ICC Americas Media Release
On the first day of action in the ICC Americas WCL Division 2 Championship taking place in Paramaribo, Suriname, the host nation failed in an exciting run-chase to overcome a tidy Panama side, while strong pre-tournament favourites Bahamas hammered the Turks & Caicos Islands.
Playing on the impressive new Owru Kul oval, Suriname won the toss and looked to have made the best of the decision by reducing Panama to 26 for 3 after deciding to bowl first. However they reckoned without man of the match Irfan Tarajia, who put up stubborn resistance while mixing caution and aggression, to register the first century of the tournament. Tarajia made 102 off 147 balls, including 7 fours and 7 sixes.
The only other meaningful contribution came from Jatin Amir, who made 27 (39 balls, 1 four, 2 sixes) and shared in a crucial fifth wicket stand of 69 with Tarajia before departing in the 32nd over with the score on 140. Tarajia was eventually the eighth wicket to fall, but had steered Panama to a more than respectable total of 251 for 9 in their 50 overs, especially on a ground with a heavy outfield after overnight rain.
Suriname would later rue a dismal performance in the field, dropping at least 6 catches and bowling 40 wides. Carlos Baker was the pick of the Surinames bowlers, with 3 for 47 in 8 overs.
Suriname made a steady start, and had taken the score to 102 for 1 in the 25th over, before disaster struck as they lost four wickets in quick succession and were suddenly 116 for 5. Opener Deoraj Sewanan had contributed 53 in 78 balls, including 5 fours.
The pendulum swung again as skipper Sanjai Meghoe and Troy Dudnauth put Suriname back in the game with a sixth wicket partnership of 57, and a tense finish was on the cards. However with the run out of Meghoe for 29 (29 balls, 2 fours), followed by Dudnauth for 35 (55 balls, 2 fours, 1 six) shortly afterwards, the host nation could not sustain their challenge, and were eventually all out for 220 in the 46th over, and 31 runs short.
Best of the Panama bowlers were Mahmud Bhana, 2 for 50 in 10 overs, and Munaf Kachalia, 2 for 26 in 8 overs. The other game of day one saw heavy pre-tournament favourites Bahamas in rampant mood as they raced to a 9 wicket victory over the Turks & Caicos Islands. In a match reduced to a 48 over contest due to a rain-delayed start, the over reduction made little difference as the Bahamas raced to a 80 run target in a mere 7,5 overs.
Turks & Caicos Islands were put in to bat, and were soon in trouble with both openers removed without scoring. Donavan Matthews put up brave resistance to make 29 in 38 balls, with 5 fours, but no other batsman got close to double figures, and they were bowled out for a mere 79 in 22 overs.
Lee Melville was the pick of the Bahamian bowlers, with 3 for 25 in 8 overs, while Roderick Mitchell, 2 for 35, and Andrew Ford, 2 for 15, also bowled well.
With one eye on approaching rain clouds, and the other perhaps on possible future net run rate equations, Bahamas blasted their way to victory in only 7,5 overs, led by Howard Roye with 22 off just 5 balls. Young Marc Taylor weighed in with a stylish 26 off 19 balls, with 5 fours.