Mankading leaves black mark on Bermuda
Al Amerat Cricket Ground, Ministry Turf 1 (Bermuda won toss): Jersey (2pts) beat Bermuda by six wickets
Bermuda cricket stumbled from one controversy to the next yesterday when a calamitous defeat in Cricket World Cup Challenge League B that required only 42.3 overs from start to finish was tarnished further by an incident universally accepted as against the spirit of the game.
With Jersey cruising to victory at 75 for one in the thirteenth over chasing 111, Onias Bascome out of nowhere Mankaded non-striker Ben Stevens, with the batsman clearly not looking to steal an advantage.
There had been no warning, either, which generally is the least expectation for the rarely used but legal means of taking a wicket.
It was a repeat of an unseemly incident against the same team three years ago in Los Angeles at the World Cricket League Division Four tournament when, from a commanding position, Janeiro Tucker ran out Jersey batsman Will Harris, sparking animosity between the countries that evidently has endured.
Tucker is still with the Bermuda party, although now in a non-playing capacity, but the memories of that dark day in sunny California have now been brought flooding back.
Chasing a paltry victory target, Jersey were never in any rush to score the runs, which made the Mankad — despite the countries' history — all the more jaw-dropping.
Bascome, two balls into his second over and approaching for his third, completed his delivery stride, watched Stevens leave his ground and nonchalantly removed the bails — as if by design.
The standing umpire had no option but to raise his finger because the Mankad, albeit frowned upon at all levels — let alone in the international arena — is within the Laws of the Game.
The incident overshadowed all that went before, which takes some doing, given that Bermuda's batsmen rolled over in a heap once Tre Manders's run of three straight fifties ended with a duck, and Kamau Leverock (22) and Delray Rawlins (31) failed to register anything substantial.
They were the only batsmen in double figures.
Slow left-arm bowler Elliot Miles claimed the prized wicket of Rawlins among his four for eight from four overs, and fast-medium bowler Daniel Birell also picked up four wickets, his costing 20 runs in seven overs. Rawlins hit four fours and two sixes before being trapped in front on his 27th ball faced, while Leverock dealt only in boundaries during a ten-ball stay that produced four fours and a six.
Jersey's chase was spirited by the indiscipline of fast bowler Zeko Burgess, who got through three overs in the space of an exhaustive two, owing to six wides conceded.
It meant that there could be no real momentum for Bermuda, despite Kyle Hodsoll bowling Nick Greenwood for four in the third over — the score was already 15. Wicketkeeper Jake Dunford, opening for the first time in Oman, and Stevens were hardly troubled in a 60-run stand before Bascome tried one on and got away with it.
Stevens, who was not in the Jersey squad for the 2016 Mankad but should have been forewarned to beware, stood at the wicket in disgust, remonstrating briefly with the celebrating Bermuda players before trudging off with 28 next to his name.
In his next over, the fifteenth, Bascome collected a wicket by more conventional means when Dunford lost control of his bat playing a big legside drive and was palpably leg-before for 35.
The remaining highlight for Bermuda was a first wicket on tour for Derrick Brangman to lessen the margin of defeat.
Earlier, Okera Bascome was mercifully left out of the side after a string of low scores and Dion Stovell was deemed still not fit enough to return, although he made an appearance as a substitute fielder.
But there was yet another failure for captain Terryn Fray, who was out for six at the top of the order, and Pierre Smith made a belated yet inauspicious debut with two from 11 balls.
The one enforced change came as a result of the two-match suspension handed to Deunte Darrell, the middle-order batsman who had already created history in Dubai in October by becoming the first Bermuda cricketer to be banned mid-tournament.
But for the moment the spotlight on him can be cast over the entire set-up, with Bermuda's reputation as a sporting nation taking a battering as a result of recent events.
Coach Herbie Bascome's squad will not be very popular in Oman for the remaining days of this tour and, with two Mankads in the country's CV, there is a genuine threat Bermuda may be viewed as a cricketing pariah — at least among Associate contemporaries.
It is not as though the Mankad has not been rolled out in the world game, but on each occasion the perpetrators have been vilified, most recently Ravichandran Ashwin at the Indian Premier League.
Before him, it was the West Indies youth team at the Under-19 World Cup in 2016 when a Mankad dismissal by millimetres against Zimbabwe meant the difference between reaching the final and going on to lift the trophy, and ending as a losing semi-finalist.
Keemo Paul, who has since graduated to the senior team and played in three Test matches, said this year that he has learnt the error of his ways after receiving a tremendous international backlash as a teenager.
“Definitely, I believed what I did was right,” the 21-year-old told ESPNcricinfo in March. “I was only 17, I came down hard on myself, kept wondering if I did the right thing. That was just instinct. Now, I have matured more and I don't think I will probably do it again.”
In the other match yesterday, Uganda opened a five-point lead at the top of League B with a comfortable six-wicket win over second-placed Hong Kong when set a target of 148.
Bermuda's last chance to salvage something other than the point gained from the abandoned match against Kenya comes today when they face Italy, who are second from bottom with three points.
K S Leverock c Dunford b Sumerauer 22
*T S Fray c Stevens b Birrell 6
T Manders b Birrell 0
D M W Rawlins lbw b Miles 31
O G L Bascome c Blampied b Sumerauer 5
†S Smith c Stevens b Birrell 7
P I E Smith lbw b Birrell 2
J E Pitcher c Blampied b Miles 4
D L Brangman not out 9
Z Burgess b Miles 0
K C Hodsoll lbw b Miles 0
Extras (lb 7, w 17) 24
Total (23 overs) 110
Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-28, 3-34, 4-76, 5-89, 6-91, 7-94, 8-102, 9-110.
Bowling: Carlyon 1-0-14-0; Sumerauer 7-0-48-2; Birrell 7-1-20-4; Perchard 3-0-13-0; Miles 5-1-8-4.
†J S E Dunford lbw b O G L Bascome 35
N A Greenwood b Hodsoll 4
B D H Stevens run out 28
H L Carlyon not out 14
J W Jenner c sub b Brangman 12
D G Blampied not out 6
Extras (lb 1, w 13) 14
Total (4 wkts; 19.3 overs) 113
J T S Sumerauer, *C W Perchard, E J B Miles, C Bisson and D Birrell did not bat.
Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-75, 3-81, 4-98.
Bowling: Hodsoll 5-0-29-1; Burgess 2-0-16-0; Pitcher 2-0-9-0; Rawlins 2-0-11-0; O G L Bascome 5-0-26-1; Brangman 3.3-0-21-1.
Umpires: H Pillai (India) and T H Dar (Hong Kong).
Third umpire: V Babu (Oman).
Match referee: M Nayyar (India).
Al Amerat Cricket Ground, Ministry Turf 1 (Uganda won toss): Hong Kong 147 (47.5 overs; Bilal Hassun 3 for 33); Uganda 150-4 (36.2 overs; A Otwani 66 not out, D M Nakrani 57 not out). Uganda (2pts) beat Hong Kong by six wcikets.