No surprises on opening day
Bermuda, Canada and the USA have all won their opening matches of the 2010 Americas Championship in Bermuda with some ease, beating the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and Argentina respectively.
The most comprehensive win was defending champions USA's win over Argentina. Batting first for the USA, Sushil Nadkarni and Orlando Baker put on 49 for the first wicket before Nadkarni was out for 24. Baker then settled into a role as the dominant scorer as three more wickets fell, the batsmen scoring just nine between them, as the USA reached 91-4.
Baker was then joined by Aditya Thyagarajan, who helped took the game away from Argentina with a fantastic innings. He put on 213 for the fifth wicket with Baker, scoring 159 from 119 balls in the process before he was dismissed. Baker went on to reach his century, scoring 113, before he was out, and the USA reached 347-6 from their 50 overs.
It was a tough target for Argentina, and they made little effort to chase it, instead attempting to bat out their 50 overs. They achieved this, scoring 228-9 from their 50 overs, losing by 119 runs. Cricket Argentina CEO Grant Dugmore was the top scorer with 64. The USA shared their bowling around, using nine bowlers in all. Adrian Gordon was the pick of them with 4-38.
The USA's oldest rivals Canada played the Cayman Islands, putting them in to bat after winning the toss. In a match reduced to 41 overs, the Caymans got off to a poor start, losing their first wicket in the first over with no score on the board, and were soon reduced to 27-4, Khurram Chohan bowling particularly well first up with 3-18 from his 8 overs.
Captain Saheed Mohamed led a recovery of sorts with an innings of 51, and the score had moved on to 94-6 when he was out. His team reached 132-9 from their 41 overs.
That target was never going to be enough for a team that counts the big hitting Rizwan Cheema amongst its number, and it was stand-in captain Cheema who won the game for Canada, smashing 79 from 57 balls to lead his team to an eight wicket win in just 20.1 overs.
Hosts Bermuda's match against the Bahamas followed a similar pattern. The Bahamas, promoted from division two, collapsed to 19-5 in the first ten overs, before Narendra Ekanayake led a recovery with an unbeaten 52 to take his team to a total of 128. Kevin Tucker was the pick of the Bermuda bowlers with 3-9.
Bermuda eased to their target in 28.1 overs to win by seven wickets, Stephen Outerbridge top scoring with 36.
The highlight of today's matches is certainly the latest encounter between the two oldest rivals in international sport, Canada and the USA. It could also be the deciding match in the tournament. The other matches see the hosts take on Argentina and the Bahamas play the Cayman Islands.