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OTD | Landmark moment in American cricket as they played first ever ODI in 2004

OTD | Landmark moment in American cricket as they played first ever ODI in 2004

The 2004 edition of the ICC Champions Trophy was special as this was the first time when United States of America made their debut in the One Day International format.  It was on September 10, 2004, the USA cricket team made its ODI debut in the ICC Champions Trophy against New Zealand at The Oval. Despite being the underdogs, this historic occasion marked the entry of American cricket onto the global stage.

Winning the toss, USA’s captain Richard Staple chose to field first, giving New Zealand the opportunity to set the target. New Zealand’s opening pair, Nathan Astle and skipper Stephen Fleming, faced the American bowlers. The newcomers had an auspicious start when they dismissed Fleming for 15 in the sixth over, followed by Hamish Marshall for 11 in the 13th over, with New Zealand at 43 for two.

However, the partnership between Astle and Scott Styris became the turning point of New Zealand’s innings. They forged a substantial 163-run partnership for the third wicket, stabilizing the Black Caps’ innings. USA managed to pick four wickets by the time New Zealand reached 211 in 42.2 overs. Then, Craig McMillan’s explosive innings took the game away from the USA. McMillan hammered 64 runs off just 27 balls, including two fours and seven sixes, propelling New Zealand to a formidable total of 347 runs in their allotted 50 overs. Among the American bowlers, Tony Reid was the most successful, ending with figures of one for 37 in his 10 overs.

USA’s pursuit began steadily with their openers, Rohan Alexander and Mark Johnson, getting promising starts. However, their fortunes took a swift downturn when they lost Johnson for 20 in the tenth over, followed by three more wickets in the next six balls. Clayton Lambert, batting at number six, top-scored for the American side, contributing 39 runs, but their innings ultimately folded at 137 in 42.4 overs.

The New Zealand all-rounder Jacob Oram, was the standout performer with the ball, claiming five wickets for 36 runs, including one maiden, in his 9.4 overs. Spinner Daniel Vettori also made significant contributions, securing three wickets for just 14 runs, with three maidens in his ten overs. Nathan Astle’s impressive performance with the bat earned him the Player of the Match award.

Despite the USA’s defeat, this match marked a significant milestone in American cricket history. Their inaugural appearance in ODI cricket against a formidable team like New Zealand showcased their potential and introduced them to the global cricketing community. This historic encounter served as a stepping stone for the growth and development of cricket in the United States.

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