USA handed a 98-run drubbing to the UAE at the ICC Academy Oval 1 in Dubai in their World Cup League 2 fixture. It was a team effort from USA’s end as Aaron Jones was amongst the runs again (46), and a matured hand of 40 from Nisarg Patel allowed the USA bowlers to wrap up the UAE innings rather swiftly on 115 with Saurabh Netravalkar and Cameron Stevenson taking 3 wickets each to give USA their consecutive ODI win.
USA were put in to bat on a lively pitch according to UAE’s standards. USA openers Xavier Marshall and Monank Patel tried to see off the new ball without taking any undue risks. With the score on 8 in the 5th over mark, Monank sensed an urgency to get on with the game.
He walked down the track to Zahoor Khan and crunched one between point and cover. Two balls later, he smashed a full toss to the left off mid on. However Monank couldn’t repeat his heroics of the earlier game as Zahoor Khan had his offstump uprooted with a classical outswinger on the very next ball to deal an early blow to USA. Steven Taylor then, once again came out with positive intent.
He stood up tall and leaned over a cover drive that raced away with some speed to the boundary. Marshall too got into the act with a couple of boundaries by cracking a pull shot and a blind hit down the ground beating mid off. Taylor drilled a couple more boundaries behind square off Junaid Siddique in the ninth over. USA looked to be cruising at 50 for 1 in the 11th over. However, Rohan Mustafa had other plans.
Taylor chipped one straight to long on off him. He was quick to return the favor in this game as he gave a roaring send off to Taylor. UAE captain, in a surprise move, introduced Darius De Silva into the attack. The dibly dobly righ- arm bowler broke the back of the USA batting order, sending back Marshall and Ian Holland in quick succession. From 50 for 1, USA were in all sorts of trouble at 71 for 4 in the 19th over.
Aaron Jones and Akshay Homraj fought hard to get USA back in the game. The pair put on a stand of 69 runs in 88 deliveries. Stroke making seemed to be difficult in the middle, evident from the fact that USA scored only 3 boundaries in the partnership. With no real turn on offer, Ahmed Raza, the left-arm orthodox bowler, kept bowling in the right channels and varying his pace.
He kept hitting Jones’s pads and eventually got one that hit him plumb in front of the stumps. Jones departed for 46 with USA still needing to play out more than 17 overs with 5 wickets in hand. Homraj, who has been showing a lot of promise ever since his USA debut, was castled by part timer Basil Hameed for 34 in the 40th over.
Without taking much time to acclimatize himself in the middle, Nisarg kept busy to keep the scoreboard ticking along with the tail. He curbed his natural instincts to drive USA to a score that would allow their bowlers to have a fair go at defending a competitive target. His matured hand of 40 ended with a run out in the final over. With that USA were bundled out for 213.
USA came out with a sense of purpose in their pursuit of defending 213. Netravalkar wasted no time in drawing first blood as he squared up Chirag Suri and got him to nick one in the second over. The 17-year-old UAE wicket-keeper then hit Juan Theron miles over deep square leg with a pick-up shot. Theron was reasonably furious, and banged one short that hit Vriitya on the head.
After getting some medical attention, he stayed back to face the next delivery from Theron and whipped it off his pads to deposit it over the ropes at mid-wicket. Netravalkar and Stevenson then wreaked havoc among the UAE ranks with the duo picking up the next 4 wickets for 3 runs.
Netravalkar had D’Silva caught behind poking one going away from him. Stevenson had Usman’s off stump knocked off with a ball swinging away from the left-hander which just held its line after pitching before bumping out Vriitya for 23. Netravalkar came back to trap Mustafa LBW to leave UAE rattled for 32 for 5.
Basil Hameed offered reasonable resistance with his 38 as rest of the UAE batsmen looked no match to the might of the USA bowlers. Ian Holland came in to clean out the tail with his slower balls as USA went cock-a-hoop with the celebrations of their consecutive ODI victory.
USA, who have now taken top spot in the World Cup League 2 table, face Scotland on Saturday.
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