Canada defeated Germany by six wickets in the February 22 Classification Round of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier A. Canada was pushed till the end by a determined Germany as they chased down the victory target of 132 with three balls to spare.
Victory for Canada set them up for a February 24th fifth-place playoff game against Bahrain. Canada thrived on a valuable partnership between skipper Navneet Dhaliwal and Matthew Spoors. They had lost their opener Rayyan Pathan off the second ball of the match. Dieter Klein was the pick of German bowlers with his three-wicket haul. He first got rid of Pathan when the opener was caught behind by Michael Richardson.
Dhaliwal and player of the match, Spoors, then forged an 85-run stand to revive the team’s fortunes. Dhaliwal’s exit in the 14th over was a result of a brilliant catch in the deep by Fayaz Khan off Dylan Blignaut. The skipper contributed 37 off 40. Spoors stayed unbeaten on 73 off 55 and ensured that Canada complete a tense victory. Dilon Heyliger (17) and Ravinderpal Singh left in a space of 10 balls, both falling to Klein.
The German pacer bowled three dot balls in his 19th and had Singh caught behind on the fourth. Canada needed 12 off eight but Spoors hit a four and a six to ease the nerves and steer the side to win in the final over. Put to bat first, Germany lost their momentum at the halfway stage to finish at 131-6. Opener Justin Broad and Mi-chael Richardson shared a valuable 49-run second-wicket partnership.
Broad’s opening partner Vijaya Shankar fell in the fourth over with the total at 16. Richardson displayed a lot of positive intent in his strokes as he cut behind square and exhibited the drives and pull shots during his 26-ball 35. His innings were laced with five boundaries. Left-arm spinner Salman Nazar broke the partnership when he had Broad trapped leg before for 28. Two overs later came the turning point that tilted the scales in Canada’s favor.
Skipper Dhaliwal introduced Matthew Spoors into the attack. The 22-year-old leg-spinner met with success straightaway as he cleaned up Richardson off his second ball. New batter Dylan Blignaut was run out two balls later and the double blow left Germany at 80-4.
Faisal Mubashir, who was the top-scorer against Ireland on Monday with 40-ball 45, then attempted to get quick runs on board. His innings was cut short by Salman Nazar, as he was stumped by Shreyas Movva off a wide ball.
Canada bowlers kept their line and length hard and Nazar got his third victim when he trapped Dieter Klein to end his spell with 3-27. A couple of big hits from Fayaz Khan in the 19th pushed the score after skipper Venkat Ganesan had retired hurt for twelve in the previous over.