Brave Peru fail to halt Chile title quest
ICC Americas Media Release
A battling Peruvian effort gave the unbeaten Chile side a number of nervous moments, but ultimately a whirlwind 19-ball half-century from man of the match Tim Messner proved to be the decisive difference between the two South American nations.
After having being comprehensively beaten by the Turks & Caicos Islands in the first encounter earlier in the week, Peru were not expected to give a confident Chilean outfit too many problems. That theory came undone as early as the fourth ball of the Chilean innings, when Wollocombe, century maker and man of the match the previous day, was out without scoring. Things got progressively worse for Chile in the face of a persistent Peruvian bowling attack, and at 68 for 6 after 31 overs, the match, and quite possibly the Division 3 title, looked to be in real danger.
First rescue act came from Kamran Zeb, who decided the best form of defence was attack, and struck 4 fours and 2 sixes in a 36 ball innings of 41. But when he departed, the score was better but still not enough at 126 for 8, with only 8 overs remaining. Enter Tim Messner. Six 4's and five 6's later, Messner had made a blistering 57 off only 24 balls, with his half-century coming up in a mere 19 balls. Together with a resolute Tony Beasley, who made 16, the pair added 75 runs in 6 overs, and the rescue act was well on its way to being complete.
Chile were eventually all out for 203 in 48,3 overs, and had given themselves a useful target to defend. For Peru, pick of the bowlers was Gary Sargent with 3 for 52 off 9,3 overs, while Javed Iqbal weighed in with an outstanding spell of 2 for 21 in 10 overs.
In reply, Peru's run-chase could not have gotten off to a more disastrous start, as they were rapidly reduced to 5 for 4. Opening bowlers Messner and Beasley continued where they had left off with the bat by taking 2 wickets apiece.
However, Peru were not going down without a fight, and slowly but surely they clawed their way back into the game. First Prabhu Sathyamoorthy and Lakmal added 45 for the 5th wicket, and then a fine aggressive partnership of 62 between Lakmal and Ahmed Nadeem took Peru ever closer, with overs in hand.
Chile though had other ideas, and with the departures of Lakmal for 49, off 71 balls with 4 fours and 3 sixes, and Nadeem, for 53 off 41 balls, including 6 fours and 3 sixes, the lower order was pressured out one by one and Peru were eventually all out for 149, thus victory to Chile by 54 runs, and a hat-trick of wins.
On Friday Chile face traditional rivals Brasil, and will be aiming to clinch their first ever ICC title with the Americas Division 3 Championship.
Standing in their way though are a Brasilian team who showed vast improvement from their first match defeat, even though they were well beaten by the Turks & Caicos by 5 wickets, thus keeping their mathematical title hopes alive.
Brasil chose to bat first, and struggled throughout against a penetrative Turks & Caicos attack, once again spearhearded by veteran captain Ralph Doughty. The ageless seam bowler took his second four wicket haul of the tournament, 4 for 31 in 10 fine overs. Of the Brasilian batsmen, only all-rounder Rubabal Islam threatened to dominate the bowling, and he made an attractive 48 off only 42 balls, with 9 sparkling fours. Deodat Randolph chipped in with 27 (21 balls, 4 fours) as Brasil were all out for 169 in 39 overs.
For the Caribbean side, Doughty received fine support from Kirton Sutton, 2 for 14 in 7 overs, and Oliver Williams, 2 for 35 in 5 overs.
Any thoughts Brasil might have had were blasted away by Turks & Caicos opener Calvin Chase, who struck four consecutive fours in the first over. Chase ended with a dazzling 81, scored off only 49 balls, his fifty coming up in a mere 24 balls. However, the Brasilians stuck to their task admirably, and at 136 for 4, they might have sensed a way back in. But Leroy Tull with 38 (47 balls, 5 fours) and Doughty, with a quickfire 22 (13 balls, 2 sixes) made sure of a Turks & Caicos victory for 5 wickets with 27,1 overs to spare.
Ravindra Chanchlani was again the pick of the Brasilian bowlers, picking up 2 for 26.
All the teams will now be making their plans for the final two days of competition on Friday and Saturday. Only a Chile loss to Brasil on Friday will give Belize or the Turks & Caicos Islands the chance of snatching the title on net run rate in their head to head clash on Saturday.