WCL Americas Region Division Four
Falkland Islands 131 (Pickup 24, Smith 4-32) beat Costa Rica 92 (Smith 24, Taylforth 6-14) by 39 runs
The Falkland Islands blew Costa Rica away on the second day of the Americas Division Four competition at the Reforma Athletic ground in Mexico City on Tuesday. A devastating spell of medium-pace bowling from Falkland Islands’ David Taylforth caused all the damage, as he picked up 6 for 14 and wrapped up the game with a four-wicket maiden which included a hat-trick.
The day started with the Costa Ricans winning the toss and electing to field in cloudy conditions. In the third over, Sam Arthur bowled Falkland Islands’ opening batsman Mike Summers for just 2. Martin Collins then came to the crease and he faired a little better before he too was bowled the same bowler and Falkland Islands were up against it.
The Falkland’s batsmen came to the wicket and left with great regularity and only Charles Hewitt, with a painstaking 21 from 50 balls, and David Pickup, with 24 runs from 53 balls, made any effort to occupy the crease.
The Falkland’s innings folded for 131 runs with 11.3 overs remaining and the game looked all but lost at this stage. Ben Smith returned 4 for 32 from 10 overs to go with his century the day before. He was supported by Tim Baker who took 3 for 29 and Sam Arthur with 2 for 15.
Playing in their first tournament of any kind, Falkland Islands never gave up hope, and the spirit in the team was further lifted in the first over when Taylforth had Tim Baker caught by Collins without a run on the board. Smith threatened to take the game away from Falkland Islands but he went, brilliantly caught at mid-off, to leave the Costa Ricans on 44 for 2.
The Falkland players went to lunch believing they could conjure up an upset and set up a decider with the hosts in Wednesday's game. After lunch the game swayed back and forth until the 29th over. With Costa Rica poised at 92 for 6 and still in need of 39 runs for victory, Falkland Islands needed a hero, and he duly stepped up.
In what one spectator described as the most exhilarating finish to a cricket game, captain and Man-of-the-Match Taylforth came back into the attack from the northern end of the ground, and with his first ball of the over he had Richard Illingworth caught at gully by Ian Betts.
This encouraged Falkland Islands to go on the offensive with two slips, two men in the gully and the rest of the fielders inside the circle. The second ball of the over brought Garth Tweedale forward only to be snapped up by Richard Marlor at one of the two gullies.
This brought in Gary Sheriff with Taylforth on a hat-trick and a perfect, swinging delivery saw Sheriff groping forward and again Marlor in the gully did the honours. The Falkland Islanders jumped and screamed with delight for captain Taylforth but also at the sight of a well-deserved victory.
The fourth ball was a dot ball to last man, Armando Foster, but the fifth was just short of a length and Foster went back but could not keep his hand down. The ball took the glove and looped to Marlor waiting in the same position as the previous two catches. Costa Rica’s innings ended with the score at 92 to give Falkland Islands victory by 39 runs.