Day three of the ICC Americas U19 Division 1 Championship was a top of the table clash between the two undefeated sides. Canada came into the day off the back of a strong performance against Bermuda, while the USA, fresh off a rest day, came ready to prove themselves against the strong Canadian side.
Canada won the toss and elected to bat on an overcast, muggy morning at Somerset Cricket Club. Karan Patel got plenty out of the pitch early, claiming two early wickets to have Canada on the back foot. However erratic bowling and would stunt this momentum, with 39 wides bowled in the innings. When S. Patel picked up the prized wicket of Arslan Khan, USA looked like wrestling the ascendency back. At this point, skipper Muhammad Khan was joined by Harsh Thaker, who joined forces to again propel the run rate. The pair pushed singles, and punished bad deliveries, racing towards a 100 run partnership. M. Khan chalked up his 50, and the score passed 200, however a quick single would see Thaker run out for 47. This would trigger a collapse as M. Khan was caught in the deep two balls later for a well-made 68.
Miraj Patel was the only member of the tail to provide any real resistance as the Canadians were bowled out for 240 in the 49th over. The pick of the bowlers for the USA was Karan Patel with 4-40 off 9.1 overs.
After taking the ascendency back in the second half of the Canadian innings, the USA batsmen were looking to continue this trend. M. Khan and Suliman Khan had other ideas though, using their pace to push the openers on the back foot. A. Khan trapped Yadunandan Polisetty in front without scoring, while S. Khan removed Mohak Buch and Sagar Patel in quick succession to have the USA reeling at 4-10 in the 5th over.
Srihari Dasarathy provided some stability at the top of the order and supported Guaranshu Sharma, whose clean striking pushed the score past 50. A short time later, some sharp work in the field from Thaker had Dasarathy run out for 22, who was quickly followed back to the pavilion by Sharma after a mix up saw both he and Alexander Shoff at the same end. Three overs later another wicket fell and Canada looked to be closing on a dominant victory, as USA still required 157 with only three wickets in hand.
Karan Patel joined Shoff at the crease, and the two worked together to work the ball around, while taking advantage of any loose deliveries. Shoff batted with maturity beyond his years as he pushed singles, putting faith in his tail order batsman who looked comfortable controlling the tempo of the match.
The two surged past 100, bringing up their 50 run partnership, and Shoff’s 50 shortly after. Shoff started to open his shoulders, showing some crisp, clean hitting as he took advantage of the slightest mistakes from the Canadian bowlers. At the other end, Patel launched a few of his own, but just as quickly was knocked over by M. Khan for a superb 29 (45). Kiefer Phill came to the crease with the score 8-161, and put together a much needed 30 run partnership, however his dismissal left a seemingly impossible task for Shoff, as USA required 50 runs or 7 overs with just the one wicket in hand.
The spectators at Somerset Cricket Club would be treated to an extraordinary display. Sahil Patel played the role of number 11 perfectly, pushing singles down the ground and giving the strike to Shoff, who by this stage had complete control of the game. At the end of the 46th over, USA had moved to 9-215, still with plenty of work to do. The 47th over saw Shoff launch two successive sixes off Haseeb, as the score moved to 233.
Thaker and Miraj Patel bowled two very tight overs for the Canadians, while Shoff pushed a single down the ground and brought up a near perfect century off just 75 deliveries. USA entered the 49th over requiring three runs for victory. Patel pushed the first delivery into a gap for a single, bringing Shoff on strike for the remaining 5 deliveries with only 2 runs to win. Shoff pushed the ball into a gap and set off for the single, but was turned back by Patel, and a lunging dive could was not enough to save him from being run out. Shoff ended with 103 off 81 deliveries, with 9 fours and 5 sixes as USA fell 1 run short of the Canadians, but could hold their heads up high after a courageous display.
Canadian Coach Errol Barrow was proud of his players, “I thought we were probably 40 runs short with the bat, but our bowlers responded well early which was pleasing. Full credit to Alex Shoff, who batted really well, I’m just proud of my boys for holding their nerve.”
Alexander Shoff was awarded Man of the Match honors for his magnificent century.
Scores in Brief:
Canada v Bermuda
Canada 241/10 from 48.1 overs (M. Khan 68, Thaker 47, K. Patel 4-40)
USA 240/10 from 49.2 overs (Shoff 103, Sharma 43, M. Khan 3-52)
Canada won by 1 runs
Man of the Match: Alexander Shoff (USA)
|ICC Americas U19 Division 1 Championship – BERMUDA 2015