By Ravi Madholall in Toronto
Bermuda continued to stagger from one disaster to another as they sank to an ignominious eight-wicket defeat against host-nation Canada in the penultimate round of the 2018 International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 World Cup Qualifier tournament played on Saturday at Maple Leaf ground, King City.
After winning the toss and decided to take first strike, the visitors were scuffled out for a meagre 44 in 27.3 overs while Canada, in response, raced like lightning to 45-2 off a mere four overs.
That humongous victory means Canada’s Net Run Rate (NRR) has diminished significantly and they set up a huge confrontation with the other participating country, USA on Sunday at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club ground.
USA have been unbeaten with three wins in which their NRR is 2.012 in comparison to Canada’s NRR of 1.653. If USA win on Sunday they will be the North American side to compete at the Under-19 World Cup which is scheduled for New Zealand next January.
Canada could also head to New Zealand once they win and get the better NRR.
Back at King City, Bermuda could not have handled the steady and penetrative pace-bowling from Akash Gill who delivered with undiminished enthusiasm on a slow but animated turf. Once he got the early breakthrough at 11-1, Bermuda never recovered and folded meekly.
Gill, with a Player-of-the-match display, snared four wickets for 17 runs from eight testing overs while left-arm orthodox spinner Aran Pathmanathan supported splendidly with three wickets for four runs from 5.3 over stingy overs to help wrapped things up under a grey sky.
When Canada batted, skipper Bhavindu Adhihetty struck an unbeaten 22 to return to form in this tournament after two cheap scores while the inform Arshan Khan was with him on eight when victory was achieved.
Medium-pacer Nirobi Smith-Mills grabbed the two wickets for 16 runs from just two overs.
Coach of the losing side Clay Smith expressed great disappointment on his boys after they went down inauspiciously in the final game and overall lost all four of their matches.
“It was terrible the way we played throughout the tournament but I can only hope now the guys would have learnt a lot from this exposure; again, we have some talented players in the team but they just did not live up their expectations,” Smith, who represented Bermuda at the highest level, mentioned.
Meanwhile, the victorious team in this tournament will also be participating at the forthcoming Cricket West Indies regional youth tournament in both the three-day and one-day competitions. The tournament is billed for mid-August in St. Kitts and Nevis.