USA beat Canada to move within one match of the title, Bermuda beat Argentina and Cayman Islands defeated Suriname
USA took a significant step towards the 2008 Americas championship with an 81-run victory over Canada at Central Broward Regional Park. In what was in reality a see-saw battle, with periods of holding the upper hand for both sides, it was the USA perseverance and determination that saw them through critical periods of play. The result leaves USA needing to beat Cayman Islands to win the title.
After winning the toss, the USA were soon 3 for 2, Sushil Nadkarni and Lennox Cush both falling to Umar Bhatti. Despite some repair work from Carl Wright (40) and captain Steve Massiah (22), at 89 for 6 after 29 overs, they were still in trouble. But Aditya Thyagarajan and Orlando Baker then added 105 in 20 overs, and steered USA to 201 for 8. Thyagarajan finished unbeaten on 84, made from 99 balls, while Baker was 38 not out.
In reply, Canada made a slow but steady start, with Sandeep Jyoti (40) and Asif Mulla putting on 44 for the first wicket, but once they had been separated the innings fell away as Orlando Baker (5 for 31) ripped through the middle order, the last eight wickets falling for 42. He received excellent support from Imran Awan (3 for 14 from 8.5 overs) and Sudesh Dhaniram (1 for 10 in 9 overs).
Bermuda cruised to a 146-run win over Argentina at at Central Broward Regional Park B Field, the outcome never in doubt after they made 341 for 4, Glenn Blakeney leading the charge with an unbeaten 118 off 113 balls. David Hemp chipped in with 58 not out off 68 balls, the pair adding 139 for the fifth wicket. Lionel Cann continued his rich vein of form by blasting 63 off 33 balls, including 5 sixes. Despite losing two early wickets, Argentina did well to make 195 for 6 without ever threatening an upset, Tomas Francis using his time in the middle to make an unbeaten 50.
"Today was a morale boosting and confidence building performance," Gus Logie, Bermuda's coach, said. "The players knew they underachieved in their previous game [against USA] and they were determined to get back on track. It was especially pleasing to witness the quality and class of Blakeney's first hundred for Bermuda, but it was a little disappointing we were unable to bowl out the opposition."
At Brian Piccolo Park, Suriname were again heavily defeated, but showed some signs of improvement against Cayman Islands. After being put in to bat, Suriname were dismissed for 103, but it was the first time they had reached three figures in the tournament. Veteran leg-spinner Michael Wight took 5 for 7 in 6 overs. Cayman Islands took 21 overs to complete an eight-wicket win.
Suriname now face Argentina in the final round of matches, with relegation to Division 2 awaiting the losers. On form so far, it is hard to see Suriname pulling off an upset.