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Peter Della Penna in Lauderhill
August 16, 2014
A superb opening spell by George Adams laid the foundation for a sharp bowling performance by New York as they defeated South West by seven wickets in the opening match at the Central Broward Regional Park on day three of the USACA T20 National Championship. The win clinched a spot for New York in the tournament final where they will play South East. Adams knocked over both openers and finished with 2 for 7 in the 10-over match as South West finished on 66 for 5. Only Nisarg Patel, who made 29 off 26, crossed double-figures for South West. New York closed out the chase with four balls to spare thanks to Barrington Bartley's 19 not out.
Outside the stadium, Raj Bhavsar took a hat-trick for Atlantic in their six-wicket win over Central East. Bhavsar finished with 4 for 13 in his two-over spell, including three wickets in the ninth over to wreck the platform that had been laid by Fahad Babar and Muhammad Ghous, who made 23 and 29 respectively. Adil Bhatti sealed the win with 10 balls to spare by smacking an unbeaten 50 off just 18 balls.
Camilus Alexander continued his impressive tournament, claiming 3 for 11 in South East's four-wicket win over North West. Steven Taylor anchored the chase with an unbeaten 56 at the top of the order to get South East across the line with an over to spare.
In the early afternoon games, North East notched their first win of the tournament, knocking off Central West by 24 runs. Aditya Mishra and Sharaz Baksh hammered the Central West bowling early in the North East innings, making 35 and 25 respectively to set a target of 86. Central West's aggressive approach in search of an improved net run rate turned disastrous as Jaideep Reddy claimed 4 for 9 in his two overs.
Nilesh Rane's unbeaten 37 was responsible for lifting North West to a dramatic six-wicket win over Central East on the western satellite field outside the Central Broward Regional Park. North West entered the final over needing 13 to win after being set a target of 78 by Central East. With seven needed off the final two balls, Rane smacked a four and then a six to win the match on the final ball.
In the final game outside the stadium, South East kept their record clean in the tournament with a 27-run win over Atlantic. Darpan Patel scored 33 off 11 balls, opening the South East innings and was backed up later down the order by Zain Sayed, who made an unbeaten 30 off 13 at No. 5 in South East's total of 114 for 7. Much of the damage by Darpan was done in the second over in which Dishant Parikh conceded 26 runs. Mohendra Khublall took 4 for 15 in a late spell but by that point South East had run away to a sizeable total for a 10-over match. Atlantic finished on 87 for 5.
Despite sunny conditions early on Saturday afternoon in Lauderhill, tournament organisers took the decision to cancel the semi-finals based on projected forecast of rain scheduled to begin around 6pm local time. As a result, South West and North West were the two teams most affected, having finished second in their respective groups. Instead of going into semi-final matches, North West will play North East and South West will play Atlantic in a pair of consolation matches.
"Based on what we have seen for the past two days, this scenario was discussed at the team managers meeting yesterday and all the managers agreed to it," Owen Grey, USACA T20 National Championship director, told ESPNcricinfo. "We were hoping to get in semi-finals and the teams would like to do it but at the same time we had an agreement that based on the weather projection, we might only play a final."
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPennaFeeds: Peter Della Penna
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