances that were created could not be held onto as missed six chances in all in the field, the first two coming when openers Manpreet Singh and Supun Tharanga were on 5 and 1 respectively. Tharanga’s was the easier of the two, spilled at second slip by Amsterdam off Hutchinson in the sixth over. Both batsmen went on to make half-centuries as part of a 118-run opening stand.

The partnership showed no signs of slowing down but was broken due to a major mental blunder committed by the batting pair, one which arguably cost Italy the match. Manpreet flicked a single off Timil Patel to deep midwicket to bring up his fifty in the 26th over and in their excitement to celebrate the milestone, both batsmen left their crease to meet in the center of the wicket though, Jessy Singh had yet to even field the ball coming in from the boundary, let alone relay it in to wicketkeeper Akeem Dodson. The bails were taken off by Dodson and USA appealed. After a lengthy discussion to confirm the ball was still live, umpire Iftikhar Ali raised his finger to give Tharanga out for 52.

It was the catalyst USA needed to slow down Italy’s progress and three balls later Manpreet top edged a pull off Alex Amsterdam’s part-time off spin to be caught at midwicket by Allen for 52. Italy struggled to reestablish momentum as Allen took 1 for 16 bowling five overs of offspin after going wicketless in three overs bowling medium pace with the new ball. However, it was his later batting heroics that cemented him the match honours.

Oman survived a scare from Bermuda before prevailing by four wickets at Severn Cricket Field. Bermuda shook up their batting order from the opening day loss to USA, promoting Kamau Leverock and Dean Minors to open after they were sent in by Oman in a match reduced to 40 overs. It had the desired effect as Leverock left Oman shellshocked by racing to 30 off 18 balls in the first five overs to take the score to 40 for 0.

Leverock eventually made 47 off 37 balls before the stand was broken at 72 in the 13th by Mohammad Nadeem. Legspinner Khawar Ali‘s 4 for 25 helped keep Bermuda in check for the rest of the innings as they added just 101 in the last 27.2 overs after Leverock fell to end on 173 for 9.

The Oman chase got off to a shaky start as both openers fell inside the first three overs to make it 15 for 2. Two more wickets fell in the space of three balls at the midway point of the innings as Saturday’s Man of the Match Swapnil Khadye was runout by Leverock’s relay to Minors for 24 and captain Ajay Lalcheta fell for a golden duck two balls into the 21st to Greg Maybury to make it 70 for 5.

Jatinder Singh held his nerve to score an unbeaten 68 off 52. His unbeaten 55-run seventh-wicket stand with Amir Ali helped get Oman over the line with six overs to spare.

Denmark joined USA and Oman at 2-0 heading into the first off day after recording a six-wicket win over Jersey in another match reduced to 40 overs after morning rain. Denmark sent Jersey in at the toss and bowled them out for 158 in 36.4 overs as offspinner Bashir Shah claimed four wickets for the second day in a row. He took four of the first five wickets, wiping out the top order for Jersey.

Anthony Hawkins-Kay top-scored with 35 at No. 6 for Jersey and dismissed Freddie Klokker for 9 at the start of Denmark’s chase but Denmark cruised for the rest of the way. Man of the Match Saif Ahmad struck an unbeaten 67 and added 83 for the third wicket with Hamid Shah to take their side within 17 of victory. Ben Kynman broken the stand and then added captain Michael Pedersen to his haul of 3 for 45 but lacked support from the rest of the attack as Denmark achieved victory with 7.5 overs to spare.

The tournament resumes on Tuesday after a rest day on Monday as USA and Oman clash in a battle of unbeatens at Wright Cricket Field. Denmark will take on winless Bermuda at Wong Cricket Field in a bid to remain undefeated. Italy and Jersey square off at Severn Cricket Field with both sides seeking their first win while the loser will be in danger of relegation.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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