Mexico Wins Opener at Americas Division 4 Championship
Tue, Jun 15, 2010 5:23 PM
The Pepsi ICC Americas Division 4 Tournament got off to a resounding start for the host team, Mexico, with victory over Costa Rica at the picturesque Reforma Athletic Club.
This was despite Ben Smith, the Costa Rica opening batsman, making a magnificent 104 in his team's innings of 186.
Mexico won the toss and elected to field on a lush green wicket, in perfect conditions for bowling, and immediately had the tourists in trouble at 13-4 after five overs.
The Mexican opening bowler Tushar Gupta ? who finished with 5-32 from his 9.5 overs - ripped the heart out of the Costa Rican top order, conceding only seven runs from his first five overs whilst taking three wickets, before he was rested due to the high-altitude conditions that made bowling very hard on the body.
He was well supported by his new-ball partner, Tarun Sharmar, as the pair accounted for seven of the Costa Rican wickets.
The Mexican bowlers and fielders contributed significantly to the Costa Rican total of 186 - four easy chances were spilled and extras added another 40 runs to what could have been a much smaller total.
Smith batted with care and poise in his early exchanges with the Mexican bowlers and blossomed at the end of the innings to reach his landmark with some delightful strokes.
His century came off 123 balls with 12 fours and two sixes before he was last man out, with 19 balls left unused in the Costa Rica innings.
Their target did not cause many alarms in the Mexican camp as the hosts started the reply with the bat as they had the ball. The 50 came up in the seventh over with openers James Garrity and Tarundeep Singh exploiting the wayward Costa Rican bowling.
Garrity, who struck 34 from 30 balls, was especially severe on Sam Arthur, whose his first four overs conceded 31 runs. But his new ball partner Chris Parsad was not spared in the onslaught and conceded 25 runs from his opening four overs.
Good contributions also came from the bats of Tarun Sharma (45 off 58 balls) and Roger Sherman (23 off 21 balls).
The conditions caused the fielders to lapse in the field all day and four more chances were spilled in the second innings as the home team eased to a three-wicket victory in the opening encounter of the competition.
Costa Rica 186 all out off 46.5 overs (Ben Smith 104, Garth Tweedale 10, David Crisp 11; Tushar Gupta 5-32, Tarun Sharma 2-28)
Mexico 187-7 off 35.1 overs (Turan Sharma 45, Tarundeep Singh 38, James Garrity 34, Roger Sherman 23)