Canada warm up with win
Canada had no trouble today, beating Antigua by 5 wickets in a warm-up match to the official World Cup warm-up matches. Many of the regular players were rested on this day, leaving some of the newer players a chance to compete for a game when it counts. As such, wicketkeeper Ashish Bagai was given a chance to captain the team with John Davison staying on the sidelines.
Batting first, Antigua made a commendable 231 for 8 in their 50 over innings. Coming on the heels of their 29 run win over Bermuda yesterday, the Antiguans may have fancied their chances in this one as well. There was some bad news for Canada as well, as seamer Austin Codrington was only able to bowl three overs before succumbing to a back injury. He is listed as doubtful for the tri-series against Bermuda and Bangladesh.
Canada was never really bothered in chasing the target. They lost just 5 wickets, and reached 232 runs with a comfortable 7 overs to spare. Abdool Samad - who is fighting for a spot in the World Cup XI - asserted himself by top-scoring with 65 runs. Asif Mulla made 54 not out, and Ashish Bagai contributed 40 runs to the cause.
Earlier in the week, Canada named their five player World Cup reserve squad. The squad - composed of Sandeep Jyoti, Don Maxwell, Kendon Ottley, Steve Welsh, and Haninder Dhillon - are available to be called up to replace any injured players on the World Cup squad before March 2nd. Steven Welsh may be the first to receive a call, depending on the severity of Codrington's injury.
Canada will remain in Antigua where they will play in a brief tri-series, with matches against Bermuda on Monday, and against Bangladesh on Wednesday. They then move to Trinidad for warm-up matches against Ireland and Pakistan, before kicking off the World Cup proper on March 14th against Kenya in St. Lucia.