USA, Oman, Denmark stay unbeaten 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 in a match that was reduced to 41 overs a side due to rain. Timroy Allen was named Man of the Match for his vital 53 off 27 balls at No. 7, which rescued USA after they were 107 for 5 in their chase of 186.

Allen struck four fours and two sixes and teamed with Elmore Hutchinson to add 46 for the eighth wicket – USA’s best partnership of the match – before falling in the 35th over with nine still needed to win. Allen was dismissed by left-arm seamer Luis di Giglio. Hutchinson was also caught behind off di Giglio two overs later to force last man Danial Ahmed into the fray with two runs still required.

The 37th over ended with two dot balls and 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 and a frantic single clinched victory for the hosts. It was a moment of redemption for Ahmed after he conceded 19 runs in his only over of the day.

Italy elected to bat first on an overcast morning and rain then caused a 30-minute delay to the start of play and curtailed the match to 46 vers a side. Allen had bowled only one delivery before the rain returned and play was delayed for 45 minutes, causing the overs to be cut down to 41.

USA’s pace bowlers struggled to grip the wet ball but USA added to their troubles by missing six chances in the field. Italy’s openers Manpreet Singh and Supun Tharanga got a reprieve each when they were on 5 and 1 respectively. Tharanga’s was the easier of the two chances, spilled at second slip by Alex Amsterdam off Hutchinson in the sixth over. Both batsmen went on to make half-centuries and put together a 118-run opening stand.

The partnership showed no signs of slowing down but was broken due to a blunder by the batting pair, 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 at the centre of the pitch. However, Jessy Singh had not yet collected the ball running in from the boundary, let alone relay it in to the 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 rule 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 Amsterdam’s part-time offspin to be caught at midwicket by Allen for 50. Italy struggled to regain momentum as Allen took 1 for 16 bowling five overs of offspin after going wicketless in three overs of medium-pace with the new ball.

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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