Trinidad & Tobago Development XI win ICC Americas T20 Tournament
Canada, Argentina and USA qualify for Americas Championship group play-off
On a day when storm clouds and lightning forced interruptions, the unheralded Argentina side claimed its second big scalp of the tournament by beating the fancied and experienced USA in a thrilling mathematical finish in Lauderhill, Florida.
The young South American team, with an average age of 21, showed real maturity in testing conditions to overcome the powerful USA by nine wickets (Duckworth-Lewis method), with two balls to spare, and confirmed that its sensational first day victory over Bermuda was no fluke.
Earlier in the day, the final round of the T20 matches saw Canada ease past Bermuda by seven wickets, and the Trinidad & Tobago Development XI beat the USA by six wickets, at the Central Broward Regional Park grounds.
Bermuda were put in to bat and were soon in trouble, stumbling to 17-4, before fighting back to post a score of 70-7 in their 20 overs, largely thanks to an innings of 27 runs off 48 balls from Maryellen Jackson. Pick of the Canadian bowlers was seamer Deshanee Yahathugoda, who took 2-7 in her allotted four overs.
In reply, Canada started disastrously, losing its first two wickets for a mere six runs. But an assured third wicket partnership of 47 runs between Sheryl Tittlemeir (21 off 39 balls with two fours) and Monali Patel (16 not out off 28 balls) took Canada to the brink of victory, eventually claimed by reaching the target of 71 runs in 14.3 overs for the loss of three wickets.
The T&T Development XI's decision to field first in its clash with the USA proved to be a good decision as the US batters struggled to score against tight bowling and fielding, and could only muster 58-5 in their 20 overs. Shirley Ann Bonaparte batted bravely to top-score with 24 off 46 balls, with two fours, while for the young Caribbean outfit, Sharda Saroop shone with the ball, taking 2-8 in four overs.
USA reduced the T&T Development XI to 28-4, but its total was a small figure to defend. Saroop completed a fine all-round performance, making 19 not out in 20 balls as the Development XI reached 59-4 in 13.2 overs.
This meant that Canada would take on the Trinidad & Tobago Development XI in the T20 tournament final, with USA clashing with Argentina for third place, and Bermuda vs Brazil completing the final round of T20 matches.
The afternoon was dominated by rain and interruptions to play due to lightning warnings in the area. The play-off between Bermuda and Brazil was abandoned without a ball being bowled, and both other games were resolved by the Duckworth-Lewis method.
In the final, the talented Trinidad & Tobago Development XI clinched the T20 title by virtue of a 23-run victory by the D/L method. Put in to bat, T&T made a strong 111-2 in their 20 overs, led by a fine 39 not out off 31 balls by Saroop, with all the batters getting into double figures.
In reply, Canada was 31-2 off 10.4 overs when the game was stopped due to rain and with no further play possible, the result was predictably determined for a comfortable and deserved T&T victory.
The thriller was played out by the tournament's surprise package Argentina and hosts USA on an adjacent field. USA elected to bat first, and compiled a respectable 90-6 in their 20 overs. Doris Francis top-scored with 32 runs in 41 balls, complete with three fours. Lucia Culley took 2-11 for Argentina, and Sofia Retamales picked up 2-18.
Before the game was interrupted due to rain, Argentina was 34-1 after 8.4 overs and this, by D/L method, meant that if there was no further play, the game was tied. The game was continued for two balls only before the second interruption, and again the situation was tied.
With time ticking away, there was eventually only enough time for two final overs, with Argentina needing 12 runs from them to secure a second historic victory in as many days. Victory was clinched with two balls to spare, as Argentina passed their final target of 48 by reaching 51-1 in 9.4 overs.
The second phase of the event now gets underway, with Canada, Argentina and USA all looking to fill one of the two berths on offer to advance closer down the ICC Women's World Cup pathway, as well as to determine the winner of ICC Americas Women Championship 2009.
Scorecards Day 2
USA v Trinidad & Tobago Development XI
USA v Argentina
Canada v Trinidad & Tobago Development XI
Bermuda v Canada