All-rounder Delray Rawlins was delighted with his match-winning performance on a rare visit home that helped Bermuda upset the more fancied United States by six runs in the ICC T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier at White Hill Field.
“It’s always nice to play for your country,” said the 21-year-old left-hander.
Rawlins, who has taken a week off from his full-time job of being a professional cricketer with English Division Two County side Sussex, came in to face the hat-trick ball after two wickets fell in the second over, but went to on make 63 from 53 balls that included three sixes and six fours to underpin Bermuda’s 141 for seven.
Rawlins lifted the crowd with some exquisite stroke play but rode his luck at times with one or two mistimed shots. He was finally out when he was caught at short third man while attempting a reverse sweep.
“I haven’t played at home for a long time, so I just wanted to have a look and see how things were going,” Rawlins, who also took a wicket and held two catches, said after Sunday’s victory.
“Once I felt like I was moving nicely I could pick my balls to hit and luckily it came off in the end. I knew my areas that I really wanted to hit the ball and I just stuck to that.”
Bermuda captain Terryn Fray sang Rawlins’ praises.
“We did a good job … and it started with Delray. He played some amazing shots and got us off to the start we needed for the first half.”
Rawlins fell for six against Canada at the National Sports Centre’s North Field on Monday when rain denied the tournament favourites victory, with each team taking a point from the no result and leaving the two sides tied at the top on three points, one ahead of the US.
Bermuda next face the Cayman Islands, who have lost both opening games, on Wednesday after Tuesday’s rest day. Each team will play the other twice.
The top two teams will qualify for the final qualifier later in the year in the United Arab Emirates.
Rawlins is convinced Bermuda can book their ticket to that tournament, which will decide the line-up for next year’s 16-team T20 World Cup in Australia, where West Indies will be defending champions.
“I believe we have all the tools to qualify and do big things in the coming months,” said Rawlins, who made his maiden first-class century for Sussex against runaway leaders Lancashire last month, ahead of this week’s tournament here.