Mexico win Central American Championship
The second Central American Championship took place last weekend at the Reforma Athletic Club in Mexico City. Last years winners Belize didn't take part this year and there place was taken by El Salvador, making their international debut.
The first day's play on Friday saw Costa Rica dismissed for 254 one ball short of their 35 overs, Ben Smith's 102 being the backbone of their innings. They then sliced through the El Salvador batting line-up to dismiss them for 81, Herd Rogers and Mickey Peart taking three wickets each. Smith's century would prove to be the only one of the tournament, and was good enough to win him the player of the tournament award.
On Saturday, the game between Mexico and El Salvador was reduced by rain to 30 overs, and when Mexico batted first, they reached 249/9, Tarun Sharma top scoring with 50. R Guardado and F Dellarciprete took three wickets each for El Salvador. Mexico evidently decided that El Salvador had little chance chasing the target and opted to give all of their bowlers a run out, with all but the wicket-keeper bowling three overs. Only F Aribizu showed any resistance with an unbeaten 53 in El Salvador's total of 101/9.
That set up a deciding game between Mexico and Costa Rica on Sunday, and the game looked to be slightly more competitive than the two involving El Salvador when Mexico were bowled out for 165, with Kevin Bhuller top scoring with 40. But the Costa Rican batsmen showed no resistance and were bowled out for 96, with Kaushal Ahuja taking an impressive 3/11 from from his five overs to help secure the championship for the Mexicans.
Despite playing in this tournament, Costa Rica and Mexico (the two ICC members in the tournament) will not be taking part in Division Three of the Americas Championship in Argentina in February.