Marshall 79 In Vain, As The UNITED States In The Struggle To Perish > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Marshall 79 in vain as USA go down fighting

Keron Cottoy hit 41 off 32 balls and then picked a three-fer.

Xavier Marshall's heroic innings 79 off 95 balls was not enough for USA to see off Windward Islands, going down to their sixth defeat in seven matches in the Regional Super50 tournament at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy Stadium in Tarouba. A few rain interruptions and revised targets stymied the USA chase but in the end Windward prevailed by 11 runs as USA failed to upstage their DLS target of 253 in 46 overs. Keron Cottoy once again proved to be a thorn in USA's, scoring a rampant 41 off 32 to provide a late surge to the Windward innings and came back later to return match winning figures of 3 for 38 including the wicket of Marshall.

Kaveem Hodge, the Windward captain, won the toss and decided to bat first on what seemed like a good batting wicket. Openers Devon Smith and Desron Maloney showed some respect to the gentle outswingers of Rusty Theron and Saurabh Netravalkar early on. Once they got their eye in, both the batsmen decided to go hammer and tongs after the bowlers. Smith was particularly severe on Netravalkar, hitting him for three consecutive boundaries including a couple well crunched on drives and an elegant flick over the square leg's head.

In the very next over, USA introduced their highest wicket taker on tour Karima Gore to give less pace on the bat for the Windward batsmen to work with. However, Maloney was upto the task and plundered 14 runs off the over, including a thumping six over wide long on. Windward were 66 for no loss at the end of the first powerplay, with 48 of them coming in the last five overs.

Cameron Stevenson, who has been a revelation with the ball for USA in the tournament, got rid of the openers by bumping them out with a well thought-out strategy. Maloney top edged an attempted pull shot to keeper Homraj, while Smith smoked a full blooded pull straight to midwicket.

Alick Athanaze joined captain Hodge to steady Windward from the two back-to-back blows with the score at 84 for 2 in the 15th over. The pair added 35 runs in the next nine overs before Netravalkar got Hodge caught off a short ball that didn't quite take off again at midwicket. Hodge couldn't get the ball off the square against the spinners and seemingly ran out of patience.

Emmanuel Stewart and Athanaze went on steadily, defying the USA spinners a wicket and at 170 for 3 in the 35th over. With 15 overs to go and five wickets in hand, it was starting to look ominous for USA. However, the stand was broken by Nosthush Kenjige off the penultimate ball of his over to remove Athanaze, who contributed 40 off 53 balls.

The wickets started tumbling again for Windward as Stewart and Dillon Douglas were quick to return to the pavilion. At 193 for 6 in the 41st over the momentum had clearly tilted towards USA as even 240 seemed a far cry at the stage.

Cottoy however gave the opponents a deja-vu moment. Having been dropped on seven by Marshall, Cottoy, in what seemed like a sequel to his last innings against the USA, once again came to the fore to spoil their party with his late strikes. He, along with Ryan John, put on a game changing partnership of 62 in 41 balls to get Windward in the driver's seat. Windward eventually got bowled out for 264 in the final over of the innings.

Marshall and Monank Patel strolled out in the middle for USA in pursuit of their chase of 265. The chase was doomed with two strikes in two overs from Shermon Lewis as Monank feathered one while trying to poke one outside off and Taylor inside edged an attempted heave through the off side straight into the keeper's hands.

The mantle of the chase now fell on Marshall and Aaron Jones, who has had scored 37 runs in his last five innings. Marshall came out with an uncluttered mind and made his intentions clear by clobbering an over pitched delivery off Hodge 20 yards over the ropes. Jones, struggling for form, tried to play himself in. Marshall continued with his no holds barred attitude in the innings with some delightful boundaries. Jones provided after biding his time in the middle started to look positive. He however couldn't continue for long having been trapped in front by Larry Edwards for 37 off 62 balls.

The USA chase was still on course at 101 for 3 in the 23rd over when Ian Holland arrived at the crease. Holland's brief stay thwarted the USA chase as pressure kept on building on Marshall as well. Soon rain arrived again in the 31st over with USA at 143 for 4. The momentary break in play meant that the revised DLS target for USA was now 253 in 46 overs.

Just after resumption of play, Homraj was cleaned up by Cottoy as USA chase started to fall apart. Marshall departed a few overs later trying to connect one too many off Cottoy after playing a lone hand of 79. USA needed 90 off their last 12 overs with not much batting prowess left.

Despite being down and out, USA late order put on some fight and timely cameos from Gore, Netravalkar and Theron left USA needing 18 off the last over with a wicket in hand. In the end it eventually became too much to ask for Netravalkar and Kenjige as USA went down valiantly in pursuit of their chase.

USA now have a solitary game remaining in this tournament, against Guyana, on Monday with semifinal qualification clearly out of question. It has been a long and dreadful outing in the Caribbean once again for USA and they will look to notch up a win to end the tournament on a high.

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