Bermuda edge closer to qualification with emphatic victory over Argentina
Belgrano Athletic Club Ground, Buenos Aires (Bermuda won toss): Bermuda beat Argentina by 110-runs.
Bermuda capped an impressive weekend with a second emphatic victory to take a huge stride towards qualification from the ICC T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier.
Fresh from clinching a 96-run win over Cayman Islands in their opening encounter on Saturday, Bermuda cemented their position at the top of the standings with another ruthless performance against the hosts yesterday.
Opting to bat first, as they had the previous day, Bermuda again demonstrated their batting prowess, finishing 220 for 2 after their 20 overs.
While Tre Manders top scored with 74, a scintillating innings from captain Rawlins stole the show as he hit 67 off just 25 balls, including four fours and six sixes, three of which cleared the ground completely. Terryn Fray also finished the innings 62 not out after scoring his first half century at this level.
As well as shining with the bat, Rawlins did likewise with the ball, completing a four-wicket haul for the loss of just 11 runs as Bermuda’s bowling attack restricted the opposition to just 110 for 9.
Malachi Jones also impressed finishing with figures of 3 for 23, with Zeko Burgess and Derrick Brangman claiming a wicket apiece.
“Our aim is to complete the job in hand by winning this tournament,” said Rawlins, who was deservedly named player of the match.
“I had a lot of fun out there today trying to express myself which is something I encourage off the players to do.
“We were good out there. Tre [Manders] and Terryn [Fray] batted really well and then I was able to come in. The coach [Niraj Odedra] gave me stick earlier on saying my batting wasn’t good enough and so I wanted to prove him wrong.
“It felt like a big-pressure match with the home crowd here but credit to us, we played really well and deserved the victory.”
Bermuda suffered an early setback in the match when opener Kamau Leverock, who scored 48 the previous day, was dismissed for just three off the bowling of Hernan Fennell in the second over with 17 runs on the scoreboard.
However, any lingering nerves were quickly settled when Fray joined Manders as the pair put on an 105-run partnership from 65 balls before the latter was caught by Alejandro Ferguson off the bowling of Alan Kirschbaum with the total at 122 for 2 after 12.5 overs.
That brought Rawlins into bat and, despite getting off to a tentative start, he found his rhythm in the final five overs, bludgeoning boundaries at regular intervals to increase the run rate just when Bermuda needed it.
In the final over, Rawlins and Fray hit Hernan Fennell for 26 runs, the skipper accounting for 20 of those with three sixes from the final four balls to close out a 98-run partnership off 44 balls as Bermuda set Argentina an imposing target of 221.
The tournament hosts never came close to reaching that target, with their innings getting off to a nightmare start when Rawlins bowled opener Lautaro Musiani (0) with the third ball.
With just 24 runs on the board the Bermuda captain struck again when bowling opener Pedro Baron (11) at the start of the fourth over.
Alejandro Ferguson helped steady the innings when taking the score to 65 alongside Ramiro Escobar (14) before the latter was bowled by Jones and that triggered an alarming batting collapse with Argentina losing a further five wickets for just 14 runs.
The key wicket of Ferguson, caught off the bowling of Brangman with the score at 71 for 4 kick-started the capitulation, with Tomas Rossi (2) and Kirschbaum (10) falling in the span of three balls in the fourteenth over as Rawlins completed his four-wicket haul.
The next over brought the dismissals of Santiago Rossi (0) and Agustin Rivero (0), both bowled by Jones in the space of three balls to leave the hosts reeling at 79 for 8.
Fennell (8) joined David Mauro with the pair taking the score to 94 before the former was bowled by Burgess at the end of the eighteenth over.
Agustin Husain (5 not out) and Mauro (12 not out) batted out the remaining overs as Argentina fell well short of their target and Bermuda wrapped up a second successive victory.
Bermuda lead the five-team standings with four points, two clear of Panama, who they face on Tuesday. Bahamas, also on two points, sit in third place after beating Panama by four wickets in their only game so far.
The top three teams will join Canada for the regional finals in Bermuda in September, with the winner of that tournament clinching a qualification spot at the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup.
Kamau Leverockc Musiani b Fennell 3
Tre Mandersc Ferguson b Kirschbaum74
Terryn Fray not out 62
Delray Rawlins not out 67
Extras (b 0, w 8, nb 1, lb 5) 14
Total (2wkts; 20 overs) 220
Sinclair Smith, Dominic Sabir, Derrick Brangman, Zeko Burgess, Malachi Jones, Justin Pitcher and JD Aibertze did not bat.
Fall of wickets: 1-17, 2-122
Bowling: Kirschbaum 4-0-44-1; Fennell 4-0-46-1; T Rossi 2-0-20-0; S Rossi 4-0-46-0; Husain 3-0-26-0; Rivero 3-0-33-0.
Pedro Baron b Rawlins 11
Lautaro Musiani b Rawlins 0
Alejandro Ferguson c Manders b Brangman32
Ramiro Escobar b Jones 14
Alan Kirschbaumst Smith b Rawlins 10
Tomas Rossic Leverock b Rawlins 2
David Mauronot out 12
Santiago Rossi b Jones 0
Agustin Rivero b Jones 0
Hernan Fennell b Burgess8
Agustin Husainnot out 5
Extras (b 4, w 10, lb 2) 16
Total (9wkts; 20 overs) 110
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-24, 3-65, 4-71, 5-77, 6-78, 7-79, 8-79, 9-94
Bowling: Rawlins 4-0-11-4; Burgess 4-0-35-1; Leverock 2-0-6-0; Brangman 4-0-18-1; Jones 4-0-23-3; Pitcher 2-0-11-0;
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