Cush century takes USA to title triumph
USA won the Division 4 title in emphatic fashion, demolishing Italy by eight wickets in Pianoro courtesy a Lennox Cush century that came in only 55 deliveries. The two teams had secured promotion to Division Three on Friday.
Chasing Italy's modest 185 for 9, Cush and Orlando Baker were in a hurry as they rattled up a 102-run stand in only 11 overs. Cush was dropped by Dilan Fernando off his own bowling off the first ball of the fourth over. He responded by pulling the next ball to the fine-leg boundary. A six over midwicket followed off the fifth ball and USA were on their way. Fernando was hit out of the attack, conceding 26 runs in three overs. The other bowlers did not fare better as Cush and Baker kept the onslaught going. Cush took 18 runs off a Hemantha Jayasena over, hitting him for a four and consecutive sixes.
Baker was dismissed by Peter Petricola after making 40 off 34 deliveries with six fours and a six. But there was no stopping Cush as he brought up his hundred in the 17th over. He was finally dismissed with the score on 166 after smashing 101 off only 57 deliveries with 14 fours and four sixes. Captain Steve Massiah was unbeaten on 28 off 26 deliveries, steering USA to victory in 21.4 overs.
Italy, who had chosen to bat, had started poorly, as Kevin Darlington struck twice to reduce them to 16 for 2. Adrian Gordon then removed the middle order taking 4 for 35, and Italy were reduced to 116 for 8 despite Petricola's fighting 42. Gayashan Munasinghe and Roshendra Abeywickrama added 51 runs in a ninth-wicket stand that enabled Italy to reach a fighting total. However, given the mood Cush was in, the target of 186 was never going to trouble USA.
Meanwhile, USA wicketkeeper Carl Wright has been reprimanded by the ICC match referee David Jukes for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct. Through his admission, Wright was found to have breached Article 2 Section 2.1.4 of the ICC Code, which relates to "using language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting during an International Match". "I hope Mr Wright has learned that there is no place for this type of behaviour anywhere near the game. I also trust that in future, he will be more courteous and pay others the respect they deserve for their efforts," Jukes said.
Nepal crushed Tanzania by 10 wickets in the third-place play-off in Medicina, dismissing them for 73 and then knocking off the runs in 12.3 overs.
The only thing that went right for Tanzania was the toss, and they chose to bat. A disciplined Nepal bowling attack kept up the pressure throughout, wickets fell at regular intervals - including the last five for three runs - and Tanzania were bowled out for 73 in 39.3 overs. All the bowlers were among the wickets and Shakti Gauchan was the most successful of them with 3 for 10 off nine overs. Issa Kikasi was the only Tanzanian batsman to put up some resistance, top-scoring with 32 off 72 deliveries.
The Nepal openers made short work of the chase, Anil Mandal smashing an unbeaten 47 off 40 deliveries with four fours and three sixes while Mahesh Chhetri remained unbeaten on 24 off 35 with three fours and a six.
Cayman Islands won the fifth-place play-off in Navile, brushing aside Argentina by seven wickets after having restricted them to 182 for 9.
Opener Ramon Sealy set up the chase for Cayman Islands, top-scoring with 60 off 57 deliveries with seven fours and three sixes. By the time he was out, only 81 runs were needed with 33 overs remaining. Saheed Mohamed and Ryan Bovell needed only 75 deliveries to knock off those runs. Mohamed was unbeaten on 42 off 44 deliveries while Bovell remained unbeaten on 33 off 37.
Argentina had earlier struggled to 182 for 9, having elected to bat. Opener Carlos Gibson steadied the innings with a patient 45 off 116 deliveries but Argentina were badly hit after he had to leave the field due to an injury. Three run-outs didn't help their cause either. Several batsmen got starts but failed to convert as Cayman Islands kept things tight.