World Cup Cricket comes to South Florida – The Boca Raton Tribune-Selambe

By Ed Boreth/ Special to the Boca Raton Tribune

The fans were waiting to see if Cricket T20 World Cup would finally get started in Florida. Friday’s match between USA and Ireland held the key to who would or could advance from Group A to the Super 8s, while the other teams would go home. Cricket was to start on Tuesday night with Nepal v Sri Lanka. The lines for parking were long and the Nepal fans brought tons of energy while waiting for the game to start, but rain brought delay and finally abandonment of the game awarding each team a point.

Friday’s match may have seen inconsequential to cricket fans going into the T20 World Cup, but an upset victory by the USA over Pakistan changed everything and now the USA v Ireland was pivotal to all teams in Group A except Canada. A win or draw and USA would go through, or a USA loss would keep the fans guessing who would be the second team through to the Super 8 round.

A 10:30 start time was listed, but pitch inspections delayed the start and the ground crew at Central Broward Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida worked furiously to rid the pitch of water so the game could get underway. A final pitch inspection at 1:15 seemed to indicate that a shortened game might be played and everyone in Group A waited for the decision to come from the match officials. As the minutes ticked by without word thunder was heard in the distance and the crowd was warned to stay in their seats dur to lightning in the area. Hope for play remained. As if on cue, the decision was made for the match officials as rain came down and became a deluge soaking the pitch beyond drainage for the day. An abandoned game meant a point for USA and a secure second place to go through to the Super 8s, with games coming up in Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados, where they will face South Africa, the West Indies and England.

On Saturday, the stadium was filled with hopes of finally getting a game played in Florida but the game between India and Canada had to be abandoned as too much water had soaked the field. The rain had finally abated enough to allow the pitch to dry and finally on Sunday, the last match scheduled was able to start. While both Pakistan and Ireland were out of the tournament, it gave the cricket fans something to watch after days of waiting. Pakistan was easily able to handle Ireland taking 3 wickets early and leaving Ireland to defend a score of 106. Ireland gave it their all and in the middle overs took wickets that left Pakistan fans wondering if they may be facing a similar situation to the game against the USA where the bats were silenced later in the game. Pakistan held on to win by 3 wickets with 7 balls left and Shaheen Afridi was the man of the match.


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