By Ravi Madholall
Canada senior men’s team started their International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket League World Division 2 preparations after recording a comfortable 33-run victory in a warm-up game on Saturday in Sri Lanka. The team, under the guidance of newly appointed veteran coach, Monty Desai, is in Sri Lanka for two weeks before heading off to Namibia for the six-team tournament.
After winning the toss, Canada rattled up a formidable 241-7 from the allotted 40 overs while their opponent, Ordnance Army, in reply, made only 208 all out off 36.1 overs. Leading the way for the Canadian was left-handed opening batsman Rodrigo Thomas with an exciting 73 which included seven fours and two sixes. Another outstanding batsman, Naveet Dhaliwah, supported with 53.
When the Army boys batted, left-arm experienced spinner Saad Bin Zafar grabbed three wickets for 32 runs from eight overs. Off-spinner Nikhil Dutta took two for 22 while medium-pacer Dillon Heyliger also snapped two wickets.
The Canadian boys, who have a relatively new captain for the tour, will play their second practice game at the same venue, Panadura ground, this weekend. The team is led by former South Africa player Davy Jacobs.
Jacobs took over the leadership role from all-rounder Nitish Kumar who skippered the team successfully at the World Division 3 tourney. As part of their preparations in Sri Lanka, the Canadian players are having rigorous physical training.
Canada will open their campaign against Hong Kong on April 20. The competition is expected to run for eleven straight days. The top four teams will advance to Division One to vie for a spot at the 2023 World Cup 50-over Qualifiers.
Canada squard: David Johan Jacobs (Captain), Bhavindu Adhihetty, Dilon Heyliger, Harsh Thaker, Hiral Patel, Mark Montfort, Navneet Dhaliwal, NikhilDutta, Nitish Kumar, Ravinderpal Singh, Rodrigo Thomas, Romesh Don, Ravindu Gunasekera, Saad Bin Zafar, Srimantha Wijayeratne, Sukhdeep Brar and Varun Sehdev.