Timil and Taylor crush Bermuda
United States of America 101 for 2 (Taylor 60, Babar 22*) beat Bermuda 97 for 5 (Pitcher 24, Timil 3-22) by eight wickets
A disciplined bowling performance from USA suffocated the Bermuda batting unit, restricting them to 97 for 5 and allowing the hosts to complete a simple chase and win by eight wickets at World Sports Park in Indianapolis. USA now go up 3-1 with the win, while Bermuda only have a slim mathematical chance of finishing in the top two of the ICC Americas T20 tournament with a record of 1-3.
Bermuda won the toss, but never threatened at any point in the innings as they struggled to come to terms with a new strip being used for this match after six games on the same pitch for the first three days. A slow and dewy outfield also contributed to Bermuda's poor output, but Bermuda coach Arnold Manders said that it had little effect on the way his team batted.
"We wanted to put a decent score up to put the pressure on the United States," Manders told ESPNcricinfo after his team's defeat. "We bat better going first so we were looking to just continue on from the last game and put a decent score up to put pressure on them and win the match. We weren't too concerned with the pitch. It was similar to the wicket we had played on all week. I thought it actually played better than the wicket for the first three days. It came on to the bat a bit more.
"They bowled immaculate. They held a good line and length, didn't give us any width and then we had one batsman that struggled to get it away which put a bit more pressure on us. We needed some freer flowing batsmen to come in and just go straight through. We give credit to United States though. They bowled extremely well."
Bermuda were already under early pressure after a tight first over by Hammad Shahid and the first wicket needlessly fell three balls into the second when Dion Stovell pulled Muhammad Ghous through the leg side and took on the arm of Adil Bhatti from deep midwicket for a dicey second. Stovell put in a dive but was comfortably out with Steven Taylor taking the throw over the stumps to make it 4 for 1.
While USA's bowling wasn't incisive, they maintained sharp lines to restrict the scoring. Oliver Pitcher in particular had trouble finding gaps in the field and played out a maiden to Danial Ahmed in the ninth over. Danial had struggled all week coming into Thursday's match but finished with figures of 0 for 7 in four overs. At the 10-over mark, Bermuda were 41 for 1 and showed few signs of a meaningful acceleration.
Hemp eventually ran out of patience at the start of the 12th over and failed to clear Fahad Babar at deep midwicket, giving Timil Patel the first of three wickets. The captain Janeiro Tucker got out in unfortunate circumstances when he chopped a pull into the ground off left-arm spinner Mrunal Patel, but the backspin on the ball dribbled into the stumps with just enough force to knock a bail off to make the score 59 for 3 in 14 overs. After laboring through 24 off 37 balls, Pitcher finally retired with a leg injury one ball into the 16th over with the score on 64.
Timil struck again in the 17th and 19th overs, Jacobi Robinson out missing a wild heave for 5 before Tre Manders picked out Karan Ganesh on the rope at long-on for 4. Bermuda's only over with 10 or more runs was the 20th, where they peeled off 12 including a reverse paddle for four by Delray Rawlins to end the innings. It was one of only six boundaries made by Bermuda on the day.
USA chased the target with ease. With the outfield dew now gone and the pitch baking in the sun for an extra 90 minutes, Babar and Taylor got USA rolling towards the 98 runs required. After a cover drive for four three balls in by Taylor, he clipped a no-ball by Stefan Kelly for four through fine leg, and then smashed the ensuing Free Hit for six over long on. After a sluggish first round, Taylor looked rock solid in making 60 off 39 balls before a leading edge back to Delray Rawlins saw his innings end. Babar stayed to the end though to finish unbeaten for the third time in four games, making 22 not out
USA will next play Suriname on Friday and a win will clinch them a top-two spot as well as a berth in the World T20 Qualifiers in Ireland and Scotland this July.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna