Trinidad and Tobago's women's cricket team beat Canada's women by 7 wickets on the opening day of the ICC (International Cricket Council) Americas Regional Tournament on Monday (August 20). Bermuda marched to an expected victory over Argentina by 143 runs. However, Argentina did well in making a total of 132 runs in its first overseas excursion. The teams encountered a stiff east-west wind at Maple Leaf Cricket Club, and for some players it was a rare appearance on a grass wicket. Canada made

The aim of the tournament, and the preceding training sessions organized by the ICC, is to foster the development of the game on a more global basis. The hope is that players and teams progress as this week unfolds. Further round-robin games on Tuesday and Thursday (10.30 am starts). Trinidad plays a select Americas Development XI on Friday and remaining players play as Rest of Americas ‘A' v B'. Thursday's Canada-Bermuda game is pivotal for the host country. Bermuda won a series 2-1 in Victoria last September to advance in qualification for the next Women's World Cup. Canada is keen for a win over the Bermudians.

Canada v Trinidad & Tobago

Canada was put in to bat by Trinidad. Progress was steady rather than spectacular, and the coaches hope to see players in future matches keeping the scoreboard moving by scoring the vital 1's and 2's. Minimizing ‘dot balls' (ones where no run is scored) is key in limited overs. Thanks to two innings of 34 runs, by top order batsperson Kim Coulter and Jeanna White in the lower order, Canada reached 165 runs for the loss of 7 wickets in 40 overs.

Trinidad's innings saw a steady stream of runs after the loss of an early wicket. Amanda Cudjoe, batting at number three, was the main destroyer of the Canadian attack, although several wides aided the visitors cause. Key breakthroughs were not achieved, and the later bowlers were not able to restrict the run flow. Trinidad reached a winning 167 runs for the loss of just 3 wickets in the 32nd over.

The Canadian side is a mix of players from British Columbia and Ontario, with Tony Cordle, a highly experienced player with Glamorgan on the County Championship circuit back in England and Wales, acting as coach. It can be tough going for the coaches at this level as they attempt to push players towards a greater understanding of sticking to the basics of the game. It is relatively easy to tell someone to play down the line of the ball when batting, or to bowl a tight line towards the off-stump that restricts opponents run scoring or to field and catch to a satisfactory level. To see it implemented is another matter!

And this applies not just in women's cricket. Leading coaches at the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies were preaching similar messages. If people brought up in a country or region with a major cricketing culture have trouble implementing the basics from time to time, just imagine the situation for players with little cricket experience or culture.

Bermuda v Argentina

Bermuda was expected to beat the emerging Argentina women in this encounter, and posted a win. Runs flowed from the opening overs as opening bats Linda Mienzer and Wendy Woodley scored 30 runs and 23 runs respectively. Reuna Richardson played the dominant innings of the game falling 4 runs short of a century. Catalina Grenoli took a creditable 3 wickets for 40 runs in 8 overs for Argentina.

The early batting struggled for the South Americans, with Terry Lynn Paynter making early inroads en-route to a final 5 wickets for 27 runs. Delfina Canton top-scored with 36 runs and Georgina Retamales helped with a creditable 23 runs. Argentina was eventually all out for 132 runs at the end of the 29th over.

Words fail regarding a protracted discussion that lead to play ceasing in this match and the covers being put in place during a few spots of rain. Play continued without a thought of interruption in the Canada-Trinidad encounter. The decision to play or not play rests with the specific umpires, and people opinions can clearly differ. How do players gain international developmental experience while the pitch is covered?

I'll be back at the ground tomorrow, but if there are only two designated groundstaff to take off the overnight pitch coverings, I can guarantee I will not be waiting for the ground gates to open so I can help the process again. My feelings are for the ground-staff, the players, most of the umpires and the almost extinct coaching community.