Liburd: Canada can be ‘dark horses’ in Dubai

Ingleton Liburd has warned Canada’s ICC T20 World Cup Global Qualifier rivals that his side are not heading to Dubai just to make up the numbers, they will be there to win it.

Canada will head to the United Arab Emirates on the back of a memorable ICC T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier campaign, clinching the championship title in style with a 15-run victory over the United States, yesterday, to finish the tournament unbeaten.

“We’ve been looking at the teams that have qualified for Dubai and we think we have a really good chance,” Liburd said. “Everyone will be going there wanting to finish inside the top six to qualify for the T20 World Cup, but we want to win it.

“The Canadian mentality would be to be content with finishing inside the top six where as if you asked an American they’d say straight out, ‘We want to win it’, so I’m saying now we want to win it, that’s the goal, that’s the aim. We can be the real dark horses in Dubai.”

Having lost the toss and being put into bat at White Hill Field, Canada made a steady start through openers Abraash Khan (22) and Rizwan Cheema (19) reaching 29 in the first three overs before the latter was dismissed, caught off the bowling of Karima Gore.

Khan followed his fellow opener back to the pavilion, stumped off the bowling of Gore with 44 on the board. Things went from bad to worse just an over later, as Nitish Kumar (0) departed on his third ball faced, caught leg before by Nisarg Patel.

However, captain Navneet Dhaliwal (36) and Ravinderpal Singh (67) set about steadying the innings, taking the total to 127, before the latter was dismissed off the bowling of Hayden Walsh.

Wickets fell more regularly after that with no other batsman scoring more than 11. The next to fall was Hamza Tariq (1) just an over later as Gore completed his hat-trick, before Dhaliwal finally succumb at the end of the eighteenth over, caught off the bowling of Jasdeep Singh with the score at 157 for six.

Harsh Thaker (11) fell to the bowling of Saurabh Netravalkar after 18.4 overs, before Saad Bin Zafar (11) was the last man out, clean bowled by Jasdeep Singh with just two balls remaining.

Chasing 174, Monank Patel smashed 26 off just 15 balls before being dismissed off the bowling of Bin Zafar after 3.2 overs with the score on 32.

Fellow opener Jaskaran Malhotra (18) was joined briefly by Steven Taylor (10), who departed just an over later. Aaron Jones (8) lasted 12 deliveries before falling to the bowling of Montfort Kumar with only a further seven runs added to the total.

Nisarg Patel (0) came and went, facing just two balls before being caught and bowled by Dhaliwal.

However, with Jasdeep Singh (31) and Walsh (28) at the crease, the US were given a glimmer of hope as the pair helped take the score to 140.

As the finals overs whittled away, so did the US hopes of an upset, with Singh the last man out, run out by Hamza Tariq with just two balls remaining. Captain Netravalkar (7) and Timil Patel (1) saw out the innings as the US posted 158 for eight.

In stark contrast to Canada, the US return home on the back of a disappointing tournament, falling way short of their aim of qualifying as one of the top two finishers, having already made plans for preparations for Dubai with a training camp in India prior to the competition.

Team manager Kirk Higgins said: “It’s definitely been a tough tournament for all of us as a team and an organisation,” he said.

“We definitely came here expecting to qualify for Dubai, but it just goes to show that cricket is played on the field and not on paper.

“It’s been difficult but we have no choice but to bounce back from this. We had already put plans in place for if we qualified here and so that won’t be happening now.

“I wouldn’t say big lessons need to be learnt from this tournament, we just didn’t play to our usual standard, that’s the big thing to take away.”

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Published Aug 26, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 25, 2019 at 11:52 pm)

Liburd: Canada can be ‘dark horses’ in Dubai

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