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Travis Ross was the hero of the day, taking 4 for 18 to help US win against Bermuda.
ICC Under-15 Tournament
Travis Ross Bowls USA To Victory Over Bermuda

By Sam Sooppersaud

August 17th, 2009 | Gallery
The USA squeezed passed Bermuda in a nail-biting finish when the two met in this first of two encounters at the Gateway Cricket Stadium, Belt Parkway, Brooklyn New York. The game took on a near identical character as fortunes shifted back and forth between the sides. The result was kind of anticlimactic as the USA did nearly everything in their power to hand Bermuda victory, by putting down seven possible catches and by their sloppy fielding. But in the end Bermuda was done in by a fine piece of spin bowling by Travis Ross who was brought on when the game was almost loss and with all the frontline bowlers having been tried without being able to seize the advantage away from the Bermudians. In fact Ross was able to bowl only 3.3 overs before the strong Bermuda batting succumbed to the wily right hand spinner.

It was a gorgeous day for cricket. The temperature was in the upper eighties, closer to ninety, but the cool breeze blowing in from the adjacent Jamaica Bay made it a comfortable weather for the cricketers and the spectators alike. The sun was shinning in all its glory but the invigorating breeze alleviated the heat factor. The three white tents told the story that a fun activity was taking place. Cooler-full of thirst-quenching beverages were in abundance. The players and spectators dined on fried chicken, chowmein, fried rice, salad, and many other savory and mouth-watering delicacies.

Numerous officials from the United States of America Association (USACA) were on hand along with their wives and members of the local cricketing fraternity. With the cooperation of all these very hardworking folks saw to it that the day was a total success. Members of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) were in place and with all working together all logistics were planned and executed with precision and success. The LOC included Clifford Hinds, Lloyd Dixon, Hugh Pitter, Rudy Persaud, Carl Patrick, Sew Shivnarain, Lester Hooper, Zamin Amin, Wesley King, Bhola Ramsundar, Morris Cole, and Derek Kallicharran. Mohammed Khan (Zaffie) was, as they say, "toe to toe" with the others helpers, assisting them in doing whatever was asked of him. LOC Chairman Krish Prasad along with his beautiful Dolly, accompanied by a few other young ladies, whose names I was not able to ascertain, were seen in the "food tent" getting up the plates of food and serving the guest players and spectators. Great job, guys!

Now to the cricket. This present tournament is an ICC affair and the contenders for the honors are USA, Bermuda, and 2008 champions, Canada. Games will be played each day this week and culminating on Saturday, August 21, 2009. The rest of the schedule is as follows: Tuesday, August 18 - Canada vs Bermuda, Wednesday, August 19 - USA vs Canada, Thursday, August 20 - Bermuda vs USA, Friday, August 21 - Canada vs Bermuda, and Saturday, August, 22 - USA vs Canada. The teams, as you may realize, will play each other twice.

In today's fixture, as stated above, the USA took on Bermuda. After a brief opening ceremony the two captains walked out to the middle accompanied by senior umpire Steve Kalloo. The toss was won by Bermuda. They deferred taking first knock, instead asking their opponents to do so. Vikram Valliri and Arsh Buch opened the batting for the USA. They scored steadily and reached the fifty partnership in the eight over with Valliri cover driving Kamel Easton through the covers for four; on 54 in 8 overs the USA run rate was 6.75 and with all their wickets in hand. But with the score on 63 Valliri came down the track for a drive, was beaten and was stumped by wicketkeeper off the bowling of Joshua Gilbert. He scored a quick fire 38. Next man in was skipper Steven Taylor and he played the proverbial "captain's innings". He mercilessly put willow to ball with a relenting attack on the bowlers. Buch on the other end kept scoring singles to get Taylor on strike. He spared none of the bowlers. They all came in for a share of the bellowing. At 108 for 1 and in the nineteenth over USA lost their second wicket, that of Buch caught off the bowling of Tre Mandens for a patient 16.

Taylor continued to tear the bowling to threads hitting everything short or over-pitched to the boundary. At the other end wickets were tumbling. In fact no other batsman from number four down was able to reach double figures. When it appeared that he was well on his way to a well deserved century, Taylor played an injudicious slog shot at a ball wide of the off stump and skied it to short extra cover and was out, caught, for an exciting 86 runs. At one point of the innings the USA was 143 for 4 with 15 overs of batting remaining. They were on course for a projected score of 240 to 245 runs. The Bermuda bowlers especially Joshua Gilbert saw to it that this projected score was not attained as they dismissed the remaining six wickets for the addition of 57 runs. The innings folded in the 37th over with the USA total at exactly 200 runs.

Joshua Gilbert was the pick of the Bermudian bowlers with figures of 4 wickets for 23 runs in seven overs. Tre Mandens and Kaman Leverock got 2 wickets each for 28 and 22 runs respectively. Jonte Smith bore the brunt of the USA's onslaught giving away 49 runs for 1 wicket in the 5 overs he bowled.

During the break the players were treated to a delicious meal, washed down with their favorite cold beverage, after which Bermuda commenced their inning needing 201 runs for victory. The opening batsmen, Jonte Smith and Shaquille James started off cautiously to build a partnership. Once they were settled in runs came freely. Smith especially was severe on anything that was loosely bowled. He entertained the crowd with some lofty hitting and well timed cover drives. James, at the other end was scoring his runs with more sedate shots, taking one's and two's. The 50 partnership was reached in the 12th over. With the score on 92 the aggressive and entertaining Jonte James was out taken in the deep off the bowling of Pranav Pradhan for a well made 70 runs. Kamran Leverock joined James and they moved the score to 136 before Bermuda loss their second wicket that of Leverock who made a quick 25 runs. Seven runs later James was out for a steady 31 runs.

Like the USA innings, after the first three batsmen had scored double figures, wickets tumbled in succession. Only Shea Pitcher (17) and Tre Mandens (18) of the remaining batsmen were able to reach double figures. But they did give cause for concern to the USA side. The sixth wicket fell with the score on 177, Bermuda needing 24 runs for victory, 12 overs remaining and 4 wickets in hand. The match at this stage was getting interesting. Players, team officials, and spectators were sweating it out, each rooting for their team. Now it is 184 for 7, adrenalin is flowing freely. More sweat, more nail-biting. More nervousness. 17 for victory, 3 wickets in hand, 10 overs to go. Now 193 for 8. The batsmen hit a four and a two. 6 runs added. A certain win for Bermuda! The Bermuda score is now 199 runs, 2 runs to win with 2 wickets in hand, and lots of overs remaining. A problem for team USA. How do you solve this problem?

Spinner Travis Ross had the answer. He cleaned bowled the next two batsmen thereby giving his team the win by 1 run. A sigh of relief for the USA backers and dismay for their Bermudian counterparts.

Yes, it was a win for the USA side. Had they come up on the shorter side, they would have had only themselves to blame. They put down at least seven catches and their ground fielding definitely needs some improvement. Numerous times during the Bermuda inning when things weren't going the USA team's way, their body language suggested frustration or despair. They appeared less vibrant than when things were in their favor. But, to their credit, toward the end, they did put the squeeze on the opponents and were able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. They are a good fighting unit, but the team management should work with them of the mental part of their game. Congratulations to team USA on the victory.

Bowling for the USA Travis Ross literally snatched victory from defeat with bowling figures of 3.3 overs, 22 runs, 4 wickets. He was ably supported by Krishneal Goel (2 for 40 in 8 overs), and Pranan Pradhan (2 for 38 in 8 overs.). Orvindo Singh (1 for 33) and Rishi Patel (1 for 23) were the other wicket takers.

The youngsters provided the spectators with an entertaining game of cricket, but toward the end of the game they gave cause for concern to the older folks. What with their weaker hearts and all!

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