Singapore 152-5 (Param 72*, Manpreet 26, Tucker 1-16) defeated Bermuda 149-7 (Tucker 50*, Fray 29, Prakash 3-44) by 5 wickets (with 3 balls remaining).
Singapore overcame early scares batting second to sneak home against Bermuda in Dubai. Backing up from their upset over Scotland, Singapore sit equal top in group A, while Bermuda join Namibia and Kenya as the winless teams languishing at the bottom of the pile.
Bermuda’s Dion Stovell won the toss and elected to bat, with Okera Bascome watchful of Vinoth Baskaran’s first over. The Gombey Warriors opened their account thanks to five wides from Singapore’s Janak Prakash, and collected 11 runs in Prakash’s second over.
Perhaps looking to make something of the Power Play, Bermuda’s conservative start was derailed by two wickets in two balls. Amjad Mahboob claimed Okera Bascome driving to Surendran Chandramohan at mid-off, before a mix-up cost Bermuda a second wicket. Ending up at the same end Stovell and Terryn Fray were left to rue their lack of communication moments before, as the skipper was run out without scoring.
Losing Delray Rawlins for just 1, Fray fought back by accelerating to a run a ball, though met his end after Baskaran returned to the attack. In an unrelenting performance, Baskaran bowled two maidens in a return of 1-8.
Enter: Janeiro Tucker. With over 20 years of international experience, the 44-year-old produced one of his best individual performances. Combining in a 55-run partnership with Deunte Darrell, Tucker went on to make an unbeaten 50 from 34 balls. Kamau Leverock and Malachi Jones followed up with hitting of their own, pushing Bermuda’s total to 149.
Bermuda enjoyed an ideal start with the ball as George O’Brien dismissed Surendran Chandramohan leg before in the first over. Rohan Rangarajan and Tim David began a rebuild, though the international experience of Tucker and Malachi Jones swung things in Bermuda’s favour. Rangarajan was castled by Jones, with David claimed by Tucker, enjoying a dream day. Reacting to a spanked straight drive, Tucker stretched his right hand out to claim a sharp return catch.
Between these two wickets, the athleticism of Kemau Leverock brought an end to Aritra Dutta’s stay at the crease. On location, ESPNCricinfo‘s Peter Della Penna had the perfect view.
Stuck at 41-4, Singapore needed a new hero to emerge on the world stage. A day shy of turning 24, Navin Param put forward his name. With a highest score in recognised T20Is of 13* before walking out to bat, Param played with a mix of strength and touch. Manipulating the field with paddles and scoops, he also hit four sixes, as he led his team’s fightback.
Under pressure piled on by Param, Bermuda made multiple blunders in the field they would later rue. While bowling the 18th over, skipper Dion Stovell crucially didn’t pick up on his own error of having three fielders behind square on the leg-side. The resulting free hit was driven for four by Param, with Singapore needing 19 off the last two overs. Leverock was given the ball for the penultimate over, and was hit for six with a flat-batted slap after bowling too short. Leverock overstepped later in the over, giving Param an extra ball to nudge a single to keep the strike.
Given the honours of bowling the last over, George O’Brien was beaten in a game of wits by Param, who scooped him for six off the first ball. Needing two runs off the last four balls, Param tied things up with a single before Janak Prakash lofted over O’Brien to take Singapore to 2-0.