With attention having moved away from cricket on the field and onto the USA Cricket Membership launch and the upcoming 2018 Cricket Combines, we thought it was worth having a quick look back at the team’s performances in Antigua during the recently concluded West Indies Super50 Festival.
This tour was a fantastic opportunity for the group to play eight matches against some very tough opposition in a little under three weeks. With the all-important ICC World Cricket League Division 3 tournament coming up in the second half of 2018, this competition would provide invaluable experience for the squad, with eight members of the side going on to make their List-A debuts over the course of the tournament.
“The Super50 tournament was well timed for us to set the WCL 3 build up. I was able to see our batters and bowlers perform against quality opposition. We lost a few key moments in losing a few games which we should have won. We were exposed in all departments, and got clear indications of what areas to improve. Our tactical side was well managed with Ibrahim leading the team”
Pubudu Dassanayake (USA coach)
Despite a tough time results wise, there were some real positives to take out of the tour.
In beating the Leeward Islands the team achieved just it’s second win ever in West Indies 50 over competitions, the 59-run win on February 10th following on from their two-wicket victory over Barbados in 2000.
USA🇺🇸 WIN! A wonderful bowling performance has led USA to a first win in the 2018 @WestIndies Super50!
— USA Cricket (@usacricket) February 10, 2018
But for a couple of squandered opportunities, #TeamUSA could easily have finished with four wins. In both matches against Kent the U.S. bowlers and fielding unit did well to restrict the opposition to very gettable targets, but unfortunately the batters lost momentum through the middle overs, and left too much for the tail to do. Losing margins of 27 and 30 runs respectively show just how evenly the teams were matched on the day. Kent went on to lose in the semi-finals to a very strong Barbados side, underlining once again just how competitive the U.S. were.
Against Jamaica on the 6th of February, only a brilliant unbeaten 80 run 9th wicket partnership between Nikita Miller and Odean Smith prevented the U.S. from restricting the opposition to a hugely under-par score.
It was a case of what could have been for #TeamUSA🇺🇸yesterday, as a 9th wicket partnership of 85 runs from the Jamaica Scorpions proved to be decisive in their victory over USA in Group B of the @westindies Super 50
Full match report and more here…..https://t.co/gFGEfBKHX7
— USA Cricket (@usacricket) February 7, 2018
There were also some great individual performances across the competition contributing massively to the team’s overall performance.
Jaskaran Malhotra in his first campaign in U.S. colors was the team’s leading run scorer with 277 runs, a highest score of 80, and an average of a tick under 35. This put him just inside the top 10 run scorers for the tournament. He also faced the second highest number of deliveries for a batsman in the tournament. Only Roston Chase having faced 550 balls eclipsed his 460.
Elmore Hutchinson and Saurabh Netravalkar, who was also representing the U.S. for the first time, were immense throughout the tournament with the ball in hand. Both left arm quicks finished with 13 wickets a piece placing them at 5th equal on the tournament wicket-taking charts.
Hutchinson was particularly impressive, the veteran conceding just 3.65 runs per over, and sending down 11 maidens to top the charts for the tournament in that statistic. Nosthush Kenjige the left arm spinner delivered 10 maidens in taking his 9 wickets, to finish second in maidens bowled behind only Hutchinson across the tournament.
So with 2018 shaping up as a massively important year for the senior men’s team, the importance of the experience gained and lessons learnt in the Super50 cannot be overstated.
Summary of results:
Jan 31, 2018: Leeward Islands v United States of America at Coolidge
Leeward Islands 298/8 (50/50 ov); United States of America 136 (38.5/50 ov)
Feb 2, 2018: Guyana v United States of America at North Sound
United States of America 188/8 (50/50 ov); Guyana 191/2 (32.2/50 ov)
Feb 6, 2018: Jamaica v United States of America at Coolidge
Jamaica 255/8 (50/50 ov); United States of America 156 (49.1/50 ov)
Feb 8, 2018: Kent v United States of America at North Sound
Kent 215/9 (50/50 ov); United States of America 188/9 (50/50 ov)
Feb 10, 2018: Leeward Islands v United States of America at North Sound
United States of America 193 (50/50 ov); Leeward Islands 134 (40.5/50 ov)
Feb 12, 2018: Guyana v United States of America at North Sound
United States of America 144 (43.1/50 ov); Guyana 150/3 (30.1/50 ov)
Feb 16, 2018: Kent v United States of America at North Sound
Kent 172/9 (50/50 ov); United States of America 142 (42/50 ov)
Feb 18, 2018: Jamaica v United States of America at North Sound
Jamaica 259/8 (50/50 ov); United States of America 179/9 (50/50 ov)