By Ravi Madholall at King City
Canada, led by a splendid all-round performance from Arslan Khan, produced a magnificent display to thrash Bermuda by a comprehensive 141-run margin on Wednesday at Maple Leaf venue, King City in the continuation of the 2018 International Cricket Council (ICC) 50-over World Cup Qualifiers.
After they were beaten by USA in their opener at the same venue Tuesday, the hosts enthusiastically played with a greater degree of confidence as they piled on a sufficient 229-8 from the allocation of 50-overs.
Bermuda, who was also defeated by USA in the first game, only responded awfully with 88 all out in 35.3 overs.
Bermuda won the toss and without hesitation invited Canada to bat on a responsive pitch with Khan hitting an attractive 74 while he returned with his leg-break to claim three wickets for nine runs from 6.3 overs to complement a fine day’s show.
Khan was superbly backed up by right-arm pacer Faisal Jamkhandi who generated good bounce and movement to finish with 3-11 from seven probing overs. Spinner Pieter Pretorius was also spot-on picking up two wickets for 14 runs from five overs.
The visitors began their chase in rather precarious fashion losing their first wicket in the second over when Jabari Darrel spooned a catch to forward short-leg and once the Canadians maintained their momentum, the batsmen never got comfortable as skipper Bhavindu Adhihetty rotated his pace and spin quite impressively.
Captain Nzari Paynter (14) was only one offering some resistance but was later undone to the clever bowling efforts.
Earlier, Canada, whose batting was susceptible against the USA bowlers, provided much more resistance and temperament and subsequently achieved an unbeatable target.
Khan batted with profound confidence as he reached the boundary on six occasions in his 93-ball occupation at the crease. The right-handed Khan and Kavian Naress also shared a steady 68-run fourth-wicket stand with Naress being run out for 23 in a terrible mixed up with the elegant Khan after they decided late for a second run.
Kunwarpal Chana was also exhibiting good batting form to hit a composed 30 while Aran Pathmanathan with a late flourish contributed 28 having dismissed in the last over holding out at long-on.
Dalin Richardson and Nirobi Smith Nills were the most successful bowlers for the visitors with 2-27 (10) and 2-52 (10) respectively.
The tournament is set to resume on Friday with Bermuda clashing with the rampant USA at Toronto Cricket Club while Canada and Bermuda will meet up again on Saturday at Maple Leaf. The final round match is slated for Sunday with the two rivals, USA and Canada at Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club ground.
The winning team in this competition will represent the North American continent at the ICC World Cup tournament billed to be played in New Zealand next January.
Meanwhile, Canada still in the race for qualification. The net run rate gap with USA which was over three points after Tuesday’s huge loss, has been reduced to 0.812 due to their gigantic victory Wednesday.