Panama dominate Central American Championships
The results were by and large predictable on the second day of the 3rd Central American Championships being played at the Los Reyes Polo Club in San Jose, Costa Rica, to Twenty20 rules.
Panama stayed on course for their first title, winning their second successive game in a tournament also featuring the hosts, Costa Rica, as well as Belize, El Salvador and Mexico.
Panama won their only fixture of the day by demolishing Costa Rica. After rattling up a respectable 159 for 5 in their 20 overs, the Panama pace attack proved too much for the Costa Ricans who crumbled to 22 all out. Panama's final game is against the minnows El Salvador and they will be confident of wrapping up the title.
Belize and Mexico kept their faint hopes of the title alive (should Panama slip up), as well as their respective campaigns for the silver medal. Belize beat a spirited El Salvador by 43 runs, while Mexico beat both El Salvador and Costa Rica. After securing a comfortable eight-wicket win against El Salvador, Mexico looked in some trouble against Costa Rica before pulling through.
Mexico compiled 169 for 5 and the Costa Rica openers raced to 96 in 11 overs before the first wicket fell. However, the hosts could not maintain the challenge after that, and were all out for 128, losing by 41 runs.
In the final round of matches, Panama play El Salvador, while Mexico and Belize have a straight shoot-out for second place.
El Salvador 80 for 9 (Roger Davis 17, Anuresh Verma 3-10, Manish Matta 3-7, Kaushal Ahuja 2-14) beat Mexico 84 for 2 (Yasir Patel 41*, Kaushal Ahuja 26*, Simon Cullen 2-17) by 8 wickets
Panama 159 for 5 (Soyeb Chohan 62, Nilesh Bhakta 57, Shane Catford 2-13, Yash Bhatnagar 2-15) beat Costa Rica 22 (Irfan Tarajia 6-3, Bashir Patel 2-1) by 137 runs
Belize 115 for 8 (Warren Anthony 29, Winston Flowers 33, Simon Cullen 2-7, Roger Davis 2-26, Emilio Carpio 2-6) beat El Salvador 72 for 8 (Andrew Banner 2-10) by 43 runs
Mexico 169 for 5 (Anuresh Verma 86, Yasir Patel 28, Steven Bryant 2-21) beat Costa Rica 128 (Ben Smith 49, Shane Catford 39, Anuresh Verma 5-21, Manish Matta 3-20 by 41 runs
Day One results on Sunday:
Belize 175 for 5 (Kenroy Roca 60*, Warren Anthony 40, Percy Flowers 31, Ben Smith 2-18) beat Costa Rica 92 for 7 (Shane Catford 41, Warren Anthony 2-21) by 83 runs
Panama 173 for 5 (Irfan Tarajia 77*, Ahir Jatin 22, Nilesh Bhakta 20) beat Mexico 60 (Tushar Gupta 20, Irfan Tarajia 3-9, Bashir Patel 2-1) by 113 runs
El Salvador 97 (Simon Cullen 29, Philip Mostyn 26, Shane Catford 2-7, Sam Arthur 2-15, Yash Bhatnagar 2-11) beat Costa Rica 101 for 0 (Shane Catford 74*, Ben Smith 22*) by 10 wickets
Panama 93 for 9 (Saprem Bhakta 20, Andrew Banner 2-14, Kenroy Roca 2-24, Dirk Sutherland 2-17) beat Belize 88 for 9 (Percy Flowers 22, Desmond MacFadzean 24, Nilesh Bhakta 3-9, Sailesh Ahir 2-15, Soyeb Chohan 2-16) by 5 runs
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo