Canada fall to Pakistan in warm-up
Pakistan overcame a great start by the Canadian bowlers today to win the first World Cup warm-up match at Trinidad today. The Pakistan innings was struggling at 66 for 4 at one point in the innings, but well paced half-centuries from three middle-order batsmen helped push their score to a superb 273 for 8, from just 48 overs. The reason for the shortening of the innings - one of the sightscreens collapsed, causing a 75 minute pause in the action.
The batsmen providing the push for Pakistan were led by Mohammad Hafeez who provided 61 runs. He was aided by 59 runs from captain Inzamam ul-Haq and Kamran Akmal's late flurry of 56. These efforts helped push what could have been a subpar score into a fomidable target for the Canadians. Henry Osinde and Umar Bhatti both bowled well, taking 2-41 and 1-32, respectively. In fact, all the Canadian bowlers were accurate, with only 8 extras coming from the innings.
Canada came out guns blazing, clearly with the intent of chasing down the target. The opening duo of Geoff Barnett and Abdool Samad put on 60 runs for the first wicket, clipping along at around 6 runs per over. Unfortunately, when Samad was trapped lbw by Rana Naved, it triggered a collapse from 60-1 all the way to 91-5. Like Pakistan, Canada received solid efforts from their middle order. Qaiser Ali scored 37 and Asif Mulla added 31 runs during their stays at the crease, but by that point there was no chance of reaching the target. Canada went down swinging, and they were all out for 196 off 46.4 overs. The best bowler was Mohammad Hafeez, taking 3-10 from just 3.4 overs.
A pattern that has been noticeable in Canada's batting recently has been the inability of batsmen to go on and make the so-called 'big' score. With the exception of Ashish Bagai at the WCL, there have been very few 50s or 100s from Canadian batsmen. This can be seen as one of the main differences between the associates and the full Test nations. When Pakistan was in trouble, they get three players going on to make 50+ runs and rescue the innings. Canada had Barnett, Samad, Mulla, and Ali all make good starts - but none of them were able to make the big score to lead their team to the target.
Canada have one more tune-up on Thursday when they take on fellow associates Ireland. They begin their World Cup in earnest on Wednesday March 14th when they take on Kenya. Join us then, as we will have ball-by-ball updates and live scorecards here on CricketEurope.