United States lay down early marker in T20 World Cup Americas Qualifiers
The United States got their ICC T20 World Cup Americas Qualifying campaign off to the perfect with back-to-back victories on the opening day in Antigua.
Ahead of facing Bermuda today, the US showed why they are considered one of the favourites, brushing aside both Belize and Panama with relative ease to lay down an early marker in the seven-team, single round-robin tournament.
Having put Belize into bat in the opening match, the US restricted the opposition to just 64 for nine, in which Glenford Gilbert Banner top-scored with 28, one of just two players to score double figures. Rusty Theron proved the pick of the bowling attack, finishing with figures of three for 16.
In reply, the US reached the target in just 4.2 overs as openers Steven Taylor (39 not out) and captain Monak Patel (21 not out) hit the required runs in just 20 minutes to seal a ten-wicket victory.
The US also proved too strong for Panama, cruising to a nine-wicket success.
Having won the toss and elected to bat, Panama scored 85 for eight from the allotted overs with Dineshbhai Ahir high man on 16. Ian Holland picked up two wickets for just three runs from his three overs.
In reply, Xavier Marshall led the charge with a knock of 47 not out, including six fours and a solitary six. Jaskaran Malhotra was the only wicket to fall, having scored 19 before being dismissed, with Aaron Jones also adding 15 runs.
In the remaining game of the day, Canada got their tournament off to a commanding start with an emphatic 122-run victory over Bahamas.
After being put into bat, Canada blazed to 190 for five in which Hamza Tariq (54 not out), Ravinderpal Singh (47) and Rayyankhan Pathan (38) added the bulk of the runs. Jagnauth Jagroo also impressed with the ball for Bahamas, finishing with figures of three for 24.
Despite a strong knock of 44 from Marc Taylor, Bahamas as a whole failed to put up much resistance in reply, as no other batsman reaching doubles figures.
Jatinderpal Matharu proved the pick of the Canadian bowlers finishing on three for six, while Saad Zafar and Dilon Heyliger both claimed two wickets apiece.
Heading into the tournament as third favourites behind Canada and the United States, victory over the latter today, would provide a major boost for Bermuda in their quest to clinch a top-two spot and progress from the group, which also includes Argentina and Bahamas.
• All of Bermuda’s matches will be streamed live here via free registration