Rain spoils chance of grabbing gold from Canada
The USA Women’s cricket team returned from the Cayman Islands with silver in tow, having been denied an opportunity to wrestle the gold medal from the wet hands of Canada, as a result of heavy rainfall on the final day of the ICC Americas 2012 Women’s T20 tournament in the Cayman Islands.
Canada was declared the tournament’s overall winner based on a better net run rate than the USA.
With four wins apiece, Canada and the USA may have been looking forward to meeting each other on the final day of the tournament at the Smith Road Oval in George Town, Grand Cayman, depending on who from either team, one spoke with. Team USA was eager to play Canada, although there must have been a healthy respect for the depth of Canada’s batting. On the other hand Canada must have recognized the USA as the biggest possible nightmare standing between them and an appearance at next year’s ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier.
Earlier in the week-long tournament rain had played havoc with several of the matches, even reducing an encounter between Canada and Argentina to a paltry five overs each. It was not supposed to be the rainy season in that part of the world as yet, but it was probably not the USA’s moment to defeat Canada in the regular one-day and T20 formats, in back-to-back fashion. The USA defeated Canada handily 3-0 in 2010 to go on to represent the Americas region at the Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier last November in Bangladesh. Although in the run up to that tournament, the USA lost to Canada in a non-deciding two-match T20 series in Toronto, Canada.
It would have been interesting to see how Canada and the USA matched-up in a competitive T20 qualifier, despite the USA not fielding its strongest possible team. The ICC-Americas Cayman Islands tournament gave some of the USA women a chance to dig deep in search of themselves, and to realize some of their true potential. Some of that talent was reflected in the USA women capturing three of the four individual player tournament awards – Nadia Gruny (Tournament MVP), Samantha Ramautar (Best Bowler), Melissa Sandy (Best Wicket-keeper). Canada’s Durriya Shabbir, captured the tournament’s best batting title.
Despite a -2.035 net run rate loss to Canada, one can only imagine if the USA had fielded other standout players such as Shondell Ward, Monique Mathee, Doris Francis, and recent new mother Indomatie Goordial-John. One supposes that Canada could list a number of its own outstanding, but missing players who could have donned the traditional red of the USA’s northern neighbors. However, Canada did enter the tournament as the odds-on favorite to win overall, but they might just have gotten a bit nervous after watching the gutsy performances of some of the USA players, despite Team USA struggling to establish impressive opening partnerships.
Outstanding players of the USA squad included the in-form Nadia Gruny who displayed tremendous focus batting, while coming back to capture a few wickets. Triholder Marshall’s batting is fast complementing her prowess as an opening bowler, a rare find in many players. Players like Samantha Ramautar and Melissa Sandy turned in excellent performances with the ball and gloves respectively, while Claudine Beckford and Sara Farooq turned in good numbers as bowlers, and the power-hitting Karen Bayles excited the crowd, while batting down in the order. Despite earlier turning in captain-like performances, USA skipper Candacy Atkins did not get the chance to explode in the last match, suffering a groin injury.
(Photo Right: Bryan Vandenberg ©ICC)
In their silver medal second-place finish, the USA women have discovered a few gems upon which they can now build a formidable squad, and with the right support, exposure, and encouragement. A take-away from the tournament by those conversant with USA women’s cricket, is that the performances of the USA players was due in large part to the individual self-discipline of the players who have been practicing on their own, and outside any structured Team USA training camp or practice matches.
Once again, the ICC Americas Division One showed that Canada and the USA are head and shoulders above their peers, despite a youthful and athletic-looking Argentine squad that showed an insatiable appetite to run with the two big dogs. Argentine finished in third-place in the tournament.