On the first day of the ICC Americas U15 Championship in Bermuda the three obvious title contenders put in powerful performances to win their opening fixtures with relative ease. Defending champions USA and hosts Bermuda both registered convincing 8 wicket wins, over the Cayman Islands and the Bermuda Development XI respectively, while Canada stormed past tournament debutants Bahamas with a 156 run victory.

The United States began the defence of their title by first restricting a plucky Cayman Islands outfit to 157 for 9 in their allotted 40 overs, then racing to their victory target in a mere 14,5 overs for the loss of only 2 wickets.

Electing to bat first at the picturesque oceanfront St.David's CC ground, the Cayman Islands made sure the USA bowled their full quota of overs, largely thanks to 29 from opener Rohan Alvaranga (off 49 balls, 4 fours, 1 six) and 25 from Anthony Dawes (57 balls, 2 fours).

In fact the Cayman Islands had been in a solid position at 83 for 1 after 15 overs, but a dramatic middle-order slump saw them rocked back to 95 for 6 before stubborn lower order resistance saw them post a respectable 157. Pick of the USA bowlers was Krishneal Kumar Goel, who took 3 for 19 in 8 excellent overs.

In reply the USA opening pair of Abhijit Joshi and Vikram Valluri got the innings off to an explosive start with an opening stand of 95 in only 10 overs. Player of the match Joshi made an outstanding 77, off only 53 balls, including 8 fours and 4 sixes. Valluri contributed 27 in 21 balls, with 5 fours.

Coming in at the fall of the first wicket, a rampant undefeated 37 from Steven Taylor, off 21 balls with 3 fours and 3 sixes ensured the USA reached their target in 14,5 overs, with 162 for 2 and an 8 wicket victory.

At Somerset CC first-time participants Bahamas made a promising start, bowling out the powerful Canadian side for 185 in 35,2 overs, with player of the match Matthew Jesubatham claiming 5 for 52 in his 8 overs. In fact, at 105 for 5 at one point, it needed some useful contributions from the Canadian lower order to get them up to their eventual total, with too many batters perhaps guilty of getting in and not continuing on to bigger individual contributions.

Tristan Ali, with 30 off 42 balls, including 3 fours, was the top-scorer, with four other batsmen getting into the twenties. However, it all proved to be far too much for the Bahamas batting against a potent Canadian bowling line-up, and they could only muster a total of 29 all out in 21,5 overs. Although no batsman reached double figures, mention should be made of Bahamian number three Asmeid Allie, who held out for 9 not out off 45 deliveries.

Siddharth Mookerji, with 3 for 3 in 5 overs, and Nitish Kumar, 3 for 6 in 6 overs, were the undoubted picks of the Canadian bowlers, while Michael Walton weighed in with 2 for 5 in 5 overs, as Canada won by 156 runs.

In an all-Bermudan contest at the Devonshire Recreation ground, the first-choice Bermuda team comfortably eased past the Bermuda Development XI by 8 wickets. Bermuda needed only 10,4 overs to make 85 for 2 and reach their victory target after the Development XI had earlier been bowled out for 84 in 26,5 overs.

Top scorer for the Development XI was Isaih Lewis, who made 24 off 24 balls, with 4 fours and a six, while best of the Bermudan bowlers were skipper Greg Maybury, 2 for 20 in 5 overs, Tre Govia, 2 for 26 in 6 overs, and Keishon Wilson, 2 for 5 in 2,5 overs.

Player of the match Damian Collins made sure there were no hiccoughs, as he made 28 in 14 balls, with 2 fours and 3 sixes, while Jeloni Albuoy and Kamau Leverock both made 14.

Day two sees Bermuda meet the Cayman Islands at the National Sports Centre, USA face the Bahamas at Somerset CC, and Canada take on the Bermuda Development XI at Bailey's Bay.