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Tucker’s ‘Mankad’ sparks controversy

Star performer: Smith has described Leverock's century as 'out of this world'

Bermuda’s convincing victory over Jersey in the World Cricket League Division Four on Wednesday was clouded in some controversy after bowler Janeiro Tucker “Mankaded” Jersey’s batsman Will Harris.

Tucker ran out Harris, batting at No 4, in his bowling stride after the Jersey batsman stepped out of his crease after previous warnings from the Bermuda bowlers.

The dismissal reduced Jersey to 82 for four, chasing Bermuda’s total of 312.

Although a legitimate dismissal, it is not considered good sportsmanship and some of the Jersey players later tweeted their displeasure.

“It happened and I talked to my captain [O.J. Pitcher] about it afterwards,” Clay Smith, the Bermuda coach, said.

“It’s not something you set out to do, it’s unfortunate that it happened, but it is a part of the rules.”

Bermuda’s hopes of promotion were all but dashed by Denmark’s victory over the United States on Wednesday.

Now they will rely on Jersey recording a convincing victory over the United States today — while doing likewise against winless Italy — to keep alive their slim chance of finishing second on net run-rate.

However, the threat of relegation is still a possibility for Bermuda as a loss to Italy and a Jersey win could send them down on run-rate.

Bermuda have a 2-2 record while second-from-last Jersey are 1-3, although their run-rate is better than Bermuda’s.

“We still have some work to do against Italy while the US still have Jersey to play,” Smith said.

“We’re definitely moving in the right direction and the confidence of the players is coming along in leaps and bounds.

“Yesterday we put together a good all-round game but were a bit devastated by the Denmark result against the US because we were counting on the US to beat them, which would still give us an outside chance.

“Our business right now is to ensure that we finish in third or fourth place, but our run-rate is a little lower than Jersey’s.

“If the US were to lose to Jersey and we were to lose then we could find ourselves still getting relegated, so this game is still of massive importance to us.”

Bermuda were still basking in the glory of their 85-run victory over Jersey when news came from an adjacent field in Los Angeles that Denmark had handed the US their first defeat of the tournament to leave three teams tied on six points and with one just match remaining.

Bermuda’s loss to Oman in their second match looks likely to be the result that will hurt their chances of finishing in the top two, as even a loss by the US to Jersey and a Bermuda victory over bottom team Italy today may not help their chances as the US have a far superior run-rate.

Despite losing all four games so far, Italy have not been pushovers in the tournament, as they only lost to the US by one wicket. Bermuda went down by eight wickets to the host side and then suffered a four-wicket loss to Oman.

“The Oman game is coming back to haunt us because that is the game we thought we had in the bag,” Smith stated.

“We can’t take for granted that the US will beat Jersey, we just have to take care of our business and finish it off by beating Italy. I think the US’s run-rate is far superior to anybody’s, so it’s almost impossible to make that up.

“Italy lost to USA by one wicket and Jersey only beat them [Italy] with three balls to spare so there is not a whole lot separating these teams.

“If you play bad on the day you’re going to get found out, so it’s important we play to the best of our ability and put in another good performance.”

Still, there are some positives from the tournament for Bermuda, with Kamau Leverock performing with the bat and another youngster, Cejay Outerbridge, taking five wickets against Jersey.

Smith is happy he took Leverock up on his offer to open the innings after an injury to vice-captain Terryn Fray prior to the tournament.

Wicketkeepers Steven Bremar and Dean Minors have also used as openers in the tournament.

“That something we identified in the first game, a lot of the teams used pinch-hitters in the first ten overs,” Smith said.

“Kamau asked me before the tournament would I give him a chance up there and after the first game I decided to take the opportunity to see how it worked out. It ended up working and he’s gone from strength to strength, leading from the front. Yesterday’s performance was out of this world.”

Smith praised the contributions of Tucker and Minors who answered their country’s call, with Tucker delaying shoulder surgery to travel to Los Angeles as a replacement for Fray.

Minors missed the last two games because of a thumb injury but could be recalled for today’s match, with Bermuda looking to boost their run rate.

“Dean is available and it’s something we will have to think about, only because there’s a small possibility of us still qualifying.

“We’ve already talked about what we can do to increase our run rate and somebody like him, who can hit the ball about, can be an added bonus.

“Outside of Dean and Janeiro, who I must thank for answering the call at the eleventh hour, we have a very young squad.

“If we can keep this group of players together for another three or four years who knows what we can achieve,” Smith said.