A battered, bruised and mentally drained USA women’s XI limped into the distinct possibility of advancing as one of the two teams in the ICC-Americas women’s tournament now under way in Lauderhill, Florida.
The other team would be the defending champions Canada.
Yesterday, the Americans defeated Argentina handsomely by nine wickets. The Argentineans had earlier this week grabbed a Twenty20 victory over the USA through the Duckworth/Lewis method and some contributing thunder and adverse weather conditions in Florida.
Winning the toss and electing to field, the Americans saw Argentina post 131 all out in 38.4 overs of the 40-overs affair, with Y. Dorce making 54 not out (4x4s) and C. Grelani, 20. The Argentina wickets fell at 5, 10, 14, 71, 76, 100, 112, 113 and 131.
Bowling for the USA I. Sutherland had figures of 8-1-17-3; J. Jones 7-1-24-2 and I. Mahabir 7-1-7-2, with D. Francis and D. Hayles each snatching a wicket apiece with one run-out. Hayles was recovering from a shoulder injury sustained earlier in the week that threatened to shut her out of the tournament.
The Argentina XI was not void of injuries, as was the highly favored Bermuda team who had succumbed to Argentina in an upset on Monday. It appears as though physical fitness and unfortunate injuries have plagued the tournament since day one.
The USA in response to Argentina’s 131 reached 132 in 32.3 overs and losing only one wicket along the way, that of opener and skipper Roselyn Emmanuel for 15, off the bowling of S. Retaoules, while Doris Francis retired hurt on 14, with an achilles tendon injury and now sports a cast on her left foot.
Shirley Ann Bonaparte from whom a lot was expected in the tournament did not disappoint scoring 55 not out in her team’s victory. The hard-hitting former West Indies Test player’s knock included 7x4s, she was ably supported by Vice Captain Candacy Atkins with a comfortable 24 not out.
The victory placed the USA in a definitive three-way run up with Canada and Argentina, however, should Argentina defeat Canada, the two top teams would be decided on a net run rate. In such a scenario, the USA is still likely to emerge as the other team to join Canada and advance in the qualifying round for the 2010 Women’s World Cup tournament.
Today, the USA enjoys a much-needed day off, while Canada does battle with Argentina. Tomorrow an Americas All-Star XI will battle the Trinidad & Tobago Development squad now participating in the tournament. The Americas XI will be drawn from the other five participating countries, Canada, Bermuda, Brazil, Argentina and the USA.
With the USA team possibly advancing, the team’s management will have to take a serious look at the make up of the team in terms of physical fitness and possibly scouting for a few other players to compete with the other teams sporting an average age of 23 years, but for now the USA sits and await the outcome of the Canada versus Argentina match-up with an eye towards healing fast and regrouping to the next level.