13th South American Championship, Rio de Janeiro, 2016

The 13th South American Championship (SAC) took place in Rio de Janeiro – for the first time – from October 28th – 31st, at São Fernando Cricket e Polo Club. It was held in conjunction with the Women’s South American Championship, at the same venue.

14947569_10209632084872111_3942631222815522797_nThe Peru men’s team (The Llamas):

  • Nicholas Myers (c)
  • Dan Power (v-c)
  • Tony Sanford
  • Steven Hallett (wkt)
  • Ian Roughton
  • Alex James
  • Lawrence Hill
  • Miles Buesst
  • Matthew Andrews
  • Scott Stephenson
  • Jeremy Fennell
  • Michael Vidler

This was Peru’s most successful SAC to date, in the 6-team format, claiming the bronze medal by winning three out of five games.

Moreover, Peruvian players featured heavily in the individual leaderboards, with captain Nick Myers coming 2nd in the batting list, while veteran all-rounder Miles Buesst, picked up the Bowling Award for his 11 wickets, and the overall Most Valuable Player award for his combined contribution with bat and ball.

This is the first time that a Peruvian player had picked up an individual award at a South American Championship.

The tone was set for an aggressive Llama performance from the first ball of the first game versus Brazil, which was a fast bouncer that floored host captain and key batsman, Gregor Caisley. Luckily, nothing was broken, but he was unable to continue, and the Peruvian bowlers then sliced through the Brazil batting to leave them 57 for 7 (effectively 8) after 9 overs.

A. Hossain (19) and R. Avery (16) then batted sensibly to inch Brazil towards respectability, but they were eventually all out for 104 in the 20th over, with D. Power (3 for 21) having done the damage – literally and figuratively – at the top of the order, and M. Buesst (4 for 4) having blown away the lower order.

With a low total posted, Brazil needed early wickets, but Peru’s openers put on 51 to settle the nerves, with N. Myers (43) taking the role of aggressor. A composed 33* off just 20 balls from D. Power ensured that Peru reached the target with nearly 5 overs to spare. Fittingly, the winning shot was a sweetly-struck straight six that symbolized Peru’s dominance in an 8-wicket Amistad Cup victory.14720398_884742928328269_5327704289085072496_n

Day 1 Results – Fri, 28th Oct: 

  • Argentina (224 for 5) defeated Colombia (94 all out in 16.4 overs) by 130 runs.
  • Mexico (92 for 8) lost to Chile (94 for 2 in 14.1 overs) by 8 wickets.
  • Argentina (182 for 7) defeated Mexico (89 for 8) by 93 runs.
  • Brazil (104 all out in 19.1 overs) lost to Peru (106 for 2 in 15.1 overs) by 8 wickets.

The Llamas came back down to earth with a bump on Day 2 of the tournament, with a lacklustre display against Chile. Batting first, Peru were looking comfortable at 22 for no loss after 3 overs, but an ugly swipe across the line from N. Myers set the rot, and from then on, wickets fell at regular intervals, preventing the development of any momentum.

I. Roughton (30) was the pick of the batting, as Peru limped to a total of 110 for 9 in their 20 overs, but he picked up a hamstring injury during the course of the innings, that hampered his running and would see him miss the next two games.

When it came to Chile’s turn to bat, Peru’s opening bowlers were unable to make the early strikes needed, and although wickets did eventually start to fall, there was not enough scoreboard pressure to really turn the screw, on what was a fast and true wicket. Chile reached the total in the 18th over, with five wickets in hand.

Day 2 Results – Sat, 29th Oct: 

  • Colombia (69 all out in 19.4 overs) lost to Brazil (70 for 0 in 6.0 overs) by 10 wickets.
  • Peru (110 for 9) lost to Chile (111 for 5 in 17.3 overs) by 5 wickets.
  • Colombia (169 for 4) defeated Mexico (128 for 8) by 41 runs.
  • Brazil (130 all out in 18.1 overs) lost to Argentina (134 for 5 in 17 overs) by 5 wickets.

Day 3 saw Peru play two games, the first against tournament favourites, Argentina. Batting first, Argentina got off to a flying start, losing their first wicket in the 4th over, with the score on 38. Wickets continued to fall regularly, and none of the Argentine batsmen scored over 24, but the flow of runs was never stemmed, with a couple of dropped catches and misfields not helping the Peruvian cause. Evergreen off-spinner T. Sanford was the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 22.

The Argentineans finished on 166 for 9, which was always going to be a tough chase, given the quality of their bowling line-up and ground fielding. Peru did not lose many wickets, but were soon far behind the required run-rate and never seriously threatened an upset. M. Buesst with 56 was the mainstay of Peru’s 118 for 5. It was hoped that by not capitulating, they would have a chance of making the Final on net run rate, in the event of their being a number of teams in 2nd place, at the end of the group stage.

The afternoon game saw Peru take on Mexico, who were still without a win. Their lack of confidence was visible batting first, as a number of their batsmen made starts, but could not convert it into a match-changing score. They were all out on the last ball for 113, with A. James (3 for 19) and T. Sanford (3 for 26) taking three wickets apiece.

Peru’s chase was completed with the minimum of fuss, as they lost their first wicket (N. Myers, 27) in the 8th over, with the score on 57. M.Buesst (45*) and D. Power (33*) then saw the Llamas home with 15 balls to spare, for an efficient 9-wicket victory.

Day 3 Results – Sat, 30th Oct: 

  • Argentina (166 for 9) defeated Peru (118 for 5) by 48 runs.
  • Colombia (101 for 8) lost to Chile (102 for 3 in 13.5 overs) by 7 wickets.
  • Chile (183 for 4) defeated Brazil (93 all out in 17.1 overs) by 90 runs.
  • Mexico (113 all out in 20 overs) lost to Peru (116 for 1 in 17.3 overs) by 9 wickets.

This serene progress continued into Day 4, with the final match against Colombia. Batting first, Peru did not lose their first wicket (M. Buesst, 58) until the 12th over, with the score on 115. Peru eventually finished on 192 for 4 from their 20 overs, based on a magnificent 90 from captain N. Myers, that is Peru’s highest ever SAC innings.

In response, Colombia lost early wickets and were never really in the hunt, despite some belligerent middle-order hitting from A. Shrivastrana (40) and A. Farrington (33). Following a day of enforced rest on Day 3, Peru’s injury-prone all-rounder I. Roughton, returned to spin his way to 3 for 13 in 3 overs, as Colombia were all out for 128 in 19.3 overs.

Sadly, other results had not fallen as Peru needed, so they were not in the reckoning for the Final later that day. Instead, this was a showdown between Argentina and Chile, and turned out to be a thriller, with the underdogs, Chile, scoring the winning run off the penultimate ball, with two wickets to spare.

A fitting end to an excellent four days of cricketing competition.

Day 4 Results – Mon, 31st Oct: 

  • Peru (192 for 4) defeated Colombia (128 all out in 19.3 overs) by 64 runs.
  • Mexico (139 for 9) lost to Brazil (140 for 4 off 17 overs) by 6 wickets.
  • Argentina (213 for 5) defeated Chile (147 for 9) by 68 runs.

14915735_1085695204877641_2169031026990221347_nFinal Standings after Group Stage:

  1. Argentina
  2. Chile
  3. Peru
  4. Brazil
  5. Colombia
  6. Mexico

Final: Argentina (163 for 7) lost to Chile (164 for 8 in 19.4 overs) by 2 wickets.