Bermuda pay for wasting dominant start
Al Amerat Cricket Ground, Ministry Turf 1 (Bermuda won toss): Uganda (2pts) beat Bermuda by seven wickets
Bermuda face an uphill climb to make inroads into the Cricket World Cup Challenge League B after an inexplicable batting collapse led to a second straight defeat in Oman yesterday.
Once well placed at 159 for two with a score well in excess of 300 on the cards, and three batsmen having made fifties, Bermuda lost eight wickets for 49 runs to leave Uganda a target that was about 80 runs short.
In the end, despite Uganda losing two wickets in the space of eight runs early on, the pair of Shahzad Ukani and Ronak Patel got to the target in a walk — almost literally in some cases. Ukani made 86 and Patel 72 not out, their 168-run stand for the third wicket exposing Bermuda’s limitations with the ball.
A lack of penetration, despite the inclusion of fast bowler Zeko Burgess for his List A debut, meant that the Ugandans needed to take few chances.
Burgess, who took one of the two early wickets to fall with his very first ball, was the only change to the team that faced Hong Kong on Tuesday. He replaced all-rounder Dion Stovell, presumably for reasons of fitness.
The other wicket-takers were Kyle Hodsoll, who came back well from his struggles in the opener, and Justin Pitcher at the end when it was all done and dusted.
Having run out of ideas, captain Terryn Fray resorted to two very loose overs from Deunte Darrell and to Kamau Leverock bowling off spin in his second spell. But, alas, he is no Dwayne Leverock.
Bermuda were again profligate in the extras department, spraying 23 wides in a total of 28 in only 40.1 overs.
The bowlers produced 27 wides and no-balls in the three-wicket defeat by Hong Kong, and team manager Irving Romaine admitted it was an area that needed immediate attention. But, truth be told, it was with the bat where the game was lost yesterday.
The early stages of the tournament have been defined by batsmen going big after they have got themselves in — but, sadly for Bermuda, none of those men have donned the pink and blue.
To score only 208 when three players have reached a half-century before the notional halfway mark of the innings — 30 overs — defies logic.
However, that fate befell Bermuda, as Leverock (50), Tre Manders (59) and Delray Rawlins (53) got the measure of the Uganda bowlers and then took their feet off their throats.
With Darrell (0) and Okera Bascome (6) unable to buy a run in the middle order while still being persevered with, the pressure on the top four to be all things to all men is becoming a leaden weight.
Part of that weight is no doubt contributed to by the captain, whose laboured innings of seven ate up 33 balls before ending with yet another leg-before dismissal.
It is to be hoped that one of the many backroom staff who have accompanied the team to the Middle East is a batting coach who can work with Fray to correct a blatantly obvious technical deficiency.
The tail wagged against Hong Kong, but this time Onias Bascome, moved up one to No 7 because of the absence of Stovell, was left high and dry on 14 not out with 28 balls unused.
Coach Herbie Bascome, if he is so inclined, has options in reserve — including slow bowler Derrick Brangman, who has fallen down the pecking order; a 38-year-old opening batsman in Coolidge Durham, who is untried at this level; and a middle-order batsman in Pierre Smith, whose mere presence in Oman diverts attention to the merits of the selection committee.
Unfancied players have been known to prosper in the past and coach Bascome could do far worse than to get any or all of them in, if for no other reason than to take Darrell and/or Okera Bascome out of the firing line for a spell.
If Leverock and Rawlins are firing on all cylinders and constantly threatening three figures, a lightweight middle order is a luxury that can be tolerated.
But when they don’t or — in a case such as yesterday — when they fail to kick on to something more substantial after blazing through the early overs, solid support is non-negotiable.
Leverock and Manders backed up their fifties from the previous match, with the former hitting six fours and a six in his 37-ball innings. Manders played a comparative anchor, as he faced 99 balls, with five fours, as he first ceded to Leverock in a short 21-run stand and then contributed manfully in a partnership of 95 with Rawlins.
The Sussex left-hander’s knock came from only 38 balls and included four fours and two sixes. Another hour of him and who knows?
The potential of the batting unit is off the charts, and has been spoken of effusively, but it is eight defeats on the trot now for this group across two competitions. Something needs to change before they forget how to win.
Next up for Bermuda are Kenya tomorrow, the only commonality being that they prop up the six-team group in the wake of Jersey thrashing Italy by 122 runs in the other match yesterday after posting 280 for eight.
Two of their batsmen passed 50 — one made 102, the other 88.
Vive le différence.
*T S Fray lbw b Nsubuga 7
K S Leverock c Hassun b Shah 50
T Manders st Achelam b Ssenyondo 59
D M W Rawlins c Mukasa b Hassun 53
D A P Darrell run out 0
O Bascome lbw b Ssenyondo 6
O G L Bascome not out 14
J E Pitcher b Masaba 0
†S Smith c Waiswa b Masaba 1
K C Hodsoll lbw b Ssenyondo 0
Z Burgess b Ssenyondo 0
Extras (lb 2, nb 1, w 15) 18
Total (45.2 overs) 208
Fall of wickets: 1-41, 2-64, 3-159, 4-161, 5-187, 6-199, 7-200, 8-204, 9-206.
Bowling: Nsubuga 10-2-18-1; Hassun 5-0-39-1; Ssenyondo 8.2-0-35-4; Shah 5-0-31-1; Mukasa 10-0-52-0; Nakrani 4-0-25-0; Masaba 3-0-6-2.
R G Mukasa c Smith b Hodsoll 11
S Ukani c Rawlins b Pitcher 86
K Waiswa b Burgess 1
R B Patel not out 72
D M Nakrani not out 13
Extras (b 3, lb 1, nb 1, w 23) 28
Total (3 wkts; 40.1 overs) 211
Riazat Shah, *B Masaba, F Nsubuga, Bilal Hassun, †F Achelam and H Ssenyondo did not bat.
Fall of wickets: 1-21, 2-29, 3-197.
Bowling: Hodsoll 8-1-23-1; Leverock 6-0-36-0; Burgess 6-0-28-1; Pitcher 7.1-1-35-1; Rawlins 5-0-26-0; O G L Bascome 6-0-38-0; Darrell 2-0-21-0.
Umpires: V Babu and T H Dar (Hong Kong).
Match referee: M Nayyar (India).
Al Amerat Cricket Ground, Ministry Turf 2 (Italy won toss): Jersey 280-8 (50 overs; N A Greenwood 102, J W Jenner 88; G K Berg 3 for 32, N A Malolo 3 for 69); Italy 158 (41 overs; B D H Stevens 3 for 24). Jersey (2pts) beat Italy by 122 runs.
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