By Dervon A. Wallace
Rashard Marshall signal his return to Team USA with a compose half century to top score for USA against Bermuda in game 1 of their 3 match 50 over practice series in Florida.

Rashard Marshall struck a 50 in the first game against Bermuda. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

On a chilly morning at the Brian Piccolo Park in South Florida USA returning captain Steve Massiah won the toss and decided to take first strike, a decision seams justified when openers Akeem Dodson and Timothy Surujabally took it to the Bermudan bowlers with scores of 33 (45) and 43(56) respectively and shared in an opening stand of 83 in 14.2 overs. Dodson who has a legitimate chance of making the final 14 to the ICC World Cricket Division 3 in Bermuda especially if the selectors decide to release prolific opener Steven Taylor of wicket keeping duties was the first to go by the run out route.

Massiah who missed the T20 came in at number 3 but only lasted 3 balls as he was adjudged LBW for 2 at 87 for 2, he could consider himself unlucky as replay shows he was struck outside the line of the off-stump offering a shot. Next to go was Surujabally as USA lost 3 quick wickets for 13 runs before the experience pair of Aditya Thyagarajan and Rashard Marshall revived the inning with a 74 runs 4th wicket partnership from 110 balls, Marshall who was back in USA colors for the first time since 2011 ICC WCL Division 3 in Hong Kong brought up his 50 off 69 balls by stroking a full toss wide of long-off for one of his 3 fours, he also clobbered a short ball over mid-wicket for the only six of the innings.

With the dot balls pilling up and the run rate held in check Thyagarajan tried to up the tempo by skipping down the track but was beaten in flight and provided an easy stumping for wicket keeper Jason Anderson for 33 (64). Timroy Allen another who Miss the T20 made a brisk 29 (30) as USA after a good start finish on a below par 227 all out in 48.3 overs.

Bowling for Bermuda;  Greg Maybury 3 for 37 from 8 overs, Dennico Hollis 0 for 34 from 6 overs, Sammy Robinson 1 for 22 from 8 overs, Delray Rawlins 2 for 50 from 8 overs, Rodney Trott 1 for 37 from 7 overs, Dion Stovell 0 for 22 from 5 overs and Malachi Jones 1 for 25 from 7.3 overs.

In Bermuda turn at bat they could only mastered 173 for 8 from their allotted 50 overs as they were restricted by a strong USA bowling attacked led by 40 year old former Guyanese West Indies Test player Neil McGarrell with his left arm orthodox spin. Captain and opening batsman Stephen Outerbridge was the main contributor with a top score of 71 (104) with 3 fours and one 6 before he was forced to retire hurt with what appeared to be a pulled hamstring he sustained attempting a quick single with his team 129 for 4 in the 35th over and still in with a chance. Number 5 batsman Janeiro Tucker was next best with 26 (43) as no other batsman seems to be able to get on top of a fairly disciplined USA attacked which consist of 9 players flexing their arms.

Bowling for Team USA; Naseer Jamali 0 for 19 from 4 overs, Khawaja Usman Shuja 0 for 28 from 5 overs, Hermant Punoo 1 for 28 from 10 overs, Mohammed Ghous 3 for 34 from 9 overs, Allen 0 for 22 from 6 overs, McGarrell 2 for 18 from 10 with one maiden,   Massiah 1 for 11 from 4 overs, Surujbally 0for 0 from 1 over and Marshall 0 for 8 from 1 over.