Canada’s Men’s National cricket team got its Namibia-hosted ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) Qualifier Playoff campaign off to a most positive start with an eventually comfortable 31-run victory over Jersey. At one stage of the proceedings though, Jersey chasing Canada’s modestly set first strike 50 0vers total of 238/8 seemed, however, to be very much in control at 164/3 in the 35 over and cruising towards an unexpected win. Decisive bowling strikes by Canadian skipper Saad Bin Zafar and Nikhil Dutta, however, threw spanners into the Jersey batting wheel’s progress from which it couldn’t quite recover.
First Zafar cleaned bowled Jersey’s number six batsman, Jonty Jenner, for 20 to end his 38run partnership with Josh Lawrenson that was threatening to take the match away from the Canadians completely. Then just 14 runs later, Dutta delivered the killer blow, completely deceiving Lawrenson with his flight to have him smartly stumped by wicket-keeper Srimanthe Wijeyeratne for the innings’ top score of 66.
After those two key dismissals, Jersey’s reply which had gotten off to a most useful start with a 36run opening stand between Harrison Carlyon (18) and Nick Greenwood (59), effectively faltered. Jeremy Gordon had Carlyon caught by Pargat Singh, but Greenwood and Lawrenson added 81 runs for the second wicket. Catcher Singh then became wicket-taking bowler by having Greenwood caught behind by Wijeyeratne to leave Jersey on 117/2-23.6 overs.
Jersey then lost its third wicket, that of Asa Tribe caught by Nicholas Kirton off Kaleem Sana’s bowling for just four. At 126/3 after 26.6 overs and just beyond the midway point of the chase, they would have been the much happier of the two teams though, until Zafar and Dutta’s progress-halting double strikes.
Gordon 3/30-8.5, Zafar 3/51-10 and Man-of-the-Match Dutta 2/30-9 were the main destroyers as the last six Jersey wickets fell in the space of 13.5 overs for just 43 runs to give the Canadians their somewhat sneaky victory.
Dutta’s Man-of-the Match award was largely based on his outstanding innings-restoring knock of 56 with the bat.
Dutta’s restoration act had become necessary after the Canadians lost half their wickets by the 24th over with only 114 runs on the scoreboard. Aaron Johnson 4, Pargat Singh 11, Matthew Spoors 6, and Nicholas Kirton 13 all came and went in fairly quick succession as the first four wickets fell for 52 after 8.5
overs. A full over before the first power play had even ended.
It was a foolhardy loss of early wickets which could have cost the Canadians dearly. A most welcome fifth-wicket 62run partnership between “Middleman” Harsh Thaker 27 and the innings; eventual top-scorer Wijeyeratne 63, however, provided some much-needed stability and set the platform for Dutta’s heroic half-century.
Canada 238/8-50 ovrs. Srimantha Wijeyeratne 63, Nikhil Dutta 56. Charles Perchard 3/38-10, Benjamin Ward 2/35-10, Julius Sunerauer 2/42-10.
Jersey 207/10-47.5 ovrs. Josh Lawrenson 66, Nick Greenwood 59. Jeremy Gordon 3/30-8.5. Saad Bin Zafar 3/51-10. Nikhil Dutta 2/30-9.
CANADA WON BY 31 RUNS.