Canada scored 191 for 8 from 20 overs and beat Kenya by 26 runs in the second and final warm- up game on Tuesday (15 October) before the ICC Mens Global T20 World Cup Qualifier begins on Friday (18 October). Kenya tallied 165 for 8 from 20 overs, headed by 46 from opener Alex Obanda and aided by 7 sixes approaching the closing overs. Rakep Patel hit 3 of those sixes in his 20-ball 38 runs. Patel was caught by Ravinderpal Singh of the bowling of Jeremy Gordon in the 19th over. On his return to the Canadian attack in 17th over, Gordon had bowled Kenyan captain Shem Ngoche, who included 2 sixes in hit 11-ball 19 runs.
Earlier, Jeremy Gordon made the first breakthrough, having opening bat D Gondaria caught by wicketkeeper Hamza Tariq for 5 to leave Kenya 19/1 after 3.4 overs. Off-spinners Nikhil Dutta and Nitish Kumar each picked up a wicket. Dutta bowled Irfan Karim for 9 (Kenya 55/2 after 10.2 overs) and Kumar bowled Obanda to end the 12th over with Kenya on 74/4.
Rodrigo Thomas hit 22 from 14 balls before being caught in an opening stand of 44 in 4.4 overs with Navneet Dhaliwal. Abraash Khan was bowled for a duck next ball by Shem Ngoche. Dhaliwal and Nicholas Kirton moved Canada to 80 when Dhaliwal was caught for 46 (27 balls) to end the 8th over. Rizwan Cheema clipped 28 runs from 14 balls before being caught to leave Canada on 137/4 after 14.3 overs. Hamza Tariq struck 21 from 11 balls then was also caught to leave Canada 182/5 after 18 overs. Srimantha Wijeyeratne was out for 1 just two balls later. Nicholas Kirton made a useful 61 from 48 balls (3x4s, 3x6s) before being caught off the bowling of Elijah Otieno at 188 midway through the 20th over. Nikhil Dutta was run out for 1 to end the 20th over, leaving Dilon Heyliger 3*. Otieno ended with 2/28 from 4 overs and Kenyan captain Shem Ngoche took 2/29 from 3 overs.
Canada’s Prospects In and Beyond Group B
Canada won both warm-up games, as did Jersey who Canada will play first in the Global T20 Qualifier on Sunday in Abu Dhabi. Jersey bowled out Singapore for 118 from 20 overs then reached a winning 116/4 with 5 balls to spare. On Monday, Jersey had restricted Kenya to 126/7 from 20 overs, then struck 131/3 from 13.2 overs to win with several overs to spare.
Canada is currently 24th in the ICC T20I Rankings (as updated on 10 October 2019) with Jersey 25th. Jersey has performed well with the ball in those two warm-up games and Canada may not have had much of a chance to see Jersey’s players in action in recent times.
But, in my opinion, Canada’s significant recent involvement in international cricket via the ICC Americas T20 Final and the Challenge League Division A in Singapore, plus preparations in Toronto should pay dividends in the Global T20 Qualifier. Many of the squad have done well with the bat in those two tournaments and there is a variety of bowling that should see Canada perform well above that current 25th ranking.
This event has the potential for Canada to re-emerge, to the extent possible, as a potential leading ICC Associate country and reach a Men’s T20 World Cup for the first time. Canada will
be stuck on the outside of 50-over ODI cricket needing to win, preferably 10 of 10 remaining Challenge League Division A games on the road to the next level of qualifiers for 2023 World Cup in India.
The current ICC T20I rankings have four of the countries in Canada’s group with a higher ranking than Canada. UAE is ranked 12th, Ireland 14th, Oman 16th and Hong Kong 20th. Nigeria are the lowest ranked in Group B at 37th. But Canada should be able to finish in the top three in Group B and progress to secure one of the six available places in the 2020 Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
Wednesday (16 October) brought news that three UAE players have been suspended pending responses to corruption charges and hearings brought by the ICC. This followed a few days where disclosure was scarce about the reason the UAE submitted to the ICC last Thursday included a change of captain.
UAE beat Scotland by 37 runs in Monday’s warm-up game then beat Papua New Guinea by 15 runs on Tuesday. So the UAE seem to remain competitive for this tournament after being under something of a cloud since making just 56 against Namibia last week and three players were changed in the squad for this tournament.
Ireland, the only ICC Full Member in Group B, beat the Netherlands by 30 runs on Monday then lost to Scotland by just one run on Tuesday. Ireland won three games in the Oman Pentangular so appear to have acclimatized to the heat.
Oman bowled out Papua New Guinea for 96 and won by 4 wickets on Monday then beat the Netherlands on Tuesday with 2 balls to spare. These two warm-up game wins in the UAE follow 4 T20I wins in the Oman Pentangular tournament against Ireland, Nepal, the Netherlands and Hong Kong. Possibly Oman may the team to beat in Group B, but Ireland and UAE while Hong Kong had a disappointing 4 losses in the Oman event. Still, Hong Kong, who recently had three players given lengthy ICC suspensions, beat Bermuda on Tuesday after defeating Namibia on Monday.
Nigeria, who gained a place in Group B as a result of Zimbabwe’s suspension from ICC events – lost warm-up games against Bermuda by 53 runs and against Namibia by 8 wickets. Zimbabwe’s suspension was lifted this week, so Zimbabwe will be in next year’s ICC Under-19 championship in South Africa.
Then you wonder, hope and begin to expect that the mix of right- and left-handed batters who can score runs plus bowlers with pace and spin of left- and right-handed variations in the Canadian squad plus determination and support from the coaching and support team will come together and take Canada to next year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
Perhaps some of the other countries in Group B are starting to think: “What if “Canada plays up to or above the potential shown by several batsmen and bowlers in the ICC Americas Final and inaugural World Cup Challenge League in Malaysia? [Note: Paragraph corrected/updated 4pm,
19 October 2019, EN]
Other Scores from Tuesday’s Warm-up Games
Hong Kong 160/3 (20 ov; Kinchit Shah 48) beat Bermuda 136/8 (Waqas Barkat 3/20)
United Arab Emirates 193/2 (20 ov; Mohammad Usman 60, Darius D’Silva 43, Waheed Ahmed 36) beat Papua New Guinea 178/7 (20 ov; Waheed Ahmed 3/38)
Singapore 118 (20 ov; Julius Sumerauer 31) lost to Jersey 116/4 (19.1 ov; Nick Greenwood 46*)
Netherlands 169/3 (20 ov; Ben Cooper 60, Ryan ten Doeschate 36*, Max O’Dowd 31) lost to Oman 170/6 (19.4 ov; Jatinder Singh 64)
Scotland 210/8 (20 ov; George Munsey 86, David Delaney 3/35) beat Ireland 209/9 (20 ov; Andrew Balbirnie 70, Mark Adair 45, Hamza Tahir 3/32)
Nigeria 96/9 (20 ov; Adeleke Oyede 35, Christi Viljoen 2/6, Bernard Schultz 2/17) lost to Namibia 97/2 (10.1 ov; Niko Davin 33, Gerhard Erasmus 32*)
Compiled and written by Eddie Norfolk October 17, 2019