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Manders relieved after crucial victory

Relief showed on the face of Bermuda coach Arnold Manders after the team clinched an impressive victory over the United States to survive in Division 3.

After two losses and two wins, Bermuda faced a must-win situation against the United States just to maintain their status in the division. Defeat would have sent the team into Division 4.

“For us it was about trying to get a win under our belts to keep us in ‘D3’ and if the other results went our way we might have nipped in,” said Manders, referring to a top two finish.

“As I said before the tournament started, all the teams are at the same level, it is just who plays best on the day. We didn’t follow all the right processes, batting and bowling, and that’s where you suffer, but at least it keeps us in ‘D3’, so that’s the best thing.”

With their backs against the wall the team produced their best performance of the week in front of a supportive crowd at National Sports Centre. “We can play, it’s just doing it consistently,” said Manders who said the win was more important than the run rate which was inferior to both Nepal and the United States going into Saturday’s match.

“We didn’t know what Nepal were doing so all we could do was win,” said Manders. “That was my philosophy, to go out there and win the match and let the chips fall where they fall.

“If we had gone out and chased a target and ended up losing, we would be down in ‘D4’ now.”

Manders praised Douglas for his knock which set up the run chase against the US, a team that had the better of exchanges when the two teams met in Florida recently. “Chris’ innings laid the foundation and we just coasted to the win,” said the coach.

Captain Stephen Outerbridge helped push the team to victory after the dismissal of Douglas and then David Hemp who was run out. “These tournaments are very tough, people take it for granted when they hear names (of countries) that are more associated with football but these countries are developing their cricket and growing fast,” said Outerbridge who expressed disappointment that the decision was recently taken to return domestic cricket to one league for next season.

“As Bermudians, as well as the Board, we need to look at what we are doing to improve our cricket and if we’re not improving then we are going to struggle in these tournaments,” he stressed.

“I hope we learned our lessons, we got a good look at the opposition and there is no jokey-joke cricket. I’m really displeased that after the performance we put in here, that we’re going to go back into a one league system.

“Those are some of the things I have made known to the Cricket Board and I’m very disappointed that now I’ve got to go back and play domestic cricket which is not going to be at a high level. If we want to be competitive in this World Cricket League then some major changes will have to be made.

“I don’t know what else I can do, cricket still has to be played, and at the end of the day we just hope lessons do get learned sooner rather than later. What I believe is once your cricket is right there is no reason why your cricket can’t improve and that is what you are seeing with the other nations that we were competing against.”

His USA counterpart, Steve Massiah, was philosophical about his side’s loss on Saturday. “After being down two for under 20, I thought we recovered brilliantly to post 220, which, at that stage, the pitch had been looking really difficult, but the pitch was not like what it looked like,” said Massiah.

“We thought it looked placid. We won the toss and decided to bat, but then it dried out brilliantly, and in the end it was a perfect cricket wicket. Full credit to Bermuda, I thought they applied themselves and came at us hard in the first five overs, and I thought that basically took it away from us. But in the middle period, we managed to bring it back to even stevens, but I guess we weren’t good enough.”

Massiah said that the team will need to return to basics to improve for the next events. “I guess USA has not been good enough in the last two games,” said the captain. “If you are not good enough, then you are not deserving winners, so I guess we’ll have to go back to the drawing board and go back to basics, and hopefully the next tournament, we can put in a better performance.”

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Published May 05, 2013 at 10:53 pm (Updated May 05, 2013 at 10:53 pm)

Manders relieved after crucial victory

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