USA hold off Oman to claim WCL Division Four title
Medium-pacer Jessy Singh scored a crucial 37 not out at No. 10 after entering at 141 for 8 and followed it with 3 for 29 to help USA defend 208 and beat Oman by 13 runs to win the final of ICC WCL Division Four at Severn Cricket Field. Jessy was named Man of the Final for his efforts as USA became the tenth host team to win a World Cricket League tournament title.
USA elected to bat first but got off to a disastrous start, slipping to 5 for 3 inside five overs with both openers leg-before and Ravi Timbawala run out without scoring after sacrificing himself in a mix-up with Alex Amsterdam, who had scored a hundred against Jersey on Friday. Amsterdam delivered again, making 50 off 73 balls to steer USA out of the early hole before miscuing a drive to midwicket off Zeeshan Maqsood's left-arm spin to be sixth out with the score 103.
USA then had their second mix-up of the day, as Timil Patel didn't respond to Timroy Allen's call for a second run to third man. Timil gave himself up for 22 by leaving the crease with both men at the same end so the big-hitting Allen could stay in for a late surge.
Allen wound up scoring 45 off 32 balls before he was caught at long-on off medium pacer Mohammad Nadeem to start the 44th over after adding 41 for the ninth wicket with Jessy, who had come into the line-up in place of the injured Danial Ahmed. Last man Prashanth Nair blocked from one end while Jessy continued playing shots, allowing a 27-run tenth-wicket stand to take USA into the final over and reach a defendable total before Nair was caught slogging to long-off with two balls left to play.
Jessy took the new ball and struck in the fourth over, bowling Arun Poulose with a full-length delivery that beat the batsman for pace as he flicked across the line. USA had Oman three down in the 14th over and continued to create chances but poor fielding once again allowed an opponent to stay in the game as Swapnil Khadye was dropped twice during a 51-run fourth-wicket stand with Zeeshan Siddiqui that took Oman past 100.
It took Timil's legspin to break the partnership with Khadye held by Allen after top-edging a slog and two overs later Timil pinned Lalcheta on the back foot with a flipper to make it 115 for 5. The legspinner landed his biggest punch of the day in the 38th over when he coaxed the set Siddiqui into a charge down the wicket and had him stumped for 58 leave Oman needing 45 off the last 75 balls but with only four wickets in hand. Timil's 3 for 38 gave him 14 wickets on the week, tied for the tournament lead with Denmark's Bashir Shah.
Oman had held star batsman Jatinder Singh back to No. 8 but Timil and medium pacer Elmore Hutchinson choked the run rate over the next six overs and created two run-out chances. The required rate finally climbed to a run a ball after 44 overs when Jessy was brought back for a late spell and he struck with his first ball, bouncing out Nadeem. Two balls later, another run-out chance presented itself and this time Steven Taylor seized it with a direct hit from point to send Amir Ali off without scoring.
With Jatinder running out of partners, he tried to heave Jessy over long-off in the 47th but Timbawala took in a skier to make it 178 for 9. Jessy then pinned down No. 11 Sufyaan Mehmood in the 49th over, conceding just one run from it to leave Oman needing 23 off the final over. Only four runs came off the first four balls bowled by Allen, clinching victory before an inside-edge for four by Rajeshkumar Ranpura off the final ball resulted in Oman ending on 195 for 9.
Oman's Khawar Ali was named Player of the Tournament after taking 13 wickets while also scoring 168 runs at 33.60. Khawar's 74 and 5 for 37 against Denmark on the last day of round-robin play helped Oman to a win that clinched promotion to Division Three.
In the third-place game at Wright Cricket Field, Denmark avenged an earlier loss in group play to defeat Bermuda by 44 runs. Playing his first game of the tournament, Taranjit Bharaj top-scored with 68 not out in Denmark's total of 269 for 8 after they chose to bat first.
Former England Test medium-pacer Amjad Khan then took out Bermuda's top order with three wickets to leave them 50 for 3 in the 12th over and they struggled to recover from there. Jordan DeSilva made an unbeaten 52 after entering at No. 8 with Bermuda 137 for 6 and they eventually finished their 50 overs on 225 for 8.
Jersey won the fifth place playoff, defeating Italy by 42 runs at Wong Cricket Field. Injuries had left Jersey's squad decimated, forcing 46-year-old team manager Tony Carylon out of retirement and into the starting XI having not played since 2011. It allowed a special moment for Carylon, though, as he was able to take the field with his 15-year-old son Harrison, who earlier in the week had become the youngest player to debut for Jersey.
Jersey made 250 for 6 as captain Peter Gough opened to top-score with 65 after electing to bat. Corey Bisson added an unbeaten 63 off 47 balls at No. 5 and finished as the tournament's leading scorer with 242 runs at 80.66. Italy were bowled out for 208 in reply with captain Damian Crowley providing their best contribution with 39. Charles Perchard claimed 4 for 22 to lead the way for Jersey in the field.
USA and Oman will now play in WCL Division Three in the first half of 2017 and will be joined by Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and hosts Uganda in the next phase of qualification for the pathway to the 2019 World Cup.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna