Early Start and Win Moves Canada from Last to First

ICC Men’s Global T20 Qualifier Group B Result (20 Oct 2019, Abu Dhabi) :
Canada 176/5 (20 ov; Nitish Kumar 83, Navneet Dhaliwal 36) beat Jersey 123 (17 ov; Jonty Jenner 56, Jeremy Gordon 3/13, Dilon Heyliger 3/20) 53 runs

Canada moved from last place to first on net run rate (NRR) in Group B of the ICC Mens Global T20 World Cup Qualifier thanks to 53 run win against Jersey in the early start matches on Sunday (20 October 2019). It was Canada’s first game of the tournament against opposition Canada has rarely encountered in recent years. Jersey were the overnight Group B leaders on NRR after a big win against Nigeria that took them past Ireland in the standings on Saturday before Ireland lost to the UAE later on Saturday.
Oman (Won 1, NRR +0.545) are playing Hong Kong (Lost 1, NRR -1.292) in Sunday’s other Group B game now in progress (Update: Hong Kong 102 all out). A win for Oman would see them bounce ahead of Canada but a win for Hong Kong would see Canada remain top of Group B after playing just one game. Nigeria has also only played one game, losing heavily to Jersey on Saturday and will play Canada in the third Group B match on Monday. UAE (Won 1, Lost 1, NRR 0.301) plays Hong Kong in the first Group B match on Monday followed by Ireland (Won 1, Lost 1, NRR -0.122) then comes Canada (Won 1, NRR +2.65) v Nigeria (Lost 1, NRR -3.45).
Two paragraphs and no mention of who did or did not do something in this morning’s game between Canada and Jersey (so I inserted a summary score at the start). Possibly a first for me but the key outcome of the day was that Canada won against unfamiliar opposition who play several international games per year in Europe.
The winner of Groups A and B automatically advances to the semi-final and automatically wins a place in next year’s ICC T20 World Cup in Australia. Winning the Group would be a great achievement. It brings a guarantee for next year and brings the opportunity to win this Global T20 Qualifier tournament.
The second placed team in each group plays the third placed team from the other group in a cross-over playoff (A2 v B3, B2 v A3). The winner of these cross-over playoffs advances to the semi-final and gains a place in next year’s T20 World Cup. The losing team from these cross- over matches take part a playoff with the teams who finish fourth in Groups A and B to determine the other two countries who will advance to the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia.
In an exchange of messages with someone in the Canadian camp I received the reply “It’s a tricky group.” I noticed that response before the ups and downs of the seemingly depleted UAE beating Ireland on Saturday.
Steady Progress by Canada
Canada seemed to be making steady, rather than spectacular progress in the early going against Jersey. Rodrigo Thomas was bowled by Julius Sumerauer for 13 runs from 22 balls just after Canada passed the 50 mark. Canada 51/1 from 7.5 overs; about 6.5 runs per over (rpo). Jersey’s bowlers had some good figures by T20 standards. Canada had ticked along with singles, 5 boundaries and just 1 six. Just 2 runs and 3 balls later, captain Navneet Dhaliwal was caught by Nick Greenwood off Benjamin Ward for 36 (4x4s. 1×6).
It was almost a new start of innings for the batting duo of right-hander Nitish Kumar and left- hander Nicholas Kirton. Runs began to flow for Nitish Kumar after a steady star. Kirton was mostly steady but struck a 4 and a 6 off Benjamin Stevens in the 14th over to take Canada past the century mark. Kumar struck consecutive sixes off Ward in the 15th over and Canada’s run rate was increasing. But this useful third wicket stand of 74 ended with Kirton caught off the first ball of the 17th over. Kirton scored 21 (21 balls, 1×4, 1×6).
The closing overs of the innings saw Canada keeping the score ticking along but Charles (Chuggy) Perchard had Nitish Kumar stumped by Dunford for 83 midway through the 19th over. Many will have been hoping for Nitish to reach a century, but, crucially, he lead the revival of the Canadian innings to 162/4 (18.3 ov) after sudden loss of both opening batters around the 50 mark.
Nitish Kumar’s 83 came from 36 balls with 4 boundaries and 6 sixes. This from a batsman who is sometimes described by pundits as a slow scorer. But scoring rate depends upon the pitch, knowledge of the bowlers (who may or may not have an off-day, a bad spell or a magical spell) and, at times, a certain amount of luck.
Hamza Tariq was caught off Perchard two balls after Kumar’s dismissal. Ravinderpal Singh and Dilon Heylinger picked up 13 runs from the last 7 balls and Canada had reached 176/5 when the 20 overs ended.
Charles (Chuggy) Perchard ended with 2/21 from 4 overs that helped put pressure on the Canadian batsmen. Sumerauer took 2/38 from 3 overs while Benjamin Ward took 1/22 from 3 overs. Anthony Hawkins-Kay bowled 3 overs for 23 runs.
Early wickets, Early runs in Jersey Innings
Jersey’s innings began with Nicholas Ferraby being caught by Rodrigo Thomas off Jeremy Gordon for a duck to the second ball. Benjamin Stevens was bowled by Dilon Heylinger with the ninth ball of the innings and Jersey were 13/2. Opening bat Harrison Carlyon struck a couple of boundaries before being caught by Ravinderpal Singh for 12 (13 balls) off Heylinger in the 5th over. Nikhil Dutta’s first ball bowled Nicholas Greenwood for 7 and Jersey were 53/4 after 6.1 overs. Runs were coming but wickets were falling.
Jonty Jenner, who struck 57 of Jersey’s 184/4 during Saturday’s win against Nigeria, was playing his shots who gained some support from Benjamin Ward as Jersey headed towards the century mark. Ward was bowled by Saad bin Zafar for 14 (18 balls) to peg Jersey at 91/5 (10.2

overs). Jenner reached his 50 with a boundary off Canadian captain Navneet Dhaliwal in the 12th over, but was caught for 56 (32 balls, 5x4s, 3x6s) by Nitish Kumar in Dhaliwal’s next over. This left Jersey on 107/6 after 13.4 overs. The balance of the game seemed to tilt in Canada’s favour but some good shots and lusty blows might have brought success for Jersey.
Captain Dhaliwal had switched the bowlers around from the start with against a background of flowing runs and wickets. He turned to the extra pace of Heylinger who had Anthony Hawkins- Kay caught for 2 by Jeremy Gordon; Jersey 117/7 (15.2 overs). Dhaliwal rewarded Gordon for the catch by bringing him on to bowl and the end came quickly. Gordon bowled Sumerauer for 2 and Dunford for a duck: Jersey 122/9 (16.5 overs). The last ball of Gordon’s over brought a leg- bye and the run out of Dominic Blampied for 14. Jersey 123 all out after 17 overs and an opening game win in Group B for Canada by 43 runs.
Jeremy Gordon ended with 3/14 from 3 overs and his pace bowling partner Dilon Heylinger took 3/20 from 3 overs as the duo top and tailed the Jersey innings. Medium pacer Navneet Dhaliwal took 1/12 from 2 overs that helped turn the game. Spinner Nikhil Dutta took 1/24 from 3 overs, slow-left-arm spiner Saad bin Zafar picked up 1/34 from 4 overs and off-spinner Nitish Kumar conceded 15 runs from 2 overs.
Canada’s next game is on Monday against Nigeria. PNG Wins Again in Group A
The early game in Group A saw Papua New Guinea clip 197/7 from 20 overs then bowl out Namibia for 116 (17.1 overs) for an 81 run win. Papua New Guinea began with a 10 wicket win on Saturday after bowling Bermuda out for 89. PNG bounced above the Netherlands (W 2) on net run rate with Sunday’s win. The Netherlands wins were against Kenya and Namibia.
It will be interesting to see how PNG perform on Monday against Scotland who lost to Singapore by 2 runs on Friday but beat Kenya on Saturday.
Eddie Norfolk

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