|World Cricket League Division 3: Hong Kong, January 2011|
USA struggle but get home against Oman
After a disappointing defeat to Papua New Guinea yesterday, USA were looking to bounce back from two losses and that is exactly what Steve Massiah’s side did, but victory over the Sultanate of Oman did not come easily for the Americans.
Having won the toss, Massiah’s men proceeded to work their way through the Oman batting line up with some strong bowling coming from spinner Asif Khan as well as bowlers Shuja and Orlando Baker.
Oman’s batsmen failed to make partnerships in today’s match and when Baker and Asif dismissed key middle-order men Hemal Mehta, Sultan Ahmed and Awal Khan the Americans had the side on the backfoot – eventually skittling the team for 122.
After the innings break, the USA batsmen took to the field overlooked by the green mountains of Hong Kong and preceded to repeat the poor performances of yesterday. The top order once again collapsed, this time to the bowling of Rajesh Kumar with the side at one point three wickets down for just three runs.
It looked set to be an Omani victory as Carl Wright, Lennox Cush, Sushil Nadkarni, Ritesh Kadu and debutant Durale Forrest were all sent packing. But, all was not as it seemed when Shuja and Asif took to the crease and the duo bedded in to grind out victory by two wickets for the USA.
A delighted Shuja said, “I just wanted to bat it out today and try to score as many runs as possible and help us to get over some of the embarrassment of yesterday’s defeat. Once I’d settled in and the ball had gotten older I felt I could play a bit more freely and help us on our way to winning.
“When the top order collapsed I realised I needed to come in and bat patiently, something I think they didn’t do, and it worked out in our favour as myself and Asif knocked off the runs. It’s now about us hopefully beating Italy and keeping ourselves in contention for promotion if we can.”