Canada v Bermuda, InterContinental Cup, Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club

Dave Liverman

23 August: Bermuda skittled by Bhatti

Day 1: Bermuda 125, Canada 149/6 (Bagai 72*, Codrington 19*)

Umar Bhatti gave Canada the best possible start as he dismissed five of the first six batsmen to leave Bermuda reeling at 61/6, and captured three more wickets as the visitors totalled just 125. Only a half-century by Clay Smith saved Bermuda from a complete debacle. Canada's batting fared little better until a fine unbeaten 72 from Bagai took them to a narrow lead.

Captain Pubudu Dassanayake asked the Bermudans to bat on winning the toss. Bermuda rapidly fell to 14/4 losing Chris Foggo (4), Graham Strange (2), Saleem Mukuddem for a duck, and Irving Romain (2) as Umar Bhatti took three wickets, Osinde Henry one. Bermuda advanced to 52 before Bhatti struck again, bowling Janeiro Tucker for 25, then trapping Hassan Durham leg-before without scoring. At lunch Bermuda were 61/6. Clay Smith (52) had been holding the batting together, but became Bhatti's 6th victim, and Minors fell to Codrington, Bagai taking his third catch of the innings. The ninth wicket fell on 96, Bhatti bowling Robinson for 2. Bhatti capped a magnificent day by taking his eighth wicket to wrap up the innings, Bagai taking another catch. Bhatti finished with the figures of 17.5-4-40-8

Canada's reply got off to a decent start, reaching 29 before Bhatti was dismissed, but then wickets tumbled. At 35-4 Bermuda's total was beginning to look reasonable. Asish Bagai however played the innings of the day, making an unbeaten 72, and with George Codrington (19*) took Canada into a 24-run lead, with four wickets left at close of play. Saleem Mukuddem was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3-34.

24 August: Bermuda stage recovery
Day 2: Bermuda 125 and 209/5, Canada 207

on the second morning, Bagai (76) soon fell adding only four to his overnight score. Codrington (31) helped by 16 from Osinde Henry enabled Canada to reach 207, a lead of 82. Leverock and Saleem Mukuddem took four wickets each.

Bermuda's openers failed again, and three wickets fell for just 22, Bhatti bowling Fogo and Osinde dismissing Strange and Romaine. At lunch on the second day Bermuda were 40/3. Kevin Sandher bowled Saleem Mukuddem with the score on 61 but then Bermuda fought back. Skipper Clay Smith (45) and Janeiro Tucker put on 65 before Dhaniram had Smith lbw. Tucker (65* was joined by Dean Minors (50*) for an unbroken partnership of 93, the highest of the match so far. Canada's spinners bowled economicallly but without much success and Bhatti was unable to reproduce his form of the first innings. Bermuda have a lead of 127 with 5 wickets remaining.

25 August: Day 3: Bermuda beat Canada
Day 3: Bermuda 125 and 311 beat Canada 207 and 181

Canada lost to Bermuda by 48 runs in the Intercontinental Cup match at the Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club. Janeiro Tucker's century proved decisive as Bermuda set Canada 230 to win, and feeble batting by the Canadian top-order was only redeemed by a fine partnership between debutant Qasir Ali and George Codrington that gave Canada fleeting hope. Canada must now hope for the Caymans to upset Bermuda in Saturday's match to stand a chance of reaching the ICC Final.

As the match entered the third day, both sides were in with a chance of victory. Tucker and Minors extended their partnership to 119 before Maxwell took his first wicket of the match, Minors lbw for an excellent 66. Durham made just 7 before being bowled by Osinde, and Maxwell struck again to dismiss Robinson leg-before-wicket. Tucker reached his century and with Leverock increased the lead to over 200. Canada took one more wicket before lunch and shortly after the interval Tucker's potentially match-winning innings was ended by Osinde.

Canada needed 230 to win in just less than two sessions of play, and got off to a disastrous start. Surkari was lbw to Hurdle with just a single on the board, followed by Dassanayake and Maxwell with the score on 13. Ifill was lbw to Saleem Mukuddem to leave Canada reeling at 17/4. Dhaniram (35) and Bagai (21) put on 54, but the Canadian recovery was halted when both were dismissed in succession leaving Canada at 73/6. Canada's hopes of a win seemed gone, and the prospect of the lower order batting out time remote. George Codrington and debutant Qasir Ali showed surprising resistance with an excellent partnership of 91 for the 7th wicket. Codrington was bowled by Hassan Durham for 40, and Umar Bhatti was ajudged lbw for 3 to the same bowler shortly afterwards - 168/8. Qasir Ali reached his half-century - but when he was run out Sandher soon followed, and Bermuda won by 48 runs.

Canada will be disappointed to have lost a match they dominated for two of the three days, and the absence of several players who were importmant parts of the ICC Trophy team was keenly felt. Some consolation will be gained from the bowling of Bhatti, and Qasir Ali's batting, however. [Scorecard]