Cann’s ton against Italy keeps Bermuda’s hopes alive
Bermuda 284; Italy 224 A swashbuckling Lionel Cann century revived Bermuda’s hopes of progressing to the next phase of 2015 ICC World Cup qualifiers at Somerset Cricket Club yesterday.
The mercurial middle order bat blasted 11 sixes and six fours in a whirlwind knock of 113 from 48 balls that laid the foundation for Bermuda’s 60 run win that kept the hosts in with a fighting chance of achieving their primary objective during this week’s Pepsi ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3 tournament.
Cann unleashed a vicious assault on the Italian bowlers, feasting heavily on the spinners, who were put to the sword whenever they provided the batsman with too much width, dropped short over pitched.
After quickly getting his eye in, the veteran player raced to a half century off only 24 balls and took another 21 to bring up his century in the last over of the innings before he went for one big too many and lost his centre stump to the seam bowling of Dilan Arsakulasuriya.
Cann dominated two partnerships that put the match beyond Italy’s reach, adding 44 runs for the sixth-wicket with Janeiro Tucker (19) and another 67 with Malachi Jones (19) for the eighth as the hosts plundered 53 runs off the batting power play.
The middle order batsman’s innings did not go without its slice of luck. Cann lived a charmed life at the crease as he was caught on the mid-wicket boundary but given a reprieve after the fielder stepped on the rope. He was also put down twice at mid-on and once on the backward square leg boundary.
“It was my day and I rode my luck and it paid off,” said Cann, whose knock is the highest by a local batsman thus far in the tournament. “I got in the zone, the ball was coming onto the bat and everything just clicked. I just went for my shots and it came off.”
Bermuda found themselves in a must-win situation going into the match in terms of avoiding relegation to WCL Division 4 after suffering a second loss of the tournament against Nepal the day before.
“If we didn’t win we would have automatically gone down to Division 4,” added Cann. “But this keeps us in with a chance of going to division 2 or staying in division 3, so it was a very important knock.”
Bermuda’s total, their highest of the tournament so far, was also built on a half-century from top order bat Tre Manders. Manders replaced the injured Jason Anderson and grasped his opportunity to impress with both hands on the way to an attractive knock of 64 from 86 balls that included seven fours and three sixes.
He added 48 runs for the third wicket with skipper Stephen Outerbridge (12) and another 54 for the fourth wicket with David Hemp (36) after openers Dion Stovell (2) and Chris Douglas (0) were dismissed cheaply.
Manders brought up his half-century off 73 balls before he was eventually caught at long on off the bowling of Arsakulasuriya.
Seam duo Arsakulasuriya (3-42) and Gayashan Munasinghe (3-66) were the pick of a varied Italian bowling attack.
Presented with the task of scoring at 5.6 runs per over in their reply, Italy lost opening pair Andrew Northcote (13) and Dinidu Marage (0) cheaply before a third-wicket stand between Damian Crowley (29) and Peter Petricola (66) steadied the innings.
Off-spinner Rodney Trott eventually snapped the partnership when he trapped Crowley leg before. But a brutal half-century by Carl Sandri (66) lower down the order kept Italy in with a fighting chance before seamer Jones picked up two wickets in his third spell and ran out Fida Hussain (0) fielding to his own bowling to bring Bermuda to the brink of victory.
Controversy flared when Vincenzo Pennazza (9) was run out at the northern end of the ground in the closing overs. Rather than walk to the pavilion the batsman stood his ground, arguing that Stovell’s foot had touched the ropes as he attempted to cut off a boundary. Stovell flicked the ball back to Treadwell Gibbons Jr who threw it to Tucker who then broke the stumps at the non striker’s end with Pennazza short of his crease. The incident held the game up for several minutes while the Italians protested before calmer heads prevailed and play eventually resumed.
Italy’s run chase effectively ended with the dismissal of danger man Sandri after the middle-order batsman was held in the deep by Manders off the bowling of Jones after being dropped by the same fielder the previous delivery.
Jones then sealed Bermuda’s crucial win when he had last man Munasinghe (0) caught behind by wicketkeeper Douglas without bothering the scorers.
Jones (3-51) led Bermuda’s bowling attack while Tucker (2-30) and Trott (2-35) claimed two wickets each.