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August 18, 2010
Features : USA best placed to make final
Players/Officials: Lennox Cush | Kevin Darlington | Alejandro Ferguson | Paras Khadka | Seif Khalifa | Anil Mandal | Andy Northcote | Peter Petricola | Harsh Ramaiya | Khalil Rehmtullah | Aditya Thyagarajan
Matches: Argentina v Nepal at Navile | Cayman Islands v Tanzania at Pianoro | Italy v United States of America at Medicina
Series/Tournaments: ICC World Cricket League Division Four
USA suffered their first defeat of the tournament as a clinical bowling performance from Italy consigned them to a 51-run defeat in Medicina. Italy's batsmen did not fare too well after winning the toss, but they found their saviours in Andy Northcote and Peter Petricola, who lifted them to what proved to be a match-winning score of 212.
Wickets tumbled early with Hayden Patrizi and Nic Northcote managing just three runs in between them. That brought Andy and Petricola together, and the pair added a decisive 111 for the third wicket. Andy scored a 108-ball 72 before Muhammad Ghous got the better of him, and things went downhill for Italy thereafter. Petricola also missed his ton, falling 15 short to the impressive Lennox Cush who snared three wickets. The tail managed to lift Italy to 212, a score their bowlers comfortably defended.
USA's chase was wrong-footed early when their in-form batsman Sushil Nadkarni departed for a duck. Italy's seamers never released the pressure and soon USA were 26 for 4. A battling 51 from Aditya Thyagarajan, and a couple of reasonable contributions from the tail took them past 150, but the result was never in doubt after the early damage.
Petricola, who was adjudged Man of the Match, was pleased to put it past the USA. "It was great to beat the USA today, a side that is particularly strong. I felt today was real team effort by us all in the field and it felt particularly great to bounce back after our first game defeat at the hands of Nepal.
"Our batting showed good strength and depth and I'm proud of the fact I managed to add a few runs to our final total today. I was also happy with how we performed as a side in the field, we kept our bowling tight and I was thrilled with my team-mates overall performance," he said.
Tanzania's bowlers ensured that their side surged to their second win in two days, against Cayman Islands in Pianoro. It was a stop-start innings for Tanzania after they won the toss as batsmen either threw away solid starts or got out early. Four run-outs out of the nine wickets that fell added to the general chaos of the innings. Five batsmen managed to get past 29, but all of them succumbed for scores under 40, while the rest of the batsmen fell for single-digit scores. Still they managed to put 197 on the board, and their bowlers, fresh from a spirited defence of a poor score against Nepal, stuck to their task again.
Khalil Rehmtullah was once again the hero, scalping 3 for 28, including two early wickets as Cayman Islands' chase was stunted at the top. Saheed Mohamed and Ryan Bovell repaired the damage from 10 for 3 in a patient 80-run stand spanning nearly 20 overs, but just like the Tanzanian batsmen, they too chucked it after reaching 30s. Unfortunately for Cayman Islands, they did not have enough reserves to pick up the slack, and despite a stubborn 25 from Conroy Wright, they folded 43 short of Tanzania's effort.
Kassim Nasoro, leading the side today, was pleased that the side managed to pull off a win despite missing their regular captain. "I'm really proud of the way we played today. Having lost our captain Hamisi Abdallah this morning due to injury, we really came together as a side and our game plan paid off. Our bowlers kept things tight and the batsmen made a solid total that proved too hard for the Cayman Islanders to make, it feels great to have our second win of the tournament and hopefully our good run continues," he said.
Nepal put their forgettable outing against Tanzania behind them and trounced Argentina by eight wickets with a professional performance in Navile. Argentina's innings, after electing to bat, never went into gear against a determined Nepal attack and, despite an attacking 83 off 73 balls from Alejandro Ferguson, they could only manage 193 in their 50 overs. The wickets were shared around, with Shakti Gauchan and Basanta Regmi picking two wickets in particularly niggardly spells.
Mahesh Chhetri began Nepal's chase in sedate fashion with a 60-ball 36, while his colleagues went after the bowling. His opening partner Anil Mandal struck 60 off 58 balls with seven fours and three sixes. After their exits, Pradeep Airee and captain Paras Khadka sealed the deal with a 92-run stand, with the latter on 53 off 40 balls when the winning runs were scored in the 33rd over.
Man of the match Mandal was pleased that his side shrugged off the batting failures from the previous games. "I think we batted well compared to the previous two matches and I'm happy I was able to contribute to the team score. I felt we needed to see the new ball off first and once we'd settled in, I felt I could go back to my basic skills and hit the ball freely to put the runs on the board. I think we have to be even more focused tomorrow for the USA, they will come back stronger and we have to be ready to take on their bowling attack and ultimately claim victory," he said.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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