An 87 run partnership for the 7th wicket between Calum Haggett and Grant Stewart has overshadowed another superb team bowling performance by #TeamUSA with a gritty Kent side coming out on top by 30 runs in Antigua.
A Kent side without regular captain Joe Denly won the toss and decided to bat first on a pitch that was slow and low, and took plenty of turn throughout. The US bowlers were disciplined and used the conditions to their advantage, reducing Kent to 51/6 in the 20th over. Nosthush Kenjige was particularly miserly and dangerous with the ball in hand, bowling his 10 overs straight and finishing with the superb figures of 2 for 20.
But Haggett and Stewart shut-up-shop and set about making sure Kent would bat out as many of their overs as possible. As their partnership stretched beyond 15 overs, they brought their side back into the game and runs became easier to score for the men from the UK. In the end 172/9 was a good recovery effort, but the feeling was that it was surely advantage USA at the half-way stage.
ALL OVER: A case of so near but yet so far for #TeamUSA🇺🇸 for the second time v @kentcricket as they come up just 30 runs short in their penultimate game of #Super50 2018 as Kent bowl USA All Out for 142
— USA Cricket (@usacricket) February 16, 2018
The U.S. reply started positively enough, with a 26 run opening stand between Sunny Sohal and Jaskaran Malhotra. But the Kent team began to apply the squeeze, bowling good disciplined lines as the U.S. bowlers had done earlier, and also backed up by some athletic fielding and canny field placements.
Malhotra fell in the 8th over trying to release the shackles, and not long after both Xavier Marshall and Ibrahim Khaleel were also back in the hut, the captain falling to an unfortunate run-out. A 59 run partnership between Sohal and Roy Silva calmed the nerves, and seemed to have the U.S. on track to reaching their target, but Imran Qayyum snared the wickets of both Sohal and Nisarg Patel in the 27th over to put a serious dent in their chances.
From there although Roy Silva brought up a impressive fifty and Timil Patel supported with some resistance, the relentless pressure from the Kent bowlers and fielders saw the U.S. All Out at the 42 over mark for 142. Silva top scored for the U.S. with a rearguard 50, but was upstaged by Imran Qayyum’s 4 for 33.
There was a sense of Deja vu for the #TeamUSA squad as for the second match in a row against Kent, USA had the English county in deep trouble but ultimately Kent ran out winners in similar circumstances twice, first by 27 runs and then today by 30 runs.
For USA, there is just one day to get over the defeat today before looking ahead to their final #Super50 match which will be against the Jamaica Scorpions on Sunday at 9am local time.
Well played. A great bunch of guys who have impressed everyone in Antigua.
Good luck for the future.
— Kent Cricket 🏏 (@kentcricket) February 16, 2018