Next month in the south-west of corner of Africa, Team USA’s cricketers will play what is likely the most important tournament in the history of American cricket, with One Day International Status and a place in the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 at stake.
In Namibia between April 20th and 27th April, USA will play 5 matches in the course of a week to decide their fate, this past week in Dubai, USA have played 5 matches in the course of a week and won them all. What the USA Head Coach Pubudu Dassanayke would give for a similar week next month…
After a rest-day on Saturday USA returned to action at the Sevens Cricket Ground against the UAE XI with the chance to sweep the 3 match 50 Overs Series and keep Team USA unbeaten in their 50 Overs matches on this tour.
There was a debut for the 20 year old Karima Gore and a return to fitness for a first start on tour for the bowling spearhead, Ali Khan. USA won the toss and decided to bat again
Xavier Marshall who had just played the innings of his life two days prior with 170 fell early in the first over for a duck and Monank Patel fell at the end of the 6th to leave USA in a bit of trouble at 28 for 2.
In each game so far on the tour, one of the batsmen has stepped up to the mark and not for the first time on this tour it was Steven Taylor who took on the mantle of anchoring the innings. He built good partnerships with Aaron Jones and Jaskaran Malhotra but just as he looked set to make the second American century in as many matches, he fell just 5 runs short for a magnificent 95.
Hayden Walsh Jnr made a handy 42 whilst the debutant, Gore played a delightful late hand with 25 off 24 ball as USA couldn’t get to the heights of 300 this time and had to settle for 257 for 7 from their 50 overs.
It was an attacking opening partnership with the left-arm spin of Karima Gore providing the foil to the express pace of Ali Khan who showed no ill-effects on his return to the team. It was the fast bowling spell of the week as Khan’s 3 wickets were given good support from the youngster’s left-arm spin and UAE XI were reduced to 68 for 6 and from there the win looked inevitable.
To the Emiratis credit, they fought back well with Sultan Ahmed smashing a counterattacking 67 off 62 balls but Steven Taylor dismissed him to end the match as a contest and UAE XI finished 61 runs short.
USA have stayed ‘perfect’ in their 50 Overs matches and have now won 5 matches consecutively in just 7 days and the camp is full of confidence.
It’s straight back to the action for Team USA tomorrow as they play the 2nd of their 3 match series against the full UAE team, a series they lead 1-0 currently.
Team USA schedule in UAE:
March 15 – USA v UAE (2pm) – T20I – ICC Academy Oval 1, Dubai – NO RESULT
March 16 – USA v UAE (2pm) – T20I – ICC Academy Oval 1, Dubai – LOST BY 24 RUNS
March 18 – USA v UAE (10am) – 50 Overs – ICC Academy Oval 1, Dubai – WON BY 5 WICKETS
March 19 – USA v Lancashire (10am) – 50 Overs – ICC Academy Oval 1, Dubai – WON BY 6 WICKETS
March 21 – USA v UAE XI (10am) – 50 Overs – Sevens Cricket Ground, Dubai – WON BY 24 RUNS
March 22 – USA v UAE XI (10am) – 50 Overs – Sevens Cricket Ground, Dubai – WON BY 32 RUNS
March 24 – USA v UAE XI (10am) – 50 Overs – Sevens Cricket Ground, Dubai – WON BY 61 RUNS
March 25 – USA v UAE (10am) – 50 Overs – Sevens Cricket Ground, Dubai
March 28 – USA v UAE (10am) – 50 Overs – Sevens Cricket Ground, Dubai