Canada, currently leading Cricket World Cup Challenge League A due to a better net run rate than Singapore, hosts the re-scheduled second round of matches starting next week at Maple Leaf CC, King City, Ontario. Games are due to be played from Wednesday, July 27 onwards. The
third and final round of matches in Challenge League A is due to be played in December 2022 in Malaysia.
It is imperative that Canada retain first place in Challenge League A as it is the only the top team in each of the two World Cup Challenge Leagues (A and B) will advance to a World Cup Qualifier in 2023. That World Cup Qualifier is on the schedule for 2023 in Zimbabwe before the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup in India.
Thus, there is little, if any, room for losing a game in League A. Singapore and Qatar are in contention with Canada for top spot, but the likes of Denmark, Malaysia and Vanuatu could dent the prospects of that trio and possibly rise to top spot by the end of the third set of matches in December 2022.
Recent International Action
Canada recently beat Nepal in a 50-over game at Maple Leaf after the first of two games was washed out without a toss or a ball being bowled. I managed to get soaked at the washed out game and was not too well for the next few days so missed Canada’s win.
Denmark won a European T20 Qualifier after placing second behind Belgium (Won 3, Lost 0) in the group phase. Denmark beat Spain in one semi-final while Portugal beat Belgium in the other semi. Denmark then scored 111/1 from 13.1 overs to win the final in response to Portugal’s 110/9 (20 ov). The tournament was played at Waterloo, Belgium.
Singapore may have lost the services of Tim David, a Singaporean-born player who made a mark in several games for Singapore but whose form made him attractive to the Indian Premier League and to Australia, for whom he is qualified. Singapore did not have David in the squad which played in July 2022’s Mens T20 World Cup Qualifier. Singapore lost to Jersey, Hong Kong, Zimbabwe and USA. Singapore hosted Malaysia for some T20 cricket in June 2022. Malaysia won the series by 2 games to 1.
Malaysia recently hosted a Quadrangular event, winning all six games in a double round-robin against Bhutan (Won 4, Lost 2), Maldives (W 2, L 4) and Thailand (W 0, L 6). Malaysia then bowled out Bhutan for 82 in the Final and quickly blazed a winning trail to reach 84/1. Qatar’s last international cricket action seems to have been in the Asian Group A T20 World Cup Qualifier in October 2021. Vanuatu do not appear to have played any recent international matches.
Challenge League Division A – Schedule for King City
July 27 (Wednesday) Canada v Denmark
July 28 (Thursday) Singapore v Qatar, Vanuatu v Malaysia
July 30 (Saturday) Canada v Singapore, Denmark v Vanuatu
July 31 (Sunday) Canada v Malaysia, Denmark v Qatar
August 2 (Tuesday) Vanuatu v Qatar
August 3 (Wednesday) Canada v Qatar, Malaysia v Denmark
August 5 (Friday) Canada v Vanuatu, Malaysia v Denmark
August 6 (Saturday) Malaysia v Qatar, Vanuatu v Singapore
Note: Games are to be played on the north-west (ODI ground) and south-east grounds at Maple
Leaf CC according to ESPNCricinfo. .
Current Standings – ICC World Challenge League Division A
P W L Pts NRR
Canada 5 4 1 8 2.253
Singapore 5 4 1 8 0.384
Qatar 5 3 2 6 -0.574
Denmark 5 2 3 4 0.343
Malaysia 5 1 4 2 -0.836
Vanuatu 5 1 4 2 -1.020
Toronto, 21 July 2022