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. Following their loss to USA in the first match, Bermuda shook up their batting order, promoting Kamau Leverock and Dean Minors as openers after they were asked to bat in a match reduced to 40 overs a side. The move 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 opening partnership of 72 was broken by Mohammad Nadeem in the 13th over. Once Leverock fell, Bermuda added 101 runs to their score in 27.2 overs and were kept in check by legspinner Khawar Ali‘s 4 for 25, which limited the to a score of 173 for 9.
The Oman chase got off to a shaky start as both openers fell within the first three overs to make it 15 for 2. Midway through the chase, Oman lost two wickets in the space of three balls – Saturday’s Man-of-the-Match Swapnil Khadye was run out by Leverock’s relay throw for 24 and Ajay Lalcheta fell for a golden duck in the next over – and found themselves at 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, too, were unbeaten after recording a six-wicket win over Jersey in another match reduced to 40 overs after morning rain. Denmark sent Jersey in to bat at the toss and bowled them out for 158 in 36.4 overs. Offspinner Bashir Shah wiped out Jersey’s top order, taking four of the first five wickets, to finish with his second successive four-for.
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 through the rest of the innings. Man-of-the-Match Saif Ahmad struck an unbeaten 67 and added 83 for the third wicket with Hamid Shah to take their side to within 17 runs of victory. Ben Kynman broken the stand and then added 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 will resume on Tuesday after a rest day on Monday. USA and Oman will clash at Wright Cricket Field while Denmark will take on winless Bermuda at Wong Cricket Field. Italy and Jersey will square off at Severn Cricket Field with both sides seeking their first win, while the loser will be in danger of relegation.
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo