|Scorecard:||United States of America v Bermuda|
|Player:||J Pitcher, SD Outerbridge, LOB Cann, Imran Awan, A Thyagarajan, RA Marshall, CD Wright|
DateLine: 29th November 2008
At Piccolo Park hosts USA turned in a superb performance to outclass defending champions Bermuda in a comprehensive 86 run victory, and remain on course for a second Americas championship title. After being put in to bat, the USA were not quite as fluent in the early stages of their innings, and even looked to be in some trouble at 116 for 5 after 31 overs. However a great middle and late batting order rally, led by a destructive innings by Rashad Marshall, 71 in 59 balls with 3 fours and 6 sixes, propelled the USA to a more than respectable 254 for 7 in their 50 overs.
Marshall received valuable support from Aditya Thyagarajan, 42 off 56 balls with one four, and together the pair added 119 for the sixth wicket. Carl Wright (33 from 56 balls, 4 fours) and Lennox Cush (31 from 48 balls, 3 fours) were the other main contributors. Pick of the Bermudan bowlers was Joslyn Pitcher with 3 for 45 in 9 overs, while Rodney Trott took 2 for 50 in 8 overs.
After a hesitant start, Bermuda looked to be getting on track for a serious run-chase thanks to a 83 run third wicket partnership between Lionel Cann and Stephen Outerbridge. Outerbridge made 41 from 79 balls with 2 fours, but the key dismissal was that of the in-form Cann for 78, from 94 balls with 9 fours, that marked the beginning of the end for Bermuda.
With the fall of the third wicket in the 26th over, Bermuda were not far off the pace, but the USA bowling attack piled on the pressure, especially with the introduction of Sudesh Dhaniram in the 28th over, who went on to bowl unchanged for 10 overs, taking 2 for 18. With Cush taking 2 for 25 in 10 overs, and Imran Awan doing the damage at the start and coming back to remove Cann, finishing with 3 for 16 off 8 overs, the job had been done, and Bermuda finished on 163 for 9 after 50 overs. In their final 24 overs Bermuda could only manage 59 runs while losing 7 wickets.
After the match, USA team manager Imran Khan was ecstatic with the win: Playing against an ODI side, we came through with great determination, grit and excellence. Our batting order was tested, but came through, and our bowling and fielding exerted tremendous pressure when it counted.
Bermuda coach Gus Logie was naturally disappointed with the result: We did very well in the field for 35 overs, and a combination of inconsistent bowling and good batting from the USA made us pay in the end. We lost our focus and intensity at key moments, and we have to learn to consolidate when we lose wickets.
USA now look forward to the traditional North American clash with Canada on Saturday, knowing that a victory will put them within grasp of the Americas championship title, while Bermuda must make sure of victory over Argentina, and hope for a USA loss against Canada, to remain in the hunt.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2008 International Cricket Council)
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