Brazil power past hosts and pre-tournament favourites Chile to clinch the Division 3 championship and promotion to Division 2
Kenroy Roca's extraordinary 7-wicket haul takes Belize comfortably past Peru, who now face Chile for second place
Brazil overpowered hosts Chile by 85 runs to win the ICC Americas Division 3 Championship at Craighouse in Santiago, Chile, and thereby also winning promotion to next year's Americas Division 2 tournament.
The victory was ultimately set up by an outstanding second wicket partnership of 117 between man of the match Greigor Caisley and skipper Matt Featherstone, and in part due to Chile dropping nine catches in the field.
Having won the toss and electing to bat in a match reduced to 40 overs per side due to a delayed start, Brazil posted an impressive 213-6, with Featherstone firing an aggressive 95 in 86 balls, including 4 fours and 6 sixes, while Caisley made a polished 81 off 96 balls, with 11 fours and two sixes.
The pair was separated with the score at 164 in the 35th over, having setting a fine platform for a challenging target for the Chileans to chase. John Fecci took 3-37, but the pick of the Chilean bowlers was probably left-arm seamer Tristan Bradbrook, who took 1-18 in his eight overs.
Chile got off to the worst possible start, losing opener Ian Walker in the second ball, and when batting kingpin Simon Shalders was run out in the 10th over making the score 24-3, the hosts chances had all but already evaporated. Brazil kept up the pressure in the field, and by the 22nd over, Chile had slumped to 55-7.
There was a brief late flurry from Jim Scarborough, who made 39 in 41 balls with four boundaries and a six, sharing an eigth-wicket partnership of 54 with Kamran Zeb, but in the end the damage had been done, and Chile was eventually all out for 128 in the 35th over.
Pick of the Brazilian bowlers were medium-pacer Rudyard Hartmann, who deservedly picked up 4-25 in 5.4 overs with a fine display of swing bowling, while Ravi Chanchlani was miserly and effective in taking 2-18 in eight overs
Captain Matt Featherstone was understandably delighted, at the win and the Division 2 title and said: "This is a great result for us, something we have been working very hard towards in Brazil for some time now."
"The Chileans were a bit unlucky in the field, but Greigor (Caisley) batted beautifully, Rudy (Hartmann) did the job to grab two early wickets, and obviously Simon's (Shalders) run out was a big wicket. Getting up to Division 2 is a massive step for Brazilian cricket, and hopefully it will have a positive impact on the growth of cricket back in Brazil."
Chilean captain Simon Shalders was naturally disappointed, but was not in any doubt as to what let his team down on the day. He said: "You can't expect to win important cricket matches when you drop nine catches"
"We let ourselves down today, we're a better team than the performance we put up, but all credit to Brazil which was simply the better team on the pitch on the day and deserved to win."
With a full round of matches still to be played, Brazil can enjoy the final day of the event as champions thanks to their head-to-head wins over Belize and Chile. The best Chile or Belize, who also meet tomorrow, can hope to do is finish on equal points with Brazil (assuming the Brazilians lose to Peru), but a head-to-head win is enough to separate any teams on equal points.
Medium pacer Kenroy Roca was the toast of Belize with a brilliant bowling performance, taking 7-38 in 9.5 overs, to lead his team to a resounding 86-run victory over the gritty Peruvians.
Earlier in the day Peru had bowled and fielded tigerishly to dismiss Belize for 159 in 40.5 overs, although it would have been disappointed to have conceded 41 runs for all its good efforts. Veteran off-spinner Tony Sanford took 4-38, with good support coming from Dinesh Ekanayake, with 2-33, and Nadeem Ahmed Ansari, 2-41.
Kenroy Roca's day did not start well in fact, as he was forced to retire hurt after being struck on the head by a fielder's throw-in, but he later returned to be his team's top scorer with 27, scored off 47 balls, with two fours and a six.
However the effects of the blow did not deter him with the ball in hand, as he bowled superbly to take the final seven Peruvian wickets and send them crashing to 73 all out in the 31st over.
Tomorrow, Brazil and Peru meet with its final placing of first and fourth respectively already established, thus the main interest will focus on Chile versus Belize to see which team claims second place overall.
Brazil will now be looking forward to playing against Suriname, Bahamas, Panama and Turks & Caicos Islands in the Americas Division 2 tournament in early 2010.
At Craighouse (B Field):
Brazil 213-6, 40 overs (Matt Featherstone 95, Greigor Caisley 81; John Fecci 3-37)
Chile 128-10, 34.4 overs (Jim Scarborough 39; Rudyard Hartmann 4-25, Ravindra Chanchlani 2-18)
Brazil won by 85 runs
At Craighouse (A Field):
Belize 159-10, 40.5 overs (Kenroy Roca 27, Howell Gillett 20; Tony Sanford 4-38, Dinesh Ekanayake 2-33, Nadeem Ahmed Ansari 2-41)
Peru 73-10, 30.5 overs (Kenroy Roca 7-38)
Belize won by 86 runs
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