Spinners and Campopiano do an Italian job on Bermuda
Lugogo Cricket Oval, Kampala (Bermuda won toss): Italy (2pts) beat Bermuda (0) by ten wickets
Bermuda’s involvement at the ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League B came to an inglorious end yesterday with a one-sided drubbing at the hands of the second-worst team in Uganda, emphasising the gulf that needs to be addressed before the third and final phase in Jersey.
Less than 24 hours after suffering a record 292-run defeat by Jersey — surpassing by 34 runs the more palatable beating inflicted by India at the 2007 World Cup — Bermuda did not necessarily sink to a new low in being dismissed for 120 on another pitch that was good for batting, but it was that Italy’s openers required only 74 balls to get the job done that should rankle.
Captain Kamau Leverock, who has tried unsuccessfully to lead from the front, has been reduced to claiming even the smallest of victories, such has been the inability of this group to resemble an international one-day team at Associate level.
In reaching their highest score in the “Pearl of Africa”, Bermuda still did not manage to bat for 30 overs — yesterday lasting for 27.4 thanks largely to a 21-run stand for the tenth wicket between Cameron Jeffers and Jabari Darrell, the No 11, who finished as second high man with 16 not out.
Still, Leverock said at the post-match interview: “One hundred and twenty was never going to be enough, but I think going off the way our lads are batting at the moment, 120 is a decent score. It’s the best we’ve scored in the tournament. For our young squad, we just have to settle for small targets and hopefully they get it.”
A significant lowering of the bar.
Leverock constantly preached in this tournament about a learning curve, but few of his players either seemed to get it or show what they had learnt over a sustained period — especially with the bat.
Perhaps it is for that reason that the batting order yesterday was stacked at the top with the eldest players in the starting XI — Leverock opening for the second match in a row, but this time with Steven Bremar Jr, followed by Dennico Hollis and Malachi Jones.
However, the switch did little to stanch the flow of Bermuda wickets to innocuous balls, starting with the captain himself at the end of the fourth over.
Having just deposited Amir Sharif one bounce for four through mid-wicket, Leverock went for the maximum in the same area next ball and fell to a good running catch by Madupa Fernando to leave Bermuda 19 for one.
Leverock finished on 13 with three fours to conclude by his standards a disappointing personal tournament aggregate of 124 runs (24.80 average) that was no doubt affected by the weight of expectation placed on his shoulders with few team-mates able to ease the burden.
Bremar was next to go seven balls later, for seven, caught behind attempting to run seam bowler Gareth Berg through the vacant slip area.
From 22 for two, Bermuda embarked on their best partnership when Jones joined Hollis at the wicket. The pair added 31 before Jones, who had made a team-high 21 from 18 balls with three fours and a six, tried to whip wrist spinner Crishan Kalugamage through the leg side and was trapped in front.
That dismissal opened the veritable floodgates, as all but the last of the next seven wickets fell to spin.
Darrell, Charles Trott (14) and Hollis (ten) were the only others to reach double figures, apart from extras on 15.
Kalugamage finished with three for 24 and left-arm spinner Damith Warnakulasuriya three for 30, all leg-before — one more palpable than the next.
Before this match, Italy could be said to be in contention only once — the opener against Hong Kong on June 18 when they reached 225 chasing 283. But, otherwise, they scored 135 and 120 in big defeats by Jersey and Uganda respectively, and reached 200 for a second time but came up short by 134 runs in search of fourth-placed Kenya’s 340 for nine.
All of which puts into perspective the 12.2 overs that Marcus Campopiano (75 not out) and Nikolai Smith (49 not out) took to close the curtain on Bermuda’s campaign in Uganda.
The pair gave only two chances, Smith to Leverock in the covers off Darrell when he was on 14 and Campopiano to Jamar Stovel on the mid-wicket boundary off Leverock, bowling off spin, when he was 18.
There were few other dramas for the Italian pair from that point, as they took every opportunity to fill their boots while Leverock rang the changes.
Jones, one day removed from “celebrating” his 33rd birthday with one ignominious defeat, had insult poured on the open wound when he went for 27 off his third over in which Campopiano sprinted from 37 to 63 to leave his partner in his wake.
The funeral notice for this particular squad should be imminent, with news already reaching Uganda of reinforcements for the Jersey leg from July 28 to August 10 and confirmed by the captain.
“We had some availability issues in this [tour]; that’s why our team is quite young, like a development team,” Leverock said. “A couple of guys are coming back in the team and we should be able to compete a little bit better [in Jersey].”
It remains to be seen whether or not these are Cup Match players, as the Annual Classic is scheduled for July 28 and 29.
*K S Leverock c Fernando b Sharif 13
S R Bremar c Manpreet b Berg 7
M O Jones lbw b Kalugamage 21
D A W Hollis lbw b Warnakulasuriya 10
D Sabir st Manpreet b Kalugamage 8
C Trott c Manpreet b Kalugamage 14
†A Ebbin lbw b Warnakulasuriya 5
N Raynor b Fernando 3
J M Stovel lbw b Warnakulasuriya 1
C A W Jeffers c Kalugamage b Berg 7
J T Darrell not out 16
Extras (b 4, lb 6, w 5) 15
Total (27.4 overs) 120
Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-22, 3-53, 4-68, 5-70, 6-89, 7-91, 8-93, 9-99.
Bowling: Berg 6.4-2-13-2; Sharif 4-0-31-1; Kalugamage 7-0-24-3; Meade 1-0-5-0; Warnakulasuriya 7-0-30-3; Fernando 2-0-7-1.
N L Smith not out 49
M Campopiano not out 75
Total (no wkt; 12.2 overs) 124
C J P F Kalugamage, D K D Warnakulasuriya, *G K Berg, G S Meade, †Manpreet Singh, B B J L Perera, M G S M Fernando, N A Maiolo and Amir Sharif did not bat.
Bowling: Darrell 2-0-16-0; Stovel 2-0-14-0; Leverock 3-0-23-0; Jones 3-0-43-0; Jeffers 1.2-0-16-0; Trott 1-0-12-0.
Umpires: P M Makumbi and R D’Mello (Kenya).
Match referee: E T Dube (Zimbabwe).
Kyambogo Cricket Ground, Kampala (Kenya won toss): Kenya 135 (38.3 overs; Irfan Karim 59; Yasim Murtaza 4 for 26); Hong Kong 137-5 (34 overs; Aizaz Khan 59 not out). Hong Kong (2pts) beat Kenya (0) by five wickets.
P W L T NR Pts NRR
Uganda 10 8 2 0 0 16 0.577
Hong Kong 10 7 2 0 1 15 0.998
Jersey 10 7 3 0 0 14 1.603
Kenya 10 3 6 0 1 7 0.103
Italy 10 3 6 0 1 7 -0.719
Bermuda 10 0 9 0 1 1 -3.344