June 15, 2010

World Cricket League Americas Division

Mexico win despite Ben Smith ton

Tony Munro

Americas Division Four

Mexico 187 for 7 (Garrity 34, Sharma 45, Baker 3-43, Prasad 2-57) beat Costa Rica 186 (Smith 104, Crisp 11; Gupta 5-32) by three wickets

Mexico beat Costa Rica by three wickets with more than 14 overs to spare in the opening game of the Americas Division Four tournament in Mexico City on Sunday.

This was despite the efforts of Man-of-the-Match, Ben Smith, who hit 104 from 127 balls to provide the base for Costa Rica's 186 from 46.5 overs. Smith struck two sixes and 12 boundaries in his stay which lasted for all but the first four balls of the Costa Rican innings. Smith entered in the first over when Barry Ashworth was bowled, and flourished while all around him succumbed to Tushar Gupta (5 for 32) and Tarun Sharma (2 for 28 from 10 overs).

At one stage, Costa Rica were 13 for 4 and then 41 for 5 before Richard Illingworth and Sam Arthur survived long enough with Smith to enable 34 for the sixth wicket and 47 for the seventh wicket to be added. Garth Tweedale (10) and David Crisp (11) were the only batsmen apart from Smith to reach double figures, however their contributions and 36 wides were enough for Costa Rica to reach 186 from 46.5 overs.

Mexico began their run chase in an attacking mindset, notching 59 in nine overs before losing James Garrity who was bowled after hitting 34 in 30 balls including five fours. When Tarundeep Singh was caught by Ashworth for a solid 33, Mexico were 91 for 3 after 17 overs – on target in terms of run-rate but in need of a partnership of substance.

That came from Tarun Sharma (45 from 58 balls including a six and four boundaries) who put on 51 with Theodore Wucherpfennig (14). Cameos from Hugh van Belle (14 from 13 balls) and Roger Sherman (23 from 21 balls) allowed Mexico to ease home with 14.5 overs to spare. Tim Baker was Costa Rica's main wicket-taker, removing Mexico's first three in returning 3 for 43.

On Tuesday, Falkland Islands play their first match against Costa Rica.

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