Cayman’s cricketers are through to the next round of the Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers after an impressive performance in Argentina last week.
The Cayman side took three wins in four matches in the triangular tournament with Bermuda and the South Americans.
A defeat at the hands of Bermuda in the final over of their final match prevented them from securing top spot in the group.
But they had already done enough at that point to be sure of progressing, alongside the Bermudians, to the next phase of qualification, expected to be held in Canada or the U.S. next year.
Two teams from that tournament will go through to the final elimination qualifier to be held in Australia immediately before the World Cup in 2020.
Cayman’s manager Ricardo Roach said the team had stepped up to the challenge in Argentina. He said they had been the most consistent team in the tournament.
“I think we played the best brand of T20 cricket and were the best team,” he said.
Bermuda ended up top of the group based on their better run rate, largely down to a crushing victory over Argentina in their opening game.
The Cayman Islands, traditionally a weaker side than Bermuda, had the better of the two games against their island rivals.
Cayman thrashed Bermuda by 62 runs in the first game and looked on course for another victory in the repeat fixture on Friday, with their opponents needing 18 runs to win from the final over.
But Bermuda’s Steve Bremar smashed three boundaries, including back-to-back sixes, to take them to victory with one ball remaining.
Roach said the players were disappointed to lose the game at the death but happy overall with the level of their performance throughout.
“I think this core of players we have right now is working very hard and they have done well in terms of sticking to plans and executing them. From a management point of view, we are fairly happy. Obviously, we wanted to win all four games and the competition but the cricket gods didn’t see it that way.”
He said the primary objective of making it through to the Americas qualifier next year had been achieved. With the U.S. and Canada likely lying in wait in that tournament, he acknowledged Cayman had an uphill task.
“We will need to be better, fitter and sharper, but that is what we are focusing on.
“It would be a huge achievement if we could get in the top two in that tournament. That would be a big boost for us and would put us right there with the big boys on the world stage,” Roach said.
If they progress from that Americas group, Cayman will book their ticket to Australia for the final 13-team ICC World T20 qualifier held immediately before the World Cup.
The top six from that tournament join the top 10 teams in the world, who qualify automatically, in the T20 World Cup.