US gear up for World Cup with thumping victory over Tuskers A
Brandon Moyo, in BULAWAYO
UNITED States of America (USA) cricket team kicked off their ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier preparations in Zimbabwe on a high when they proved too strong for Tuskers A with a 247 runs victory in the first practice match at Old Mutual Academy yesterday.
Batting first, USA batters made light work of the Tuskers bowlers, finishing on 438/7 in 50 overs before going on to bowl out the home side for 191 runs in 36,4 overs, to go 1-0 up in the two-match series.
It was two unbeaten hundreds from the Americans that did most of the damage to the locals. Both centurions, vice-captain Aaron Jones and Saiteja Mukkamalla, retired out after reaching their milestones.
They both scored 103 runs, with Jones facing 78 deliveries while Mukkamalla faced 85 balls. There were two more half centuries which helped USA reach a mammoth score.
Jasdeep Singh finished unbeaten on 61 runs from 25 balls while Gajanand Singh fell for 56 runs off 28 deliveries as they made Tuskers bowlers toil throughout the proceedings. Sheunopa Musekwa finished with the best bowling figures for the home side, taking two wickets for 68 runs in his seven-over spell. Victor Nyauchi, captain Ernest Masuku, and Mgcini Dube all took one wicket each for Tuskers.
Chasing a huge score, Tuskers batters were faced with a mountain to climb and could not do so despite Bright Phiri’s gallant efforts.
Phiri fought a lone battle with the bat, finishing on 79 runs from 97 balls with the team’s second leading run scorer being Nyasha Mayavo with 33 runs off 36 deliveries. Petro Sithole, at the bottom of the order chipped in with 20 runs having faced 25 balls.
Nostush Kenjige starred with the ball for the Americans, taking a five-for. He finished with figures of 5/51 in nine overs while Kyle Phillip and Nisarg Patel took two scalps each for 29 and 24 runs respectively. The other wicket that fell was taken by Stephen Taylor.
USA are using the series against Tuskers as part of their preparations for the upcoming Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifiers which start on June 18. USA were the first team to arrive in Zimbabwe ahead of the tournament so that they get a feel of Zimbabwean conditions before the start of the 10-team tournament.
The second and final match of their practice matches is scheduled for tomorrow at Old Mutual Academy as well. After these two matches, action shifts to official warm-up matches for USA where they will face Ireland and Sri Lanka on Tuesday and Thursday next week at the Bulawayo Athletic Club.
USA is in Group A of the qualifiers alongside Netherlands, West Indies, Nepal and the hosts, Zimbabwe and their group matches will be played in Harare. Group B has Ireland, Scotland, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman and their group matches will be played in Bulawayo.