USA have fallen 95 runs short of the 255 they required for victory against Jamaica Scorpions, to record their third loss of this year’s Cricket West Indies Super 50 festival in Antigua.
The Scorpions won the toss and decided to bat first, but good disciplined bowling from the USA saw Jamaica lose wickets at regular intervals, and meant the team in yellow were never allowed to get any fluency in first half of their innings. When Andre Russell played on to an Elmore Hutchinson delivery in the 40th over, the score was 169/8, and there was every chance that the USA could restrict Jamaica to around or maybe even substantially less than 200.
However, a remarkable unbeaten partnership for the 9th wicket of 85 runs between Odean Smith and Nikita Miller meant the US would be required to chase north of 250. Nikita Miller slammed his team’s only half century for the match from the number 10 position, finishing with 52 not out from 41 balls.
Elmore Hutchinson was once again the pick of the bowlers, finishing with 3 for 40, whilst Nisarg Patel bounced back well from his rough day with the ball in the first match to record figures of 2 for 44 from 8.
In response, USA got off to their best start of the tournament, with Sunny Sohal surviving a loud shout for caught behind in the 2nd over, before finally recording his first runs in national colors. The opening partnership between he and Jaskaran Malhotra looked encouraging in the opening exchanges, but the spinners really put the brakes on the scoring rate once Andre Russell completed his opening spell.
Frustration eventually got the best of Malhotra, falling to a swipe across the line in Nikita Millers first over. In the next over Christopher Lamont snuck one through Xavier Marshall’s defenses, and then had Timil Patel LBW first ball. All of a sudden, USA were in a bit of trouble.
65 from Sunny Sohal and 40 from captain Ibrahim Khaleel but #TeamUSA?? are bowled out for 159 to lose by 95 runs to Jamaica Scorpions in Group B of the Super50.
— USA Cricket (@usacricket) February 7, 2018
Skipper Ibrahim Khaleel and Sunny Sohal stuck to the task of rebuilding the innings with aplomb, but the scoring rate required continued to balloon. The pair finally found some fluency either side of a short rain delay at the 30 over mark, and not long after Sohal brought up his maiden fifty for the USA.
Unfortunately, he was out not long after for a well-played 65, but his demise all but signaled the end for the USA. From there a steady stream of wickets came as the required run rate spiraled and it saw USA coming up well short of their target. For a third game in a row, USA will be thinking about what might have been however after some impressive individual efforts left plenty to build upon for their next match.
Next up for #TeamUSA are the English county side, Kent who scored an impressive 9 wicket win over Leewards Island Hurricanes today to leave the group wide open. The game starts at 9am local time on Thursday at the Sir Vivian Richard Cricket Stadium in Antigua.