The United States of America defeated Oman by 13 runs in an engrossing final of the ICC World Cricket League Division 4 event in Los Angeles on Saturday as the team made the most of the home conditions in the first ICC divisional event hosted in the country.
This cycle of WCL events allow teams a chance to qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018. The top two teams from Division 2 will join the top four sides from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and the bottom four sides from the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings in the 2018 Qualifier.
USA captain Steven Taylor felt his team had done well despite some tough moments, including in the final, in which his team defended a total of 208.
“This victory means a lot to us, especially as it came with the home crowd behind us. It has given us a big momentum. Winning this tournament was not easy, no matter what. We now want to go on and try to win the next tournament, we want to back our ability,” said Taylor.
The USA defeated Bermuda and Oman by identical eight-wicket margins in the preliminary league but was tested thoroughly in other matches. The USA beat Italy by just one wicket while losing to Denmark by four wickets and to Jersey by one run. The USA made the final edging out Denmark on net run-rate after being level at six points each.
The final against Oman too was not easy as the USA lost its first three wickets for only five runs before Alex Amsterdam (50), Timroy Allen (45) and Jasdeep Singh (37 not out) helped the team put up a competitive total. Singh later came on to bag three wickets with his medium-pace bowling to claim the player of the match award.
“It was a tough one, we lost our way, got a little partnership, we got back in after a mishap with the batsmen and then pushed forward,” Taylor said.
USA coach Pubudu Dassanayake said the team was hungry to win and that was what mattered in the end.
“Today was a tough day for us. We had three injuries and were struggling to get a final eleven in place. But everyone was hungry to win the tournament, the players kept doing the job and kept fighting,” Dassanayake said.
The USA had three players scoring over 200 runs in the tournament – left-hander Amsterdam (213 runs), captain Taylor (209) and Allen (204). Dassanayake felt that played a crucial role in the team’s success.
“We’re a strong batting unit and the bowling too is up there, but in fielding we are behind. But our guys gave heart and soul and with the talent that we have, we can go through Division 3. We have four to five months to get it right. Our players have got the hang of winning and need to keep going. If you are a good cricketer, you should know how to win. They’ve got a taste of it,” Dassanayake said.
Oman captain Ajay Lalcheta said he was aiming to make it to Division 2.
“We’re very happy because just six months back we were in Division 5, when I was nominated as captain for the first time. I have a vision of taking our team to Division 2 with the support of our Board and coach. We are already two steps ahead. The team is working fantastically together, the combination, unity is very good.
“There are a few points we have to work on. In pressure situations we have to do better, especially in batting. Hopefully we will come back better in the next tournament,” Lalcheta said.
Oman coach Duleep Mendis, a former Sri Lanka captain, said he was disappointed after the loss in the final because the team had won four of its five matches to top the preliminary league.
Oman defeated Jersey by six wickets, Bermuda by four wickets, Italy by five wickets and Denmark by 43 runs while losing to the USA by eight wickets in the league stage.
“It’s a disappointment because we played well right throughout. We beat everyone but lost in the playoff to USA. But more than anything else, the mission was to get promoted to Division 3. The team worked really hard for the last three months for this,” Mendis said.
For Oman, Swapnil Khadiya scored 197 runs in the tournament while Zeeshan Siddiqui aggregated 192. Khawar Ali, who agreggated 168 runs and also grabbed 13 wickets with his leg-spin bowling, was named player of the series.
Scores in brief (playoffs):
USA beat Oman by 13 runs
USA 208 all out in 49.4 overs (Alex Amsterdam 50, Timroy Allen 45, Jasdeep Singh 37 not out; Mohamad Nadeem 2-29, Zeeshan Maqsood 2-33, Rajeshkumar. Ranpura 2-34).
Oman 195-9 in 50 overs (Zeeshan Siddiqui 58; Jasdeep Singh 3-29).
For 3rd and 4th places:
Denmark beat Bermuda by 44 runs
Denmark 269-8 in 50 overs (Taranjit Bharaj 68 not out, Anders Bulow 45, Hamid Shah 36, Aftab Ahmed 32; Brian Hall 2-38, Jordan Smith 2-53).
Bermuda 225-8 in 50 overs (Jordan de Silva 52, Janeiro Tucker 38; Amjad Khan 3-14; Aftab Ahmed 2-32).
For 5th and 6th places:
Jersey beat Italy by 42 runs
Jersey 250-6 in 50 overs (Peter Gough 65, Corey Bison 63 not out, Harrison Carlyon 32, William Harris 30; Supun Tharanga 2-31, Luis di Giglio 2-41).
Italy 208 all out in 46.4 overs (Damian Crowley 39, Alessandro Bonora 38; Charles Perchard 4-22, Elliot Miles 3-45, Robert McBey 2-46)