Undefeated Canada take ICC Americas title
Canada 127 for 6 (Gunasekera 54, Patel 3-20) beat USA 104 for 8 (Hansra 2-15, Dutta 2-16) by 23 runs
Ruvindu Gunasekera's third half-century in five games was the difference in a low-scoring contest as Canada notched a 23-run win over USA to wrap up a 6-0 record and the tournament title at the ICC Americas Division One T20 at Indianapolis World Sports Park.
USA elected to field first in overcast and damp conditions following a flash storm that swept across the ground at the conclusion of Suriname's win over Bermuda and caused a five-minute delayed start. Captain Rizwan Cheema was run out for 9 in the second over pushing for a tight third run through covers. Adil Bhatti hustled from mid-off to track the ball down before the rope and his relay to Hammad Shahid at the non-striker's end was in time.
A 40-minute delay ensued after the fourth over with the score 22 for 1 because a brief thunderstorm passed over the ground but the quick drying outfield at the IWSP allowed play to restart quickly without any overs being deducted. Upon resumption, Gunasekera and Nitish Kumar forged ahead with a 60-run stand as Canada reached the halfway stage at 67 for 1 looking to post a score in excess of 140.
Muhammad Ghous struck in the 11th to break the stand, dragging back his length with a quicker offbreak to beat Kumar in flight. Steven Taylor completing the stumping. Canada reached 91 for 2 at the 15-over mark and Gunasekera brought up his 50 off 45 balls with a single to start the 16th before Canada's innings turned south.
Legspinner Timil Patel reined Canada back in the final five overs and dismissed Jimmy Hansra courtesy of Bhatti fighting off swirling winds over midwicket to take a catch. Timil got Gunasekera for 54, slicing a short ball to Danial Ahmed at short third man to make it 97 for 4. Timil took one more in the final over, Saad Bin Zafar lifting to Ghous backpedaling from midwicket, to finish with 3 for 20 as Canada ended on 127 for 6.
USA's chase got off to a helter-skelter start as Taylor took on legspinner Junaid Siddiqui in the first over and sent a catch to Satsimranjit Dhindsa, who spilled the chest-high chance at long-on over the rope for six. Taylor then crushed the following two balls over midwicket and down the ground to make it three sixes in a row but his aggression backfired by the end of the over when he tried repeating a flick to midwicket but sent a leading edge to Hansra at cover to fall for 18.
Fahad Babar played out a maiden to fast bowler Cecil Pervez in the second over before smacking him over midwicket for six and clipping him wide of mid-on for a boundary in the fourth to take USA to 34 for 1. USA's bats went silent from then on as 12 straight overs of spin shackled the middle order.
USA crawled to 57 for 2 at the halfway stage and were 76 for 5 after 15. By then, Babar had been stumped for 33 after failing to get to the pitch of a Dutta delivery and Canada looked assured of winning. USA went more than eleven overs without a four or six before Barrington Bartley clocked Nikhil Dutta over cow corner for a maximum in the 16th but was bowled one over later by Pervez for 12.
Bhatti ramped Pervez over fine leg for a boundary to end the 17th at 93 for 6, leaving USA with 35 to get off the final three overs. However, he was out two balls later slogging Dutta to midwicket and USA didn't hit another boundary the rest of the way, eventually finishing on 104 for 8. Dutta finished with 2 for 16 and Hansra 2 for 15 for Canada.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna