Canada beat Bermuda by five wickets in an enthralling contest to win the first ICC Americas Women's Championship. Bermuda chose to bat and made 169 for 7 in their 40 overs. Canada then marched to an emphatic victory, and the Americas crown, reaching their target with five overs to spare.
Bermuda's only really meaningful contribution came from allrounder Terry-Lynn Paynter, with an outstanding innings of 58 from 61 balls. For Canada, Helene Gaffney produced a great late bowling spell, to end with figures of 3 for 31 in 5 overs.
Canada got off to a nervous start in reply but a 123-run third-wicket partnership between Kim Coulter (37) and Joanna White, who made a brilliant undefeated 50, signed and sealed the outcome.
Although Bermuda did snatch two late wickets, it was too little too late. Paynter was again the pick for Bermuda, with 1 for 17 off 8 overs.
"It was truly a great team effort, and a fantastic achievement to win the game and the Americas Championship," said Ave Mogan, Canada's captain. "The partnership between Kim and Joanna was really important to get us into a winning position, after our bowlers had done an excellent job in restricting them to 169. Everyone is very happy with this victory."
Bermuda have the consolation of the World Cup qualifier in Pakistan later in the year, and will undoubtedly apply all lessons learnt during this competition in order to be at their best at the qualifier.
"We batted well, especially Terry, to give ourselves a chance, but unfortunately our bowling was less effective," said their vice-captain Linda Mienzer. "We waited too late to apply more pressure, but I think we showed a lot of character throughout the game. Congratulations to Canada, and we will return home and continue to work hard towards the tournament in Pakistan."
In the other game, the Trinidad & Tobago U17 team recorded a massive 241-run victory over a gutsy Argentina side. Star of the show, and player of the match, was young Amanda Samaroo, who struck a superb unbeaten 128, off only 125 balls with 14 fours. Although she did offer a couple of chances, her innings was filled with superlative strokeplay and masterful placing and control - truly a name to look out for in the future.
Support came in the form of Whitney Cudjoe, who made a fine 55, off 91 balls with 7 fours. Cudjoe and Samaroo shared in an entertaining second wicket partnership of 122 runs. After the dismissal of Cudjoe, Samaroo teamed up with Melissa Sandy to add another 121 for the third wicket. Sandy made 29 in 64 balls with 2 fours.
The U17s finished on a mammoth 333 for 3, always beyond the reach of Argentina, who settled for trying to see out their 40 overs, which they did. Catalina Greloni made an unbeaten 20 and Marcela Rojas contributed 17 as they crawled to 92 for 4.
Argentina team manager Moira Culley said: "The girls are very happy with what they achieved today, and in the last days, and I'm sure they are going to improve in the future as they play more matches."
Trinidad & Tobago U17 team manager, Brenda Solozano, was also happy with the past three days of competition. "We have aimed to maintain a high level of cricket here, and I think we have done that. All the players in our squad were able to play in the games, thus allowing me to look at them for further development. It was also very pleasing today to see Amanda Samaroo achieve her personal best score."
After a rest day, Friday will be the final day of the event with a match between the Trinidad & Tobago U17 team and an ICC Americas XI, after which an awards ceremony for the week will take place.
ICC Americas XI, from Ave Mogan (capt), Joanna White, Kim Coulter and Maree Wilson, Chevonne Furbert (v-capt), Reuna Richardson, Terry-Lynn Paynter and Wendy Woodley, Veronica Vasquez and Cecilia Birnie, Mawhish Khan and Santhiya Rajaram.
Coach: Ann Browne-John