Hemp maintains hope for Bermuda berth
Bermuda batsman David Hemp has said the thumping win over Suriname may be the spark that launches the team to victory in their rematch against USA on Thursday to keep alive hopes of finishing in the top two at the ICC Americas Division One T20 in Indianapolis. Bermuda came close to beating USA on the opening day before Fahad Babar stole the match with a thrilling assault in the 19th over, but Hemp says the team is prepared for the rematch.
"For us we look at USA and we came close, so that's a game that we feel ... well we feel we can win all three," Hemp told ESPNcricinfo. "Obviously we've got to play well to do that but if we don't believe we can do that we might as well not rock up in a day's time. We believe we can go forward from here and build on that but we still are going to have to play well and that's the key to it all."
"We felt a little bit hard done by in the first game. We felt we did enough to win that against the USA but one of their players played exceptionally well to bat through and pinch the game at the end. I mean that's Twenty20. So that was a little bit disappointing."
Bermuda were in a hole following losses to USA and Canada in the first two days of the competition but turned things around on Tuesday with an 87-run win over Suriname. Hemp scored an unbeaten 72 before Bermuda bowled out their opponents for 55. Though Bermuda remained two points behind USA in the standings, the margin of victory over Suriname lifted Bermuda's net run rate ahead of USA's.
If they can beat USA on Thursday, the teams would be equal on points but Bermuda would hold an edge over USA toward finishing second due to the net run rate tiebreaker. Despite starting the tournament at 0-2, Hemp says the team is not feeling any added pressure to pull off three wins.
"For me, Twenty20, the nature of the game is that any side is in it. If you look at past World Cups, your top international sides have lost to Associate countries and that's similar here. You've got to keep believing that you can turn situations around and the game of Twenty20 cricket can change in an over. That's why you're never out of the game. Just like the USA game with us, 30 off three and winning it within two overs, so the game can change."
Bermuda have never beaten USA in an ICC T20 tournament match. The closest they came was their very first encounter during the 2010 ICC Americas championship in Bermuda, which USA won by two wickets off the last ball chasing a target of 138. After Sunday's result, USA held a 6-0 record in the format against Bermuda.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna