In probably the hardest fought match of the three match series between Argentina U15 and Chile U15, the hosts did enough to clinch a 54 run victory in the third and final contest between the two teams.
At the Belgrano Athletic Club, after being put in to bat by Chile, the Argentina U15 team did not quite fire on all cylinders but still proved too strong for a continuously improving Chilean team. Some changes to their batting line-up did not seem to affect the Argentines as they powered into a strong position at 82 for 2 after 15 overs, well set for a sizeable total. However some inspired bowling, especially by captain and player of the match Hans Cerpa, and tidy fielding, saw the hosts all out for 131 in 27,3 overs.
Cerpa finished with fine figures of 4 for 25 in 7,3 overs, while brother Gerald chipped in with 2 for 28 off 4 overs. For Argentina, opener Patricio Cores top-scored with 32, with 2 fours, while Pedro Bisio hit one four in his innings of 25. Federico Martin and Gonzalo Husain weighed in with 12 apiece.
Chile set out not to lose early wickets, and after 19 overs were already well behind the asking rate at 29 for 2. Skipper Hans Cerpa, who made 12, with 2 fours, tried to up the tempo, but wickets fell regularly thanks more to sharp fielding, including two run outs, and catching, rather than accurate bowling.
With the game out of reach, the last wicket pair of Jhoel Riveros (11) and Raimundo Eyzaguirre (9) added 22 for the biggest partnership of the innings, but Chile were eventually all out for 77 in 37.4 overs, and Argentina had secured the victory, the third in succession, by 54 runs.
Mateo Arrighi, later named Player of the Series, was again amongst the best bowlers, taking 2 for 12 in 7.4 overs, while off-spinner Patricio Cores took 2 for 4 in 3 overs.
Argentina U15 131 all out (27.3 overs) Patricio Cores 32; Pedro Bisio 25; Federico Martin 12;
Gonzalo Husain 12; Hans Cerpa 7.3-0-25-4; Gerald Cerpa 4-0-28-2
Chile U15 77 all out (37.4 overs) Hans Cerpa 12
Argentina U15 won by 54 runs.
Player of the Match: Hans Cerpa (Chile U15)
Thus a wonderful week of South American junior international cricket ended with Argentina U15 claiming the ICC Americas U15 South Region trophy and title, with, it must be said, a group of very talented players that look to have a huge future for Argentine cricket.
Chile, although coming away winless, have to be credited with working hard at all areas of their game over the course of the event, and showing huge improvement on a daily basis. In their very first ICC age group tournament, they clearly showed the benefits of all the hard work being done through development in Chile, with a team almost entirely made up of Chilean born players.
Certainly an event that showed the fine potential of junior cricket in South America, and credit must go to ICC Americas and everyone involved in making this event happen.
In closing the series, Argentine Cricket Association President, Ricardo Lord, along with the CEO's of both Associations, Matthew Callaghan (Chile) and Grant Dugmore (Argentina) handed out individual awards as well as the tournament trophy.