Bermuda v Bahamas International Series Wrap

The Bermuda national men’s team played host to their counterparts from Bahamas this weekend for a five-game friendly series, with one fifty-over clash and four T20 games played over four days on the beautiful mid-Atlantic island .

For the Bermuda Cricket Board, the series was arranged as a test event, both off and on the field, to help it prepare for hosting the ICC Twenty20 World Cup Americas Regional qualifier tournament next month, where it will play alongside the USA, Canada and the Cayman Islands.

Accordingly, the first three games were held at White Hill Field in Sandys Parish in the western end of Bermuda, which is to be used as the second venue for the WT20 qualifiers, with the last two held at the National Sports Centre in Devonshire just outside the capital Hamilton.

On the pitch, coach Herbie Bascombe assembled a large squad of both senior and junior players for the series, with the aim of giving as many players as possible a taste of international cricket ahead of selecting a smaller squad for the WT20 qualifiers.

For the Bahamas, the games presented a rare opportunity to play international cricket as they look to build the sport’s profile back home and move up the ICC rankings.

Day 1 – Fifty-Over International

The first game was held on Thursday 25th July at White Hill. Batting first, the hosts amassed 269/7 from their 50 overs, led by an imperious century from big opener Treadwell Gibbons, whose enjoyment at reaching three figures was cut short as he retired hurt immediately afterwards, hobbling off to a fine ovation from teammates, opponents and spectators alike.

White Hill Field during the 50-over clash. Photograph by Neil Joynson
The scoreboard at White Hill marks the century and retirement of Bermuda’s Treadwell Gibbons. Photograph by Neil Joynson

He was assisted by Pierre Smith who notched a fifty in an opening partnership of 137 with Gibbons, and a 22-ball 37 from 18-year old Dalin Richardson, Bermuda’s Under 19 captain, fresh from scoring a half century for the U-19s against Argentina in Canada a couple of weeks ago. For the Bahamas, captain Gregory Taylor notched three Bermudian wickets, as did Randolph Fox.

In their reply the Bahamas were blasted out for 107 in just 25.4 overs, with Ryan Tappin top scoring on 24. With the ball, Bermuda were led by quick bowlers Mackih McGowan (4-29) and Kwasi James (3-19).

Scorecard here

Day 2 – Twenty20 games #1 and #2

The next day, White Hill saw attention switch to the shorter format of the game, with two T20s, although despite both Bermuda and Bahamas being accredited by the ICC, and the ICC’s decision to grant all 20-over games between member associations full T20I status, these games were not granted that full status.

However, that did little to dampen their importance to both sides. This is the format Bermuda will be focusing on most ahead of the all-important ICC qualifier next month, and it is the format that will allow Bahamas to gain official status for the first time at some stage in their future.

In the morning game, Bahamas batted first and struggled to 73 all out from 14.5 overs, with Tappin again top scoring on 25. Captain Greg Taylor indicated after the game that his side had very little experience playing on a turf wicket, and struggled with the slow pace of the track. Bermuda selected in their XI their star all-rounder Kamau Leverock, back home for a stint from his place with Nottinghamshire second XI in England. He claimed 4 wickets for 22 runs with the ball, but even this was outshone by teammate Dion Stovall who returned the astonishing figures of 4-2 off 2 overs!

Bermuda quickly knocked off their target of 74 in just 6.2 overs, but not before Greg Irving got the big wicket of Leverock for a second ball duck!

The Bahamas fared much better in the afternoon game, bringing up 136/8 off their 20 overs batting first, led by a fine 60 from Marc Taylor, younger brother of Greg. Charles Trott highlighted the bowling figures for the hosts, with 3-16. In the second innings, Bermuda overcame the target in 14.2 overs, with half centuries for Terryn Fray (56) and Oronde Bascome (52*).

The Taylor brothers, Marc and Greg, bat for Bahamas in the 2nd T20. Photograph by Neil Joynson.

Scorecard Game #1 here

Scorecards Game #2 here

Day 3 – Twenty20 games #3 and #4

Saturday 27th July was a rest fay for the visitors, with most of the Bermuda team playing in trial matches for Somerset and St Georges ahead of the domestic classic Cup Match next week, so it was not until Sunday that the teams met again in two more T20s. These games were played at the impressive North field at the National Sports Centre.

The crowd watches on at the National Sports Centre. Photograph by Neil Joynson

There was heavy rain ahead of the morning game which didn’t help the track, and Bahamas again struggled to 72/9 which Bermuda easily chased down scoring 73/2.

In the final T20 of the series on Sunday afternoon, Bahamas again batted first and showing some signs of fatigue from an arduous few days, limped along to 62/9 from 19 overs, hampered by an injury to key batsman Tappin who was forced to retire on 10. Dennis Brangman topped the bowling figures for the hosts with 3-12, and opening bat Gibbons chipped in with 2 wickets as well.

Bermuda chased their final target easily, with opener Allan Douglas hitting a fine 31 from 20 balls before falling c&b to Randolph Fox. Fittingly, it was left to first day centurion Gibbons to hit the winning runs sealing a 5-0 series win for the Gombey Warriors.

Scorecard Game #3 – tbc

Scorecard Game #4 here

Bermuda’s Treadwell Gibbons hits the winning runs in the final T20. Photograph by Neil Joynson
The two teams share a handshake at the end of the tour. Photograph by Neil Joynson

Netherlands v Nepal – ODI series preview

Following on from their highly symbolic, if rain-soaked, T20I at Lord’s on Sunday, more history beckons for Nepal on Wednesday when they make their ODI debut against the Netherlands in the first of a two game series being played out at the VRA Cricket Ground in Amstelveen.

Above: The VRA stadium in Amstelveen, the Netherlands.

Nepal qualified for status by beating Papua New Guinea at the CWC Qulaifier in Zimbabwe in March, dislodging their Oceanic opponents from the ICC’s strictly limited status club in the process.

They will become the 24th side to appear in ODIs, (or 27th if you also include the Asia XI, Africa XI and ICC World XI sides that the powers that be have sought to give official status to over the years).

Nepal are one of the sport’s fastest growing associate nation, and the match will be followed by millions back home who have really taken to the sport since their side’s meteroic rise through the ranks gathered pace in recent years.

By contrast, the Netherlands will be playing their 80th ODI, although the first since 2014, having regained status they lost back then by winning the 2015-2017 World Cricket League. Their overall record is 28 wins to 44 losses.

The Netherlands won the sides’ latest meeting in 50-over cricket, the seventh place play-off in the aforementioned CWC Qualifies in Zimbabwe – a match which bizarrely was not granted official ODI status despite both sides having already secured their place amongst the chosen few by the time it was played. Such are the byzantine machinations of the ICC!

Given this is Nepal’s first ever ODI series, there are few official ODI stats to feast upon here. Not that either sets of fans will care one iota – they are just happy to be back on the ICC’s weirdly defined next to top table!

For what it is worth, only five of the Netherlands squad have featured in an official ODI before, with a couple potentially in line for personal milestones if they go big in the two-game series:

Wesley Barresi (Netherlands)

With an ODI century already to his name, a couple more could see top order batsman Barresi become the seventh Dutchman to 1,000 runs in the format. He currently has 783.

Pieter Seelaar (Netherlands)

Skipper Seelaar has 42 ODI wickets, so eight in the series will see him notch up 50, and be the third Netherlands player to do so. Five wickets will see him overtake Peter Borren and move into third place for his country in wickets.

Scotland v Zimbabwe – ODI Series Review

The biggest story to come from the recently completed One Day International series between Scotland and Zimbabwe was undoubtedly Scotland’s historic win in the first game – the first time they have beaten one of cricket’s Full Member nations in an official ODI.

Coming on the back of a recent hammering of a full-strength Sri Lanka in Kent in an unofficial ODI in May, the result represents a significant milestone for Scottish cricket, and points to a bright future for Kyle Coetzer’s men.

Scotland then lost the second game in the series heavily – as they had also done against Sri Lanka – with Graeme Cremer’s Zimbabweans bouncing back extremely well to level the series 1-1, and save some pride.

We previewed the series here – so let’s now take a look at some notable statistical milestones achieved:

Kyle Coetzer

Scotland’s captain is in tremendous form and racked up his fourth ODI century with his match-winning 109 in the first game. He scored 170 runs in the series overall – further extending his lead as Scotland’s highest ODI run scorer.

Con de Lange

Spinner de Lange took a mightily impressive 5 for 60 for the Scots in the opening game, destroying any chance Zimbabwe had of reaching their Duckworth Lewis reduced target. These are his best bowling figures for his country, and he becomes just the fifth Scottish bowler to take a five-for in an ODI.

Matt Cross

Scottish keeper-batsman Cross snaffled three catches in the series behind the stumps, taking him to a career tally of 50.

Graeme Cremer

Zimbabwe’s captain rallied his troops brilliantly for the second game, with his 5-for-29 leading his side to a series-equaling victory.

This was Cremer’s third five-for in ODIs for his country – he now has more Michelles than any other Zimbabwean bowler.

His six wickets in the series also took him to a career tally of 90. This has seen him move up two places in the all time wicket-takers list for his country, surpassing both Chris Mpofu’s 85 in seventh, and Guy Whittal’s 88 in sixth place. A pretty good day at the office all round for Mr Cremer!

Malcolm Waller

Waller’s belligerent 92 in the first game had the Scots quaking in their boots as he looked to lead an unlikely chase. He didn’t quite take the Zimbabweans to the win, but he did move past a career milestone of 1000 runs in the process, now sitting on 1056.

Scotland v Zimbabwe – ODI Series June 2017

The joy of following international cricket for me is not limited to the glare of publicity, TV & radio coverage, and endless column inches that are lavished on countless matches between the leading ICC full members. I love watching the associates do battle too and, always a fan of the underdog, where there is a chance for an associate to give a full member a bloody nose or two, my interest piques even more!

This week is one such chance as Scotland take on Zimbabwe in a two-game ODI series at The Grange in Edinburgh, with matches scheduled for both Thursday 15th June and Saturday 17th June. It is a rare bilateral series for the Scots against a Test-playing nation, and they’ll be looking to cause something of an upset.

Scotland enter the series with their form very much mixed. Just under a month ago they stunned a full-strength Sri Lanka by hammering them by seven wickets in a practice match at Beckenham in Kent. Unfortunately for the Scots, the match did not carry official ODI status as the ground was not deemed up to ICC standards, but that doesn’t take away from the magnitude of the achievement.

Sadly, they followed up that win with a nine-wicket loss to the Lankans in the second game of the series, and earlier this week suffered a shock home defeat to Namibia – a team that doesn’t currently have ODI status. Can they recapture the form of that first game in Kent? If they can, then Zimbabwe have every reason to be nervous.

For their part, the Africans have not played an ODI since February, when they played another associate nation, Afghanistan, in a five game series in Harare, losing 4-1. They are using this series as a warm up to their tour of Sri Lanka later in the year, and will definitely be keen to get back to winning ways.

So, much to play for, but also keep a look out for the following personal milestones that players from both sides will be aiming for:

Scotland

Preston Mommsen

The former captain recently came out of international retirement and was back in the team that lost to Namibia earlier this week. He currently has 1101 ODI runs for the Scots, enough to hold down third place in the all-time scorers’ list for his country. He’ll be looking for 131 more to surpass former England/Scotland dual international Gavin Hamilton in second spot. The man who replaced Mommsen as captain, Kyle Coetzer, is in first place.

Josh Davey

Somerset spinner Davey is only available for the second game in the series, but he’ll be aiming for 4 wickets in that game to take him to 50 in the 50-over format.

Matt Cross

Keeper and opening batsman (and MCC Young Cricketer) Matt Cross has taken 47 catches in ODIs for Scotland, so just three more will notch up a half-century of grabs.

 

Zimbabwe

Chris Mpofu

Quick bowler Mpofu currently has 85 ODI wickets in his 76 appearances for Zimbabwe, a tally which sees him sit in seventh place in his country’s wicket takers list. Three more will see him overtake all-rounder Guy Whittall who took 88 wickets in his 147 games as part of Zimbabwe’s succesfull team of the late 1990s.

Graeme Cremer

Hot on the heels of both Chris and Guy is current skipper, spin bowler Graeme Cremer, who has 84 wickets in ODIs.

Malcolm Waller

Batsman Waller needs 36 runs to bring up 1000 in ODIs