Americas Championship - Day Four
The 82nd match between the USA and Canada, a fixture that goes back to 1844, saw a surprise win for the Americans yesterday that all but secured their second Americas Championship.
Quite rightly given the top billing on the turf ground at the Broward County Stadium, this oldest of international sporting contests saw the USA win the toss and elect to bat. Their innings got off to the worst possible start as they lost the big scoring Sushil Nadkarni with just three runs on the board, bowled by Umar Bhatti. Bhatti then trapped star player Lennox Cush lbw with the very next delivery.
The USA were soon reduced to 88/6 and it was looking like we would see an easy Canadian victory over a team ranked 13 places below them on the CricketEurope one-day rankings. But a fine knock of 84 from Aditya Thyagarajan saw the USA recover to post 201/8 from their 50 overs.
That should still have been an easy run chase for the ODI status team, but the American bowlers were in fine form. Only Sandeep Jyoti got a start, scoring 40 before he became one of five wickets for Orlando Baker. The USA bowled tightly and Canada scored only 120 before they were bowled out in the 45th over of their innings, the hosts winning by 81 runs.
The USA remain unbeaten, and whilst both Bermuda and Canada can still mathematically catch them up, it is unlikely that they will as it requires a USA loss to the Cayman Islands, and a big win in tomorrow's Bermuda v Canada match. The USA also have a far superior net run rate due to their 305 run win over Suriname on the first day, making them even more likely to win their first tournament since the 2002 Americas Championship in Argentina.
In the other matches of the day, Bermuda beat Argentina by 146 runs after scoring 341/4 thanks to Glenn Blakeney's unbeaten 118 - he put on 139 for the fifth wicket with David Hemp. At Brian Piccolo Park Suriname made their highest score - 103 against the Cayman Islands in which Michael Wight took 5/7, but still lost by 8 wickets.
Today's final round of matches will see the USA look to make 100% certain of their title by beating the Cayman Islands. Argentina and Suriname will play off to avoid finishing last and getting relegated to Division Two, whilst Bermuda and Canada will play each other in a match that will not be given ODI status as usual due to the Broward County Stadium not receiving its approval early enough.