Thanks to an unbeaten 92 ball 72 from its Captain Consistency, Navneet Dhaliwal, Canada began its 2019 Malaysia hosted International Cricket Council Cricket World Challenge League Group A campaign with a comfortable 5 wicket win against Vanuatu. Set to make 161 for victory in 50 overs, Canada easily reached its target for the loss of just five wickets with a full 18 overs to spare.
The Canadian’s victory hadn’t looked nearly as comfortable at the start of their innings however, when opener Rodrigo Thomas was adjudged caught behind off Patrick Matautaava off the very first ball off the innings. Thomas’ departure with the score on 0-1 was then quickly followed by those of Nitish Kumar 12, Harsh Thaker 0 and Nikhil Dutta 1 to leave Canada tottering at 57-4 after just 13-1 overs.
Skipper Dhaliwal and Ravinderpal Singh however restored some much-needed semblance of order to the Canadian innings, with a 52 run partnership for the fifth wicket. Singh’s departure, caught by Matautaava off Williamsing Nalisa’s bowling for a very well played, aggressive, 27 ball 38, was the last of the Vanuatu bowler’s success. Dhaliwal 72* and Saad Bin Zafar 31* (42) comfortably saw the Canadians home to their victory target. Dhaliwal’s 72 included 10 fours and two sixes, while Zafar reached the boundary four times and cleared it once in his 31 not out.
Bowling for Vanuatu, Matautaava was the most successful claiming 2/23 (7). His Economy Rate was also an impressive 3.28.
Earlier Canada’s bowlers, led by Nikhil Dutta’s 3/29 (9), ably supported by respective two wicket hauls from Romesh Eranga 2/23 (8), Saad Bin Zafar 2/25 (10) and Dillon Heyliger 2/43 (8.1) had claimed wickets steadily en route to restricting Vanuatu to its sub par 160/10 (47.1). Clement Tommy 42 (57) and Ronald Tari 30 (48) were the only Vanuatu batsmen to offer any form of resistance to Canada’s wicket hungry bowlers.