Americas Championship - Day Three
Day three of the Americas Championship in Fort Lauderdale, Florida saw wins for Canada over Suriname, the USA over Bermuda and the Cayman Islands over Argentina, meaning that the two long time rivals are level on top going into the rest day, adding extra spice to tomorrow's USA v Canada match.
The USA played Bermuda at Brian Piccolo Park, the first time the teams have met on US soil since 1972. Bermuda were on top in the early overs of the USA innings after choosing to field first, reducing the hosts to 116/5 before a 119 run sixth wicket partnership between Aditya Thyagarajan and Rashad Marshall recovered the innings.
Thyagarajan scored 42, whilst Marshall scored an impressive 71 from 59 balls. Joslyn Pitcher was the pick of the Bermuda bowlers, taking 3/45 as the USA reached 254/7 from their 50 overs.
Bermuda lost Christopher Douglas and Rodney Trott early in their innings, but Lionel Cann and Stephen Outerbridge took a liking to Shahid Munir, taking 38 runs off his five overs. Cann scored 78, retiring hurt halfway through his innings, and Outerbridge scored 41.
No other Bermuda batsman could get a start though, with the USA bowlers bowling tightly. Imran Awan took 3/16 from his eight overs, whilst Lennox Cush and Sudesh Dhaniram (brother of Canada's Sunil) also took two wickets at less than three an over as Bermuda were restricted to 168/9, losing by 86 runs.
On the artificial wicket at the Broward County Stadium, Suriname were once again overwhelmed by much stronger opponents. Canada batted first and scored 269/9 from their 50 overs, Asif Mulla top scoring with 100. Eion Katchay also batted well from number nine, scoring a quick-fire 48. Deoraj Sewanan took an admirable 3/19 from four overs for Suriname.
Suriname had no answer to the Canadian bowlers, especially Umar Bhatti, who tore through their batting order, taking 6/15. Mohamed Bhoelan was the only Suriname player to make double figures as they were bowled out for 63, Canada winning by 206 runs.
On the stadium's turf ground, Argentina played the Cayman Islands. The Caymans chose to bat first, and whilst only two batsmen made double figures, they both made decent scores, with Steve Gordon scoring 59 and Pearson Best making 109 from 107 balls - the pair put on 167 for the fourth wicket.
Gary Savage and Esteban Nino both took four wickets for Argentina as the Caymans were bowled out for 230 in their 47th over. Argentina were missing player-coach Hamish Barton through injury, and they showed how much the were relying on the former New Zealand Under-19 international as they struggled to make runs.
They barely rose above two runs an over for the first half of their innings, and all the Caymans' bowlers bowled economically, Kevin Bazil taking 5/13. His twin brother also took two wickets as Argentina were bowled out for 122, losing by 108 runs.
The highlight of tomorrow's matches is certainly the USA v Canada match. The rivalry is of course the oldest in international sport, and tomorrow's encounter is the 82nd time they have played each other. It is just the second to be played in Florida - the last was when John Davison took 17 wickets in the 2004 Intercontinental Cup match.
That both teams are level on three wins each adds another angle to the match - it could well decide the tournament. The other matches tomorrow are Argentina against Bermuda and the Cayman Islands against Suriname.