Two Wins Could Keep Canada on the World Cup Trail

Canada faces Namibia on Tuesday (April 4) in a vital game for both teams on the trail to reach this summer’s World Cup Qualifier.  The top two from this current World Cup Qualifier Playoff in Namibia will advance on to the ICC Men’s World Cup Qualifier, due to be played in Zimbabwe in June and July.  The top two teams in the Zimbabwe tournament will advance to the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India.  

The current top two in this Qualifier Playoff are USA and UAE. Each has picked up 3 wins and 1 loss and each has one more game to play.  At present, the USA (NRR +0.888) has a better net run rate than the UAE (NRR +0.241) and both will close this tournament with a game against Jersey.  USA are due to play Jersey on Tuesday (April 4) and will be aiming to win and seal a place in the Zimbabwe tournament. The UAE will then face Jersey on Wednesday.

But, what if the two Challenge League champions, Canada, and Jersey, come to life in the last two rounds of this Qualifier Playoff?

UAE Dent both Canadian and Namibian Hopes

Hosts Namibia play their last game of this tournament on Tuesday against Canada.  Namibia have so far won 2 and lost 2.  Canada and Namibia both stumbled to defeat against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this past weekend.  A Canadian loss to Namibia on Tuesday would end Canada’s hopes of reaching the Zimbabwe Qualifier and the 2023 World Cup in India.  So, thoughts must be positive in the Canadian camp for a win against Namibia followed by another win on Wednesday against Jersey.

Canada has won 2 and lost 1 and will play Papua New Guinea in the last round of this tournament’s matches on Wednesday (April 5). Canada posted the lowest winning total to date in this tournament when defending 198 against the USA on March 29.

Canada must beat Namibia on Tuesday to keep qualification hopes alive. A win against Namibia followed by a win against Papua New Guinea in the last round of matches on Wednesday could open the path for   Canada to qualify for the Zimbabwe World Cup Qualifier.  But there is potential for three teams to end with 4 wins in these two closing rounds of this Playoff Qualifier. 

But Jersey, like Canada, also has the chance of winning two more games.  A Jersey win against the USA might set the cat among the pigeons in some parts of the world.  It would likely bring out the calculators on the Net Run Rate trail. 

Jersey posted the third highest total to date in this tournament with 291/4 from 50 overs in a win against Papua New Guinea, who responded with 280/9 from 50 overs on April 1. Two days earlier Papua New Guinea had posted 333 all out (46.2 overs) in losing cause following Namibia’s mighty 381/8 (50 overs).

The Path Beyond this Qualifier Playoff

The top two from this World Cup Qualifier Playoff in Namibia will advance on to the ICC Men’s World Cup Qualifier, due to be played in Zimbabwe in June and July.  Ten teams will compete for the last two places in the 2023 ICC Men’s World Cup. The participants in the Zimbabwe Qualifier will be the five lowest ranking teams in World Cup Super League, the top three from League 2 and the two qualifiers from this current World Cup Playoff Qualifier in Namibia.   

ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier Playoff – Current Standings

                        P   W    L   Pts     NRR     

USA                  4   3     1      6     +0.888

UAE                  4   3     1      6     +0.241

Canada             3   2     1      4     +0.345

Namibia            4   2     2      4     +0.198

Jersey               3   1     2      2     -0.814

Papua N.G.       4   0     3      0     -0.985

Remaining Matches

4 April              Canada v Namibia (Wanderers Ground); Jersey v USA (United Ground)

5 April              Canada v Papua New Guinea (United Ground); Jersey v UAE (Wanderers Ground).

Canada’s Summary Scores to Date

27 March    Canada 238/8 (50 ov; Srimantha Wijeyeratne 63. Nikhil Dutta 56, Charles Perchard 3/38) beat Jersey 207 (47.5 ov; Josh Lawrenson 66, Nick Greenwood 59, Jeremy Gordon 3/30, Saad bin Zafar 3/51) by 31 runs.

29 March    Canada 198 (49.4ov; Aaron Johnson 47, Harsh Thaker 43) beat USA 172 (47.3 ov; Sushant Modani 64, Kaleem Sana 4/14, Saad bin Zafar 3/43) by 26 runs.

31 March    Canada 254 (48.5 ov; Pargat Singh 102, Nicholas Kirton 50, Aayan Khan 3/34 ov) lost to United Arab Emirates 255/4 (49 ov; Muhammad Waseem 80, Aryan Lakra 53, Rameez Shahzad 54*) by 6 wickets.

Canada has stumbled in the past in some important matches in Windhoek. It’s time for Canada to turn the tide with wins against the hosts on Tuesday at the Wanderers ground and cement the path to Zimbabwe with a closing day win against Papua New Guinea at the United ground.

Best wishes to the Canadian squad, management and support team in the closing days of this tournament.    

Eddie Norfolk, Toronto, 3 April, 2023.

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