An outstanding spell of bowling from Nosthush Kenjige and a pair of impressive innings from Xavier Marshall and Aaron Jones have led USA to a comfortable 6 wicket victory over English county side Lancashire, to make it two wins in two days in Dubai.
Team USA skipper, Saurabh Netravalkar finally found the right side of a coin toss and decided to insert his English opposition in what was the first match between an American side and Lancashire since the Gentlemen of Philadelphia played against Lancashire way back in 1903 at Old Trafford.
It was a pair of England Test Cricketers that took to the middle first for the red rose county, both Hasib Hameed and Keaton Jennings started well, looking assured at the crease against Netravalkar and Taylor who opened the bowling for USA.
The captain took himself off and replaced his left-arm seam with the left-arm spin of Nosthush Kenjige who set about bowling his 10 overs straight and he took the first 5 wickets to fall in the innings with the quite brilliant figures of 5 for 27 including 4 maidens from his full 10 overs. These were career best figures for Kenjige, who’s become an integral part of the side in recent times.
A wicket each for Steven Taylor and Hayden Walsh Jnr combined with a run-out to reduce Lancashire to 137 for 8 but USA couldn’t close the innings out as Tom Hartley made a hugely impressive 75 not out from 87 balls. The left-hander came in at number 8 and drove his side up to 221 All Out, bowled out with just 1 ball to spare.
Having chased a similar target against the UAE the previous day, USA went to the crease full of confidence but were in trouble early as Monank Patel fell for a first ball duck on just the second ball of the innings. Soon after Steven Taylor fell at the end of the 5th over to leave Lancashire in the ascendancy and USA in trouble at 24 for 2.
Xavier Marshall has looked in superb form all tour though and he immediately took the upper hand in a partnership with Aaron Jones as the two set about rebuilding the innings for USA. They batted together for more than half the innings together and Marshall made a second consecutive fifty before he fell to the leg-spin of Matt Parkinson for 75.
Jaskaran Malhotra fell soon after for 10 to leave USA 158 for 4 but Hayden Walsh Jnr joined Jones for what was the most fluent partnership of the match as the left-hand and right-hand combination combined perfectly to drill home the Americans dominance in Dubai and take Team USA by 6 wickets
Aaron Jones finished with 84 not out and Walsh Jnr 33 not out as USA repeated the history of the Philadelphians from 116 years before them to give USA a 6 wicket victory and full of confidence ahead of the rest of the tour of UAE.
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
March 22 – USA v UAE XI (10am) – 50 Overs – Sevens Cricket Ground, Dubai
March 24 – USA v UAE XI (10am) – 50 Overs – Sevens Cricket Ground, Dubai
March 25 – USA v UAE (10am) – 50 Overs – Sevens Cricket Ground, Dubai
March 28 – USA v UAE (10am) – 50 Overs – Sevens Cricket Ground, Dubai