The United States of America defeated Oman by 13 runs in an engrossing final of the ICC World Cricket League Division 4 event in Los Angeles yesterday as the team made the most of the home conditions in the first ICC divisional event hosted in the country.
The USA and Oman both ensured Division 3 berths from the six-team tournament, which also included Bermuda, Denmark, Italy and Jersey. Denmark and Bermuda remained in the same division, while Jersey and Italy were relegated to Division 5 in a system of continuous promotion and relegation between divisions.
USA captain Steven Taylor felt his team had done well despite some tough moments, including in the final, in which his team defended a total of 208.
“This victory means a lot to us, especially as it came with the home crowd behind us. It has given us a big momentum. Winning this tournament was not easy, no matter what. We now want to go on and try to win the next tournament, we want to back our ability,” said Taylor.
The USA defeated Bermuda and Oman by identical eight-wicket margins in the preliminary league but was tested thoroughly in other matches. The USA beat Italy by just one wicket while losing to Denmark by four wickets and to Jersey by one run. The USA made the final edging out Denmark on net run-rate after being level at six points each.
The final against Oman too was not easy as the USA lost its first three wickets for only five runs before Alex Amsterdam (50), Timroy Allen (45) and Jasdeep Singh (37 not out) helped the team put up a competitive total. Singh later came on to bag three wickets with his medium-pace bowling to claim the player of the match award.
USA coach Pubudu Dassanayake said the team was hungry to win and that was what mattered in the end.
“Today was a tough day for us. We had three injuries and were struggling to get a final eleven in place. But everyone was hungry to win the tournament, the players kept doing the job and kept fighting,” Dassanayake said.
The USA had three players scoring over 200 runs in the tournament – left-hander Amsterdam (213 runs), captain Taylor (209) and Allen (204). Dassanayake felt that played a crucial role in the team’s success.
“We’re a strong batting unit and the bowling too is up there, but in fielding we are behind. But our guys gave heart and soul and with the talent that we have, we can go through Division 3. We have four to five months to get it right. Our players have got the hang of winning and need to keep going. If you are a good cricketer, you should know how to win. They’ve got a taste of it,” Dassanayake said.
USA Assistant Coach Anand Tummala was impressed with the performance of the group.
“It was very pleasing to see the boys fight back and win the final. They’ve been working extremely hard over the past few months and this result was certainly well deserved.
“I’ve been involved with this group for awhile now and would like to congratulate the team who made their country proud,” said Tummala.
Scores in brief (Final):
USA beat Oman by 13 runs
USA 208 all out in 49.4 overs (Alex Amsterdam 50, Timroy Allen 45, Jasdeep Singh 37 not out; Mohamad Nadeem 2-29, Zeeshan Maqsood 2-33, Rajeshkumar. Ranpura 2-34).
Oman 195-9 in 50 overs (Zeeshan Siddiqui 58; Jasdeep Singh 3-29).