USA Crowned Americas Cricket Champions
In a rain-interrupted match at Brian Piccolo Park, the USA clinched the 2008 ICC Americas Division 1 championship by virtue of a 87 run Duckworth-Lewis victory over the Cayman Islands, and thus finished their campaign unbeaten.
After being put in to bat, a masterful opening stand of 194 between Sushil Nadkarni and Carl Wright put the USA firmly in the driving seat. Wright went on to make a brilliant 112, off 105 balls, with 7 fours and 2 sixes, while the prolific Nadkarni made 84, from 103 balls with 10 fours. For the Cayman Islands with the ball, Kevon Bazil bowled well in difficult conditions to take 4 for 75 in 10 overs.
The opening stand paved the way for the USA to reach 289 for 6 in 49 overs, and leaving the Cayman Islands a tall order to stop their march to the championship. As it turned out, rain interruptions curtailed the response, and the match was eventually called to a halt with the Cayman Islands struggling somewhat on 65 for 4 in the 24th over. Having batted past the 20 over mark, the match was thus a result match, and the USA were declared the winners.
At the Central Broward Regional Park stadium in Lauderhill, the eagerly awaited clash between Bermuda and Canada was eventually abandoned late in the day with no result possible. Intermittent showers and lashing winds made any chance of completing sufficient overs impossible.
Having batted first, Canada had posted 190 for 6 in their allotted 42 overs, but Bermuda were only to bat for 9 overs, having reached 53 for 1
Only one match was completed, as Argentina proved too strong for an improving and resilient Suriname outfit. Asked to bat first, Suriname posted a more than respectable 190 all out in 49 overs. Top scorer was Charles Douglas with an excellent 53, off 74 balls, with 5 fours and a six, while all-rounder Arun Gokoel batted well for his 30, scored off 62 balls with 3 fours. Both Douglas (22) and Gokoel (19) are bright talents for the future of Surinamese cricket, as is the youngest player in the event, Giovani Gokoel (16), who was Suriname’s best bowler on the day taking 2 for 39 in 10 overs when Argentina batted.
For Argentina Diego Lord yet again proved his quality by taking 3 for 26 in 10 overs to round off an outstanding week with the ball. Esteban Nino weighed in with 2 for 41 in 10 overs, while Lucas Paterlini bowled well in taking 2 for 32 in 9 overs.
Argentina welcomed back player-coach Hamish Barton back at the top of the order, and together with Pablo Ferguson, their 99 run opening stand settled any nerves Argentina might have had about their run-chase. Barton made 68 in 88 balls with 8 fours, and Ferguson scored 43 off 91 balls with 3 fours. Argentina comfortably reached their target in the 46th over in scoring 191 for 4.
Overall an excellent event, filled with plenty of high-quality cricket and many twists and turns that the sport of cricket offers on the field. The venue in Lauderhill and Broward County in Florida was outstanding, and should become an excellent and regular host for cricket events in the future.
Steve Massiah, USA captain, was delighted at his teams victory and performance: “I am very honored to have captained one of if not the best USA team that ever walked on a cricket field. We dominated some games, and fought hard for every ball from sometimes difficult situations against supposedly superior opposition in other games. It’s vital now that we strive to continue playing at the highest level. Cricket in the USA is on the up, and there is no doubt that we have the potential to be a world class team and cricketing nation in the future.”
Team manager, Imran Khan, was equally overjoyed with the championship title: “The whole process of selecting, training and moulding this team was a huge success, and winning the championship proved that we hit on the right formula. The results are there for all to see. What we have accomplished in a few short weeks is a reflection of the direction USA cricket is taking. Together with coach Clayton Lambert, who did an outstanding job, our goal was to create a solid unit on and off the field, and we did as reflected by our results. This is a great day for USA cricket, and if we keep moving forward positively in a united manner, I’m sure is the first of many more successes to come.”
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