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Kamau Leverock and Delray Rawlins’s Florida Scorpions suffer first loss at US Open Cricket T20

Kamau Leverock scored 22 in a losing cause for the Florida Scorpions at the US Open Cricket T20 tournament in Florida yesterday.

Kamau Leverock scored 22 from 16 balls and Delray Rawlins claimed one for 24 with his left- arm spin.

However, it was not enough to prevent their Florida Scorpions from a five-wicket defeat against Titans Cricket Club in their second Group B match at the Central Broward Regional Park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida yesterday.

The Scorpions failed to capitalise on a promising start and were restricted to 153 for six after being sent in to bat.

The Titans were more than equal to the task during the chase as they replied with 154 for five to clinch their first win of the tournament with seven balls to spare.

Guyanese all-rounder Gajanand Singh was the Titans’s hero.

The former West Indies Under-19 player claimed two for eight with his medium pace and led the run chase with an unbeaten 79 from 56 balls with two sixes and seven fours, including the winning boundary off left-arm spinner Hamza Tahir to the mid-wicket fence, to earn man of the match accolades.

“It’s a challenge batting on the pitch,” Singh said. “But having our bowlers restrict them for that total, I was confident of someone batting through the innings we’ll get there.

“Earlier it (pitch) was really slow and it really didn’t get much better in the second innings. But knowing your target helps and if someone gets to bat right through it will definitely put your team in a position to win.”

The win brought fourth place Titans level on two points with third place Scorpions who have a game in hand over their rivals in Group B.

The Scorpions were looking to build upon a convincing eight wicket win over Clarion County Eagles in their tournament opener on Monday, and got off to a solid start with Leverock and John Simpson (42) adding 48 for the first wicket in 4.1 overs.

Leverock dodged a bullet on the first ball he faced, which was delivered by West Indies seamer Rayad Emrit with the ball just missing his off stump.

But after quickly getting his sight in, Leverock took Emrit to task, smashing a six over cow corner and a four to the backward point boundary off successive balls.

Kashif Ali also came in for some rough treatment from the Scorpions’s vice-captain, who stroked successive boundaries off the leg spinner with a reverse sweep and a textbook square cut through the covers.

However, an innings that promised much was cut short as Leverock went for another big hit but picked out the fielder at long on.

Rawlins came to the crease in the sixth over with the Scorpions still in control at 59 for two but only faced seven balls for his four runs before driving into the hands of Navin Stewart at extra cover.

The Sussex all-rounder was one of three wickets that fell in the space of seven runs as the Titans’s spinners turned the tide in their team’s favour.

That the Scorpions posted the total they did owed much to vital knocks from middle order batsmen Richie Berrington (40 not out), Chris Greaves (25 not out) and captain Kyle Coetzer (11).

Left-arm spinner Khary Pierre (two for 16) was the remaining Titans’s bowler taking multiple wickets.

Apart from a late wobble, which saw two wickets fall with no addition to the score with just seven needed for victory, the Titans were in control throughout the chase.

Opener Singh carried his bat throughout the innings and reached his half century off 40 balls with a four to the mid-wicket boundary off Rawlins, who was brought back into the attack for a second spell at the start of the thirteenth over.

Shayan Jahangir (22), Srimantha Adrian Wijeyeratne (15), Ali (14) and Rayyan Pathan (10) were the remaining Titans’s batsmen in double figures.

Seamer Chris Greaves was the pick of the Scorpions’s bowling with two for 25.

The Scorpions are back in action today against the Punjab Blues.

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Published December 10, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated December 11, 2021 at 8:00 am)

Kamau Leverock and Delray Rawlins’s Florida Scorpions suffer first loss at US Open Cricket T20

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