Tre Manders fifty helps rampant Bermuda ease past Panama
White Hill Field (Panama won toss): Bermuda (2pts) beat Panama (0) by seven wickets
Bermuda moved another step closer to qualifying for the T20 Cricket World Cup with a second successive victory in the Americas Regional Qualifier.
Buoyed by the 86-run opening day victory over favourites Canada a day earlier, Bermuda restricted Panama to just 90 for eight from their allotted overs, with Derrick Brangman doing most of the damage picking up three for 11. Allan Douglas Jr claimed two wickets and Zeko Burgess and Dominic Sabir a wicket apiece.
Despite a stuttering start to the reply, in which Kamau Leverock and Delray Rawlins made just nine between them, man of the match Tre Manders eased any lingering nerves with an unbeaten 55 to guide Bermuda to a comfortable victory and cement their place at the top of the standings.
“I’m not focusing on my individual performance; if we win the game and I get a duck I’m happy, the result is what matters,” said a modest Manders, whose knock came from 37 balls.
“The most important thing is just to keep going and put as much pressure on the other teams as possible.
“Once we lost Delray, Kamau and Terryn [Fray] who are three of our main batters, I knew I had to step up and take the game on. I'm pleased to have played my part and helped the team to victory.
“Beating Canada in the way we did was the perfect start to this tournament and with this victory as well we just have to keep building on momentum from here.”
Having opted to bat, Panama made an encouraging start reaching 32 for no loss before Zeko Burgess finally made the breakthrough when bowling opener Mohamed Patel for 16 with the penultimate ball of the fifth over.
The introduction of Brangman further helped Bermuda turn the tide, ably supported by two pieces of outstanding fielding by Leverock in successive balls.
He first produced a stunning diving catch on the run to dismiss captain Laxman Goankar (14), before following that with an imperious diving throw to run out Mahmud Jasat (0) with the very next ball, to leave Panama reeling on 32 for three after losing three wickets in just four balls.
The struggles continued with Brangman taking his second wicket when dismissing Natubhai Ahir (2) after 7.5 overs, courtesy of a superb diving catch from Douglas with just another five runs added to the total.
Yusuf Ebrahim (11) briefly halted the collapse, taking the score to 68 before falling victim to Sabir with the last ball of the fifteenth over and Rahul Ahir (0) followed an over later, trapped by Douglas to leave the score at 69 for six with four overs remaining.
Nikunj Ahir (23), who was one of only four batters to reach double figures, became Brangman's third wicket, with Fazian Patel (2) the final wicket to fall when caught by Leverock off the bowling of Douglas.
Khengar Ratilal (7 not out) and Abdullah Bhoola (7 not out) saw out the remainder of the innings.
“I was pleased to come in and help get some quick wickets and put that pressure on Panama,” said Brangman.
“Then it was a case of trying to keep building on that momentum and limiting their runs. We stuck to the plan and executed what we needed to do.“
Chasing 91, Bermuda suffered an early setback with opener Leverock (5) caught o the boundary off the bowling of Patel in the second over. Fray (4) joined Manders at the wicket, taking the total to 30, before he was dismissed by Nikunj Ahir at the start sixth over.
That brought captain Rawlins to the wicket, but he departed just three overs later, caught off the bowling of Natubhai Ahir, having scored four runs.
Despite some nerves among the home crowd, Sabir (19 not out) joined Manders, with the pair putting on a 44-run partnership, to take Bermuda to victory, fittingly sealed by a by the latter stroking a four at the end of the fourteenth over.
Rawlins was not disappointed with his lack of runs, saying the only thing the team is focused on is winning.
“That was the aim, to win our first two games and it is a pleasing feeling,” he said. “I’m not too fussed about not getting runs as long as we win.”
Rawlins was keen to focus on the performances of some of his squad, singling out Leverock for his fielding and the batting efforts of Manders and Sabir, who made a steady 19, off just 13 balls, at the end of the innings.
“Sometimes you have to do stuff like that in the field,” Rawlins said. “He is a special cricketer and to get to the catch and then run someone out throwing across your body is amazing, but it shows what talent we have in the squad.
“I’m also pleased for Tre and Dom, it shows we are doing the right things and we’ll keep taking it one game at a time.”
*L Goankar c Leverock b Brangman 14
M Patel b Burgess 16
Y Akalway c Burgess b Sabir 11
M Jasat run out 0
A Ahir c Douglas b Brangman 2
N Ahir c Trott b Brangman 23
R Ahir lbw b Douglas 0
A Bhoola not out 7
F Patel c Leverock b Douglas 2
K Ahir not out 7
Extras (b 1, lb 1, w 6) 8
Total (8 wkts; 20 overs) 90
M Data did not bat
Fall of wickets: 1-32, 2-32, 3-32, 4-37, 5-68, 6-69, 7-75, 8-81.
Bowling: Leverock 3-1-15-0; Outerbridge 1-0-10-0; Burgess 4-0-24-1; Brangman 4-1-11-3; Sabir 4-0-17-1; Douglas 4-0-11-2.
K Leverock c N Ahir b Patel 5
T Manders not out 55
T Fray c Goankar b N Ahir 4
*D Rawlins c M Jasat b A Ahir 4
D Sabir not out 19
Extras (w 4) 4
Total (3 wkts; 13.5 overs) 91
C Trott, A Douglas, D Brangman, Z Burgess, C Outerbridge and S Smith did not bat
Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-30, 3-47.
Bowling: K Ahir 2-0-17-0; Patek 2-0-12-1; A Ahir 4-1-14-1; N Ahir 1-0-9-1; R Ahir 3-0-16-0; Akalway 1-0-15-0; Data 0.5-0-8-0
Umpires: E Carrington and V Mallela (United States).
Third umpire: J Williams (West Indies).
Match referee: R King (West Indies)
P W L T NR Pts NRR
Bermuda 2 2 0 0 0 4 3.41
Canada 2 1 1 0 0 2 0.55
Cayman 2 1 1 0 0 2 -1.93
Panama 2 0 2 0 0 0 -1.94