A quickfire 83 from 43 balls from Kamau Leverock, supported by 66 from 38 by Delray Rawlins, has fired Bermuda into the driving seat for qualification for the 2024 T20 World Cup ahead of group favourites Canada.
Despite losing the toss and being put into bat, Bermuda started quickly, reaching 62/1 by the end of the powerplay. Bermuda then powered through the middle overs with a destructive partnership of 92 runs between Leverock and Rawlins before Leverock was dismissed with the scoreboard at 159-3 from 15.4 overs.
Bermuda crossed the 20 over mark scoring 181 runs, losing 9 wickets. Despite a respectable score from the Gombey Warriors, Canada would have felt confident in challenging Bermuda with the short boundaries at Somerset’s White Hill Field. These hopes were firmly diminished by the end of the seventh over, with Bermuda’s bowling attack taking command of the Canadian batters with the scoreboard at 27-5.
Canada’s Nikhil Dutta and Saad Bin Zafar attempted to salvage the net run rate, with scores of 27 off 16 and 26* from 23, respectively. Canada was eventually bowled out for 95 with three overs to spare, with Bermuda cruising to victory by a margin of 86 runs. On his return to the squad after five years, Cejay Outerbridge proved to be the pick of Bermuda’s bowlers, taking 3 wickets from 4 overs while conceding 18 runs. In their first win against Canada in T20I, the victory provides Bermuda with +4.300 NRR from the opening match.
In the second fixture of the day between Panama and the Cayman Islands, Panama won the toss and elected to bat first. Panama batted the full 20 overs to reach a score of 85/8. The Cayman Islands chased the score with ease, posting 88/3 with 33 balls to spare to win by 7 wickets.
With the Americas qualifier consisting of a double round-robin between Canada, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Panama, the nature of the win for Bermuda places them in pole position to qualify ahead of Canada for the single Americas qualifying spot in the 2024 T20 World Cup in the West Indies and USA. Assuming both Canada and Bermuda win their fixtures against Cayman Islands and Panama, the victory for Bermuda sets up a crucial rematch for the teams on Saturday 7th October with qualification from the groups at stakes. However, with the superior NRR Bermuda have acquired in the victory, this leaves Canada in a precarious position for the remainder of the group stage.
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