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Bermuda left chasing their tails

Bermuda had a troubling start to the World Cricket League Division Four at the weekend, losing to the United States on Saturday and then suffering a second loss yesterday to Oman by four wickets in a match reduced to 40 overs.

Anxious to recover from their opening defeat to the US by eight wickets at the Severn Cricket Field in Woodley Park, Los Angeles, Bermuda adjusted their batting order after Oman sent them in.

Kamau Leverock and wicketkeeper Dean Minors opened the innings and put on 72 in 12.4 overs before Leverock departed for 47 off 37 balls with six fours and two sixes. However, his departure also signalled a collapse as the next nine wickets added just 101 runs, with Minors going two overs later for 26 off 45 balls.

The backbone of the batting was ripped out as Dion Stovell, Janeiro Tucker and captain OJ Pitcher departed for three, five and nought respectively to leave Bermuda wobbling at 99 for five by the 21st over.

Tre Manders scored a defiant 21 off 42 balls as he tried to steady the ship but his departure with the score at 114 for six exposed the team's tail.

Stephen Bremar Jr, who opened with Pitcher in the first match, led the batting with a dogged 42 not out from 50 balls, hitting a four and three sixes as wickets continued to fall around him. The last four batsmen all failed to reach double figures as Bermuda finished on 173 for nine. Khawar Ali and Mohammad Nadeem led the Oman bowling with four for 25 and three for 36 respectively from their allotted eight overs.

Oman had a shaky start, losing their first two wickets for 15 by the third over as Bermuda's bowlers fought back.

They recovered to 56 for three by the eighteenth over, only for Bermuda take three more wickets to leave the match in the balance at 119 for six after 26.3 overs. That would be the final wicket for Bermuda, though, as an unbeaten seventh-wicket stand of 55 in 7.3 overs carried Oman to victory.

Greg Maybury took two for 35 for Bermuda, while left-arm seam bowlers Jordan DeSilva and Cejay Outerbridge claimed one wicket each.

Bermuda's return to the WCL in Division Four on Saturday drew unwanted similarities with their final match in Division Three — a crushing eight-wicket defeat at the hands of the US. The fifth-place play-off in Malaysia two years ago for two teams who had already been relegated had been reduced to farce by Bermuda's lack of effort.

It was the final straw that led to the departure of interim coach Allan Douglas from the Bermuda Cricket Board hierarchy altogether, while several members on that fateful tour have been cast to the side.

A recap: slap-happy Bermuda were all out for 113 inside 20 overs and then kept the US occupied for a mere 15.2 overs in a ten-wicket defeat.

Fast-forward to 2016 and it appears Fahad Babar, the US opener, has a good memory, as he followed his unbeaten 63 in Malaysia with 71 not out on Saturday to anchor an eight-wicket win that firmly established the host nation as the favourites.

Shorn of the late-arriving Delray Rawlins for the first two matches, Bermuda owed their 201 in 48.3 overs to a determined effort from Stovell at No 4.

Domestic cricket's player of the year made 56 from 88 balls, with four fours and two sixes, before he was last man out three balls into the penultimate over.

Stovell suffered for not having a partner of permanence.

He put on 39 for the fourth wicket with former Bermuda captain Tucker, who was a late inclusion to the team after injury to Terryn Fray, but subsequent stands with Leverock, Brian Hall and DeSilva promised much without going on.

As it was, the second-wicket partnership of 55 between captain Pitcher and Manders was Bermuda's largest. The pair took Bermuda to 65 for one after Bremar Jr had scratched around for 19 balls before being run out without scoring.

Pitcher, after a similarly slow start, reached 30 with the first six of the match, but was bowled two balls later in the first of a double strike from Jasdeep Singh, who had Manders caught behind for 19. Stovell did his best to nurse Bermuda to a workable total at the Severn Cricket Field, but even with the assistance of a staggering 29 wides as part of the 33 extras, the Americans fancied their chances.

Bermuda's first boundary was not struck until four balls into the seventh over, by Pitcher to make the score 17 for one. By the same point in the US innings, they had hit seven, with captain Steven Taylor particularly harsh on Leverock and Stovell, whose off spin with the new ball was given little respect.

With Taylor in such belligerent form, Babar was allowed to ease his way into the match at the other end. The captain got to 56 from 41 balls, with nine fours and a six, when he picked out Leverock at deep mid-wicket to give Outerbridge his first wicket at this level.

The score was 75 and Bermuda had no more joy, leaking boundaries almost every over, until Leverock was again involved by running out Ravi Timbawala for 41, with the US 32 runs shy of victory. It was all over 16 balls later.

Saturday's other matches brought wins for Oman and Denmark over Jersey and Italy respectively. Also yesterday Denmark beat Jersey by six wickets, while the US defeated Italy by one wicket.

Photograph courtesy of the ICC Time to fly: Bermuda batsman Manders is caught behind by US wicketkeeper Akeem Dodson off the bowling of Jasdeep Singh at the Severn Cricket Field in Woodley Park in Los Angeles

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Published October 31, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated October 31, 2016 at 2:14 am)

Bermuda left chasing their tails

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