By Ravi Madholall in Toronto
Both Canada and USA were clinical on the opening day of the 2020 International Cricket Council Under-19 limited-over World Cup Qualifiers on Monday at the Maple Leaf venue, King City, Toronto.
Canada dismissed their opponents Bermuda for a paltry 61 and then hit off the required runs losing only a solitary wicket while USA produced an emphatic performance to manufacture a handsome ten-wicket victory.
Bermuda batted first after winning the toss and only two batsmen were able to hit the double-digits in their abysmal batting display despite a pitch appeared decent.
Tai Cariah and vice-captain Jaiden Manders were the men who showed brief resilience against the Canadian venomous attack with 13 each. Left-arm spacer Muhammed Kamal churned out a man-of-the-match exhibition by grabbing 3-9 from six overs while another quickie Rishiv Joshi finished with 2-8 in seven overs. Gurjot Gosal proved unplayable too with his medium pace to take 2-9 off six overs while slow-bowler Raqib Shamsundeen collected two wickets without conceding a run from a mere four deliveries.
When Canada batted, opener Randhir Sandhu played confidently to score an unbeaten 26 as Isiah Greaves claimed the wicket that fell in glorious sunshine.
USA was certainly indebted to left-arm swing-bowler Raj Vyaz who bowled with pace and precision on another pitch in which both games played simultaneously.
Vyaz prized out seven wickets as Cayman Island was capitulated for an embarrassing 29 in just 15.3 overs while the American lads responded with 1.4 overs to hit off the runs.
Apart from Vyaz’s unforgettable bowling performance, skipper Joshua Kind supported well by accounted for two of the victims. It was a total disaster for Island boys who won the toss and without hesitation opted to take first knock but the decision back-fired on them immediately as they lost wickets with a great degree of frequency.
Inevitably, Vyaz was given the man-of-the-match award after sending down eight menacing overs and yielded only ten runs.
The five-team round-robin tournament continues on Tuesday at the same venue with Canada matching their skills with Argentina while USA will confront Bermuda. The winner of the competition will participate at the 50-over World Cup event early next year in South Africa as the American representative.