United States of America 107 for 2 (Babar 43*, Taylor 33) beat Suriname 106 (Boodram 23, Timil 4-13) by eight wickets
Fahad Babar and Timil Patel continued their exceptional tournament runs with bat and ball respectively, as USA recorded a comfortable eight-wicket win against Suriname in Indianapolis' World Sports Park. The victory clinched them a top-two spot and a ticket to Ireland and Scotland for this summer's World T20 Qualifier.
USA won the toss and sent Suriname in hoping for a quick result, but Suriname hung tough to bat out all 20 overs ending on 106. Thanks to contributions from Muneshwar Patandin (10), Wasim Akram (21) and Gavin Singh (18), Suriname reached 71 for 2 in the 12th over before the wheels started to unravel thanks to the intervention of Timil, who took 4 for 13 and now has a tournament-leading 12 wickets from five games.
The collapse was initially sparked by Karan Ganesh, who tempted Gavin Singh into a mistimed flick toward Adil Bhatti at deep midwicket on the final ball of the 12th for the third Suriname wicket. With a 35-run stand between Singh and Boodram now broken, captain Muhammad Ghous brought Timil on for the start of the 13th and he struck with his third ball as Boodram charged down the pitch and was beaten in flight to be bowled for 20. In Timil's next over, Shazam Ramjohn mistimed a pull and a top edge was taken by Steven Taylor 15 yards behind the stumps to make it 82 for 5.
While Timil eventually claimed Man-of-the-Match honors, the play of the day came in the 16th over courtesy of fast bowler Hammad Shahid. Sauid Drepaul tried to slog sweep left-arm spinner Danial Ahmed over the leg side but produced a swirling top edge. Shahid ran 30 yards from long leg to pull off a diving one-handed catch at deep square leg.
"When the ball went up in the air, the wind was blowing pretty hard," Shahid told ESPNcricinfo after the game. "I was trying to get under the ball but the ball kept pulling away from me because the wind was going against me so I had to put in the dive at the end because I don't think I would've made it if I didn't put in the dive. It just clicked and came in my hands. I was kind of surprised I got there because it's pretty far for me. I haven't taken a good catch like that in a while so it felt good and to take it at a big level for USA was amazing."
Shahid, who earlier claimed a catch at midwicket in the fourth over of the day to give Ghous a wicket, then claimed two far simpler catches at long-on off Timil's bowling in the 19th over. Adil Bhatti bowled the final over of the innings and was responsible for the last Suriname wicket when he chased down the final delivery in his follow through before underhanding the ball into the stumps from five yards away.
Babar and Taylor opened the chase with a 61-run stand before Taylor was out for 33 to start the 12th, getting dismissed in near identical fashion to Thursday's match against Bermuda as he checked a drive straight back to seamer Muneshwar Patandin. Mrunal Patel added another 32 with Babar before he was out for 14 inside edging a flick through his pads with the ball just trickling into the stumps. Nicholas Standford joined Babar for the final 14 needed to win and finished 10 not out.
Though USA only reached the target with 10 balls to spare, they took a relaxed approach to the chase and were never in danger of falling short. Babar hit two of the five fours in USA's innings, including a booming sweep off Gavin Singh in the fourth over to spur him onto an unbeaten 43. Babar remains the tournament's leading scorer with 209 runs and has only been dismissed once in Indianapolis.