Pervez final over carnage spurs Canada win
USA's strong first innings platform was undone by five wickets in the space of eight balls thanks to an outstanding display from Cecil Pervez to set up a six-wicket win for Canada at Indianapolis World Sports Park on Tuesday.
USA elected to bat on a hot and sunny morning but never really found their footing against a disciplined Canada bowling unit. The hosts offered four chances inside the Powerplay but fast bowler Pervez and legspinner Junaid Siddiqui were let down by the fielding. It allowed Fahad Babar and Steven Taylor to produce a 51-run opening stand that was finally broken when Babar yanked Jimmy Hansra's offspin to Satsimranjit Dhindsa at deep square leg for 31 in the ninth over.
Taylor ground his way to a top score of 46 off 50 balls before falling in the 17th over to offspinner Nikhil Dutta edging an attempted cut to the keeper Hamza Tariq. Still USA were well placed after 17 overs with the score at 108 for 3 but their innings unraveled soon after. Bhatti was run-out attempting a second run chancing the arm of Dutta from long-on to start the 18th while Barrington Bartley tried slogging Siddiqui through a stiff breeze blowing across the ground and was caught at extra cover by Rizwan Cheema for 1 with two balls to go in the 19th to make it 123 for 5.
Pervez seized on the momentum at the start of the 20th by bowling Muhammad Ghous for 14 going for a big heave. New batsman Akeem Dodson drove his first ball to long-on and decided to take on Kumar's arm again but was beaten coming back for a second. Three balls later, Pervez got it full and straight to beat Karan Ganesh's slog before Timil Patel was bowled off the final ball trying to back away from his stumps and USA ended on 127 for 9. Pervez registered figures of 3 for 9 in three overs while Siddiqui also kept things tight and finished with 1 for 12 in three.
The omission of Hammad Shahid and Jasdeep Singh meant USA gambled with an all-spin bowling attack for the match but left-arm spinner Danial Ahmed struggled with the new ball. Cheema targeted him for some punishment, picking three boundaries in the third over, and Ahmed finished with 0 for 30 in three overs. Ghous was able to get Cheema to slice to Bartley at backward point in the fourth over for 20, but from there USA were generally flat in the field as the spinners failed to build any pressure with a low target to defend.
Ruvindu Gunasekera and Nitish Kumar were largely untroubled during a 74-run stand for the second wicket to take Canada past 100. Kumar eventually fell to a sharp catch at midwicket by Timil off Bartley for 32, but by then Canada needed 23 off the final six overs. Mrunal Patel finally dismissed Gunasekera for 51 in the 15th edging behind to give USA a glimmer of hope and Hansra was tempted into a slog by Timil in the following over but the chance was spilled at long-on by Bartley. Mrunal then grassed a sharp return chance from Hansra in the 17th.
Canada clinched victory with eight balls to spare courtesy of a lofted cover drive by Tariq for the winning runs. Tariq finished on 11 not out while Hansra walked off unbeaten on 15. Ghous and Timil each finished with 1 for 18 off their four.
Canada were undefeated with the win at 3-0 and were in the driver's seat for one of the two berths available for this summer's World T20 Qualifier in Ireland and Scotland. Both teams are off on Wednesday before USA play Bermuda on Thursday morning while Canada take on Suriname in the afternoon match.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna