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USA 1 And 1 In Warm-up Matches vs. UAE

By John L. Aaron
Feb. 8th, 2010
The USA drew even with host nation United Arab Emirates (UAE) in warm-up matches played in the UAE and prior to the commencement of the ICC’s 2010 World Twenty20 Qualifying Tournament.

Having lost their opening round warm-up match to the UAE two days earlier by five wickets, Team USA stormed back in a nail-biter to defeat the UAE today by one wicket. It was a morale booster for the American team, as their players seek to adjust to the playing conditions in the UAE, and the team having arrived in the UAE in segments some 24 hours earlier, following minor visa requirements involving some of its players.

The warm-up matches were not originally scheduled, but were granted by the ICC through the persistence of USA Cricket’s CEO Don Lockerbie. In the first match the USA appeared to have some serious issues adjusting to the playing conditions and the long and arduous flight from New York. Having established a valuable 103 for the loss of one wicket, the USA collapsed to 112 for 7 in the space of four overs, and ultimately a total of only 135. However, Sushil Nadkarni's 59 from 43 deliveries was a personal booster for him, as he's recovering from an ankle injury and was doubtful for the tour up to three weeks ago. The hard-hitting Carl Wright contributed 24, while skipper Steve Massiah and Sudesh Dhaniram, from whom a lot is expected, failed with the bats on first ball deliveries.

In the bowling department Timroy Allen’s three wickets was not good enough to stop the romp by the UAE. Team USA's middle-order collapse was the main reason for the UAE victory. Both teams were added to the tournament, after the event was shifted to the UAE and the USA was gifted a slot at the qualifying event.

Team USA enjoyed its return encounter with the UAE today, resulting in the one wicket victory by the USA, after the latter had won the toss and elected to field, bowling out the UAE for 141 in 19.5 overs. This time the bowlers stepped up, with Lennox Cush 4-0-23-3, Imran Khan 2.5-0-25-3, and Verma and Shuja two wickets apiece for 25 and 26 runs respectively.

Top scorers for the UAE were Saqib Ali, 47 and Arfan Haider, 21. The UAE wickets fell at 27, 32, 34, 78, 111, 118, 121, 124, 137 and 141. Team USA responded with Timroy Allen’s 57 not out (4x6s and 3x4s off 26 balls) and batting at number eight. He was assisted in the victory by contributions from Wright, 22, Cush, 17, and Nadkarni, 12. There were three run-outs in the middle, which only contributed to Team USA's woes from the first warm-up match, where the middle-order also collapsed.

Allen’s eight-wicket heroics demonstrate the dept of the USA's batting, but would only be effective if the other batsmen are on top of their game. The USA wickets fell at 39, 40, 47, 57, 67, 67, 87, 119, and 119 before Allen stood his ground and established respect for Team USA, helping his team reach142, to record the one-wicket victory in 19.2 overs.

The Team USA warm-up win was accomplished at the same ground where the USA will face Scotland on Wednesday in the tournament's opening round.

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