Canada came through against Jersey in the battle of the inaugural winners of the two ICC Challenge Leagues (A and B) and needs to continue winning ways against North American rivals USA on Wednesday (29 March 2029) in Namibia. USA, who placed 5th in the seven team ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 had similarly come through with a winning start against hosts Namibia despite some wobbly wheels.
On Sunday (March 26) against hosts Namibia the USA lost two early wickets with just 5 runs on the board before opener Sushant Modani (17), Aaron Jones (36) and Gajanand Singh (53) began to improve the health of the innings. Gajanand Singh posted his lost his wicket at 150/7, leaving the USA in a sticky position after 36 overs. The innings recovered somewhat as Jessy Singh and Nosthush Kenjige each went on to score personal best ODI scores. Jessy Singh was caught for 33 after this duo had added 26 runs.
Kenjige kept going until bowled by Shaun Fouche for 43 in the closing over. Fouche ended with 3/46 from 10 overs, then scored 55 opening a Namibian innings where 2 early wickets fell to Ali Khan with just 2 runs on the board. Michael van Lingen (22) and Jan Loftie-Eaton (38) provided some batting support for Fouche. Ali Khan had Loftie-Eaton caught to leave Namibia on 118/4 at the end of 30 overs. Saurabh Netravalkar bowled Fouche for 55 with 128 on the board from 34.5 overs and the innings faded away to 151 all out after 41.4 overs. Ali Khan took 3/21 from 7 overs, Nisarg Patel 3/29 from 9 overs, Gajanand Singh followed his knock of 53 with two catches, picked up his second ODI wicket (1/13 from 4 overs) and was named player-of-the-match.
Canada Come Through Against Jersey
On Monday (March 27) Challenge League A winners Canada posted 238/8 from 50 overs against Challenge League B winners Jersey. Wicketkeeper Srimantha Wijeyeratne lead a recovery from 30/3 (4.1 overs) with 63 runs (91 balls, 8x4s) batting at number four. Harsh Thaker provided useful support with 27 runs before being bowled by Charles Perchard (3/38, 10 overs).
This left Canada on 114/5 from 23.4 overs. Wijeyeratne kept going with useful support from Nikhil Dutta. This duo added 70 runs for the sixth wicket, a stand broken when Wijeyeratne was trapped lbw by Benjamin Ward (2/35, 10 overs). Nikhil Dutta went on to make 56 (82 balls, 5x4s, 3x6s) and Ravinderpal Singh chipped in with 21* as Canada tallied 238/8 from 50 overs.
Jersey made a reasonable start before Jeremy Gordon had Harrison Carlyon caught for 18 by Pargat Singh. Jersey 36/1 (8.1 overs). Opener Nick Greenwood kept the scoreboard ticking along in tandem with Josh Lawrenson. Things were not looking too bright for Canada as the Jersey total broke the 100 mark with just the one fallen Jersey wicket. Pargat Singh broke the second wicket stand by having Greenwood caught for 59 (70 balls, 5×4, 2x6s) by wicketkeeper Wijeyeratne. Jersey were going quite well (if not too well from a Canadian perspective) at 117/2 from 24 overs and required 122 more runs from 26 overs.
Asa Tribe was soon caught for 4 by Nicolas Kirton off Kaleem Sana: Jersey 126/3 from 27 overs. Jonty Jenner was bowled by Canadian captain Saad bin Zafar for 20 (164/6, 35 overs) but Lawrenson was still ticking along.
Nikhil Dutta helped turn the tide in Canada’s direction when he had Lawrenson stumped by Wijeyeratne for 66 (101 balls, 4x4s) at the start of the 40th over. So, Jersey needed 61 runs, the outfield seemed quite smooth and fast. New batter Julius Sumerauer struck two boundaries, but some good bowling and catches turned the tide for Canada.
Harsh Thaker caught Benjamin Ward (6) off Saad bin Zafar’s bowling (194/6; 42.3 overs) and two balls later Wijeyeratne stumped Sumerauer for 13. Matthew Spoors caught Anthony Hawkins-Kay for 7 off the bowling of Nikhil Dutta: Jersey 204/8 (46.1 overs). Jeremy Gordon then fizzed the ball onto the stumps past Jake Dunford’s bat and three balls later Gordon hung onto a solidly struck drive by Jersey captain Charles Perchard for the catch to end the game and secure a Canadian victory.
Jeremy Gordon ended with 3/30 from 8.4 overs. Skipper Saad bin Zafar took 3/51 (10 overs) and Nikhil Dutta had figures of 2/30 from 9 overs.
The stage is set for Canada against the USA at cricket in Windhoek, Namibia.