Another Cheema blitz, another Canada win
Day four of the Americas Championship ended with Canada almost certain to be winning the title after the final round of group matches tomorrow.
Canada played against the Bahamas yesterday, with Bahamas captain Gregory Taylor choosing to bat after winning the toss. It proved to be the wrong decision as Canada bundled them out for 98, only Narendra Ekanayake getting a start with 31. Hiral Patel was the pick of the Canadian bowlers with 3-15.
That sort of target is no problem when you have Rizwan Cheema in your side, and he almost chased down the target single handedly, smashing 85 from 42 balls. Eighty of those runs were in boundaries (8 fours and 8 sixes) as Canada won by 10 wickets in just 8.5 overs.
Bermuda's unbeaten record was ended by the USA at the National Stadium. Batting first, Bermuda scored 188-9 from their 50 overs, Stephen Outerbridge top scoring with 48. Lennox Cush was the pick of the American bowlers with 4-30.
The backbone of the USA chase was a 113 run partnership for the second wicket between Sushil Nadkarni (57) and Steve Massiah (67). Lennox Cush and Rashard Marshall took them over the line, Marshall hitting the winning runs in fine style with a six to secure a six wicket win.
That ended Bermuda's unbeaten record, and all but assured Canada of the tournament win. Canada's NRR (thanks to Rizwan Cheema) is so good that it will take a big win for Bermuda tomorrow to knock them from their perch. The USA will need an even bigger win against the Caymans if they are to have any chance of catching Canada, assuming Bermuda beat them.
Argentina have often struggled in Americas Division One, with their only win before now coming against Suriname in 2008. That has all changed now as they beat the Cayman Islands yesterday. Batting first, they were reduced to 33-3 before an 81 run partnership between Grant Dugmore and Gary Savage recovered the innings before Dugmore was out for 59.
Savage stayed in to score 62 before becoming one of four wickets for Marlon Bryan, and was joined towards the end of his innings by Alec Ferguson. Ferguson played an innings that Rizwan Cheema would have admired, smashing an unbeaten 62 from just 22 deliveries to take Argentina's score to 236-7 from their 50 overs.
Some good bowling first up had the Caymans reeling on 35-5, then 62-6. Argentina nearly let them back into the game though, with Conroy Wright scoring 58 as the backbone of a lower order fightback. But the South Americans didn't let the game slip away from them, bowling their opponents out for 223, winning by 13 runs. Gary Savage and Lucas Paterlini both took three wickets.
Aside from the Bermuda v Canada and Caymans v USA matches tomorrow, Argentina will play the Bahamas. They will hope to win a second match and secure fourth place.