Canada looking to finish unbeaten
Ingleton Liburd, the Canada head coach has warned his side against complacency and challenged them to finish the ICC T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier with their unbeaten record intact.
Despite a shaky start — openers Rizwan Cheema and Rodrigo Thomas both fell without scoring within the first seven balls — Canada ultimately cruised to an eight-wicket victory over Cayman Islands yesterday.
They reached their target of 92 in 12.1 overs, posting 95 for two, with captain Navneet Dhaliwal scoring 53 not out and Nitish Kumar, 37 not out, scoring the entirety of the runs.
It was a result that, combined with Bermuda’s thrilling four-wicket win over the United States in the day’s second match, confirmed both nation’s qualification to the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier in Dubai, in October and November, as the two top finishers.
Liburd, however, was quick to remind his team about the task in hand, starting with a second meeting with Bermuda tomorrow at White Hill Field.
“It was a case of job done from our point of view,” Liburd said. “We wanted to get an easy win but the guys made it look a little harder than it should have been.
“We had a really poor start but thankfully our captain [Dhaliwal] and Kumar were there to see us home. I think the guys came here and underestimated Cayman Islands after we beat them so easily the first time around.
“It is certainly a habit we have to break ourselves out of because whenever we play against the lesser fancied teams we don’t seem to be 100 per cent. They have to realise that every time they enter the field they have to give maximum attitude and effort.
“The aim from the game was to get a victory without losing any wickets and give the two openers some good time out on the field, however, they both failed in that respect.
“Thankfully, Kumar and Dhaliwal were there to get us out of trouble, which is great. They are such good experienced players, but you don’t want to have to rely on certain players all of the time.
“Our aim is to now go out and top the group. We came here with that as an aim as well as returning home undefeated and so that’s what we want to do.
“We are trying to make the players realise that at any tournament you have to remain professional at all times even if there isn’t a whole lot riding on the game, we want to finish strongly.
“The aim is to go finish here on a high and then take that momentum forward on to Dubai.”
Having won the toss, Canada sent Cayman Islands into bat with openers Chad Hauptfleisch (16) and Kevin Ebanks (8) making a steady start until the latter was caught by Dhaliwal off the bowling of Saad Zafar after 3.3 overs, with 12 on the board.
Sacha DeAlwis (7) came and went four overs later, caught off the bowling of Nikhil Dutta with the score at 33 for two, before Hauptfleisch followed just an over later, bowled by Kumar, with a further ten runs added to the score.
Two further quick wickets fell with Zafar clean bowling both Alistair Ifill (6) and Luke Harrington-Myers (0), to complete his three-wicket haul, in the space of three deliveries in the fifteenth over as Cayman Islands found themselves struggling at 63 for five with just five overs remaining.
Gregory Strydom (23), who had come in at No 4, finally succumbed after 16.3 overs caught off the bowling of Romesh Eranga Don with the score on 70 for six. Paul Manning (7) proved the last man out on the penultimate delivery, bowled by Dilon Heyliger, leaving Troy Taylor and Conory Wright to see out innings and post a total of 91 for seven.
Alessandro Morris delivered four dot balls at the start of Canada’s innings and then bowling the wicket of Cheema with the final delivery of the first over.
Just two balls later, Canada’s nightmare start was worsened as fellow opener Thomas was caught off the bowling of Ebanks.
However, any Cayman dreams of an upset were soon to be extinguished as Dhaliwal and Kumar steadied the innings, bringing up their 50 partnership after eight overs, which included three successive sixes from the captain Dhaliwal.
With 16 runs needed after 11 overs, the pair wasted no time hitting the required runs with Kumar hitting a huge six, matched by his team-mate a couple of deliveries later, with the latter finding another boundary with a four at the start of the thirteenth over, to bring up his half-century and complete the victory in style.
ICC T20 WORLD CUP AMERICAS QUALIFIER
White Hill Field (Canada won toss): Canada won by eight wickets
†C Hauptfleisch b Kumar 16
K R Ebanks c Dhaliwal b Saad Bin Zafar 8
Y S D Seneveratne st Hamza Tariq b Dutta 7
G M Strydom c Rizwan Cheema b Eranga 23
A F Ifill b Saad Bin Zafar 6
L H B Harrington-Myers b Saad Bin Zafar 0
P Manning b Heyliger 7
T Taylor not out 11
C Wright not out 2
Extras (b 1, lb 4, nb 2, w 4) 11
Total (7 wkts; 20 overs) 91
*A Morris, Z McLaughlin did not bat
Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-33, 3-43, 4-63, 5-63, 6-70, 7-89.
Bowling: Junaid Siddiqui 2-0-8-0; Eranga 3-0-10-1; Saad Bin Zafar 4-0-8-3; Kumar 3-0-21-1; Dutta 4-0-16-1; Heyliger 4-0-23-1.
R A Thomas c Hauptfleisch b Ebanks 0
Rizwan Cheema b Morris 0
*N S Dhaliwal not out 53
N R Kumar not out 37
Extras (nb 2, w 3) 5
Total (2 wkts; overs) 95
N Dutta, †Hamza Tariq, Ravinderpal Singh, D Heyliger, Junaid Siddiqui, G D R Eranga, Saad Bin Zafar
Fall of wickets: 1-0
Bowling: Morris 4-1-15-1; Ebanks 2-0-25-1; Ifill 4-0-4-1; McLaughlin 2.1-0-14-0.
Umpires: Nigel Duguid (West Indies), Emmerson Carrington
Reserve Umpire: Jacqueline Williams (West Indies).
Match Referee: Reon King (West Indies).
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