The Yorkshire tail battled back against sound bowling from Waterloo Sunrise Browne and then went on to bowl superbly to beat the dynamic South-western Ontario club on Sunday (June 17th, Fathers' Day in Canada).
Canadian prospect Harvir Baidwan took 3 for 19 with his right-arm medium pace, including two wickets in two balls, to tilt the balance as Sunrise went in search of 176 runs to win in 50 overs. The tight Yorkshire bowling even restricted Mohammad Saif, who was eventually out for 22 to leave the home side 52-5 (21.3 overs).
Jaspal Rana's fighting 38 included some powerful shots but he eventually fell with the total on 108, and a delighted Yorkshire side, lacking Canadian international Asif Mulla (visiting India but due back this week), was elated to advance to the Montreal Eastern Final on Canada Day.
Sunrise's opening bowlers had bowled a good line and early Yorkshire batting showed some typically Canadian tendancies of hitting the ball into the air....and getting out. Clearly the potential work to pass the lessons the national team had been learning from National Coach Andy Pick down through the domestic leagues remains a need, as does the hoped-for coaching infrastructure the brave words expected in the original September 2005 advertisement for a new coach. Those close to the playing side of the game in Canada continue to hope for movement and delivery from the powers that be.
Shaikh, with 26, was the only top five Yorkshire batsman to make double-figures. Arif Talat, latterly assited by a runner, made what proved a telling 45, showing how you can accumulate runs along the ground. Thoughts of "Tha' can't be caught, lad, if t' ball is hit along t' ground".
There were good contributions from Jagjit Mangat (20), Mohsin Mulla (19) and Vineet Sharma (10) as Yorkshire moved from 68-5 (21.4) to the last ball dismissal of Sharma with the total on 175. Mohammad Saif (9 overs) and Sarabjit Minhas (10 overs) each took 2-34 for Sunrise. Saqib took 3 wickets for 35, including Talat.
It didn't seem enough, especially with Saif's century in the previous round against Crescent CC (Hamilton) so fresh in the mind. But Yorkshire fought back. Talat takes a lot of the credit, Sharma bowled really well to almost setup opening partner Baidwan's success. Baidwan made 8 (batting 8th), then became Talat's runner, and after his 6 over spell of 3-19 he took over wicketkeeping duties.
Asif Mulla would normally be Yorkshire's wicketkeeper. He sometimes keeps wicket for Canada to relieve Ashish Bagai. If Canada drafted in Baidwan to the senior side, the team could have at least 4 potential wicketkeepers! Abdool Samad kept wicket for a couple of overs last summer against Bermuda.