Team USA shone under the floodlights of the Kensington Oval with a spectacular team bowling performance that rounded out a dominant, bonus point 88 run win over the Leeward Islands Hurricanes to get their first win in the 2018-19 Cricket West Indies Super 50.
Having been put in to bat by the Leewards Islands skipper Devon Smith, USA had the services of the returning Steven Taylor but had to do without Captain, Saurabh Netravalkar who had flown home due to work commitments back to America. The change in personnel didn’t affect the team however and it was the best powerplay of the tournament as USA strode confidently to 59 for 1 after the first 10 overs.
The introduction of spin changed the game however as Cornwall, Jacobs and Hughes shared 7 wickets between them for the local side and it was left up to Timil Patel’s gutsy innings of 39 and lower order contributions from Hutchinson, Singh and Kenjige to get USA up to 197 All Out just 3 balls short of their allocated 50 overs.
USA got an opportunity to make an early breakthrough though as the Leewards had bowled their overs so quickly, they were forced to come back out to bat before the interval. And the stand-in skipper, Jaskaran Malhotra will have been absolutely delighted that he got not one but two quick wickets in the five overs before the teams went to the dinner break with the score 13 for 2.
If things were good before the break for USA, they got even better throughout the evening as everything started to go USA’s way. After a brief rain delay with 18 overs gone, Roy Silva made the breakthrough 3 balls later to claim the wicket of Devon Smith with Malhotra taking a wonderful catch up to the stumps. Kyle Phillip bowled a fiery spell of fast bowling and also claimed a wicket but it was the ‘Spin-Twins’, Nosthush Kenjige and Timil Patel, who tore the Leewards innings apart with some sensational spin bowling.
Kenjige claimed the crucial wicket of Cornwall, who has made an unbeaten century in January against Team USA, for just 1 run which was part of a collapse initiated by the two spinners and saw the final 6 wickets fall for 19 runs to spark wild celebrations and great joy throughout the USA camp.
In reality, USA were huge value for their 88 run win and deserved the bonus point that went with it. It moves USA into 4th in the group but they could leapfrog all the way into 2nd if they can win their next match in two days time.
Next up for USA is the only side in Group B without a win yet, Barbados Pride and it will again be under floodlights and in front of the TV Cameras on Friday 16th October, see the schedule in full here.
— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) October 11, 2018