Clinical USA surge to second successive win
Sushil Nadkarni completed his second successive Man-of-the-Match performance as USA galloped to a nine-wicket win against Cayman Islands, their second in two games in the tournament. Cayman's Islands' innings remained stuck in first gear for long and though they accelerated eventually, the total they put up on the board never tested the rampant USA top order.
Usman Shuja, Orlando Baker and Nasir Javed shared the spoils as Cayman Islands kept losing regular wickets after electing to bat. Ronald Ebanks was the only batsman to come to terms with the situation, scoring 46 off 39 balls with five fours and two sixes as the innings gained some late momentum. Cayman Islands scored 83 off the last 10.3 overs in their innings, but it only proved to highlight how inept they had been earlier.
Baker and Nadkarni began the chase in a hurry, adding 71 in nine overs as the match headed for an early finish. Baker hit two sixes and three fours in his 25-ball 32 before Marlon Bryan struck him in front. USA captain Steve Massiah took over seamlessly, smashing four sixes and as many fours in his 62-ball 59. Nadkarni at the other end was not to be denied either, sending the ball nine times to the boundary and twice over it as he finished unbeaten on 84 off 92 balls, when the winning runs were scored in the 30th over.
Italy's bowlers complemented a strong effort from their batsmen to give their side a 60-run win against Argentina in Pianaro.
Argentina managed to strike at regular intervals through the Italy innings, but were unable to land the knock-out blow and that proved decisive. Hayden Patrizi went for a duck in the first over, but Andy and Nic Northcote ensured there were no other early losses. When Nic and Peter Petricola fell in quick succession, Andy dug deep in the company of Damian Crowley to repair the damage. That was the most significant stand of the day and the best phase of Italy's innings, as the pair raised 88 for the fourth wicket in 15.5 overs. Crowley fell for a 70-ball 63, to Pablo Ryan, Argentina's best bowler, but Italy still had ammunition.
Alessandro Bonora held one end up, scoring 37 off 60 balls, while Andy batted Italy into a strong position going into the last ten overs. He was dismissed for 73 in the 40th over, but Hemantha Jayasena struck some quick runs in the death to lift Italy to 262.
Argentina struggled to force the pace in the early stages of their chase and the innings continued to struggle for momentum all the way. The openers consumed a combined 78 balls between them for just 34 runs, and things became tougher when Tomas Francis, the no. 4 batsman, went for a duck. Grant Dugmore batted defiantly for a 76-ball 59 but when he fell with the score on 121, the writing was on the wall. Argentina had lost half their side with a long way to go, and Jayasena had picked four of those wickets to seal the deal. The tail-enders cobbled enough runs to take them past 200, but the result was a long foregone conclusion.
Tanzania's bowlers delivered the knock-out punch as their side defended a score of 117 by nine runs in a low-scoring thriller in Medicina. Nepal had their eyes on an easy win after Rahul Vishvakarma's five-for skittled the opposition out for a sub-par score but they had not accounted for Tanzania's spirited defence.
Tanzania's openers began in steady fashion after being inserted, adding 19 runs in 6.3 overs before things began to fall apart. Enjo Kiongozi was the first to fall, for 12 runs off 17 balls. The rest of the top order caved in without resistance while the other opener, Seif Khalifa, held one end up. He smacked three fours and two sixes in his 82-ball 46 before he was stumped with the score on 86. His dismissal heralded a big middle- and lower-order failure as 86 for 3 became 91 for 7 in under seven overs. Kassim Nassoro hung around to take the score to 117, while Vishvakarma scythed through the tail for figures of 5 for 18.
Even when Nepal lost both openers for ducks, Tanzania's score looked woefully short, but they kept trying. Gyanendra Malla and Paras Khadka added 37 in 13.1 overs and Nepal seemed to have weathered the early storm, but Khalil Rehmtullah had other ideas.
Khadka and Sharad Veswakar were dismissed for the addition of just one run and suddenly Nepal were under the hammer. When Shakti Gauchan was run out with the score on 49, Nepal had lost half their side and alarm bells were ringing. They were just one decent partnership away from victory and Mahesh Chhetri played accordingly, trying to calm the nerves in Malla's company.
Malla had reached a patient 41 off 90 balls when Nassoro got the better of him. Riziki Kiseto then got into the act, grabbing two of the next three wickets as Nepal stumbled to 92 for 9. Basanta Regmi and Vishvakarma held on grimly in the hope of stealing the remaining runs, but it was not to be, despite a 16-run stand for the tenth wicket.