Canada v UAE: Day 1 Report
Canada took charge of their Intercontinental Cup match against the United Arab Emirates on the first day. After choosing to bat on what looked to be a batting deck, the UAE were bowled out for just 112 before tea. Canada already earned the first innings lead before stumps were drawn, and will look to build on that lead starting tomorrow.
Steven Welsh was absolutely untouchable with the new ball. His first victim was Arshad Ali, who was the first man down when he edged to Qaiser Ali at slip. He then took two in two balls when Naeemuddin Aslam and Saqib Ali both went down to edges as well. Khuram Khan was trapped leg before wicket shortly thereafter, and Javed Ismail edged one to the keeper. After his first 7 overs, Welsh had bowling figures of 5 wickets for 7 runs!
Sandeep Silva and opener Goayan Silva then built something of a partnership for the sixth wicket. Having come in with the score on 20 for
5, they built by showing patience and not chasing the wider deliveries from the bowlers. They put on 41 runs for the sixth wicket, and
looked as though they would reach lunch with their partnership intact. But in the last over before the interval, Shadeep Silva tried to hit a Kevin Sandher delivery for 6, but ended up skying it for an easy catch by Geoff Barnett at mid-off.
Goayan Silva was by far the best batsman for the United Arab Emirates. He batted through the first session and into the second, and top-scored with a patient 36, which he made off 104 balls. Without the resistance he provided, the small UAE total could have been even smaller. The bottom three batsmen also added some runs to the total, but it was never going to be enough on this day, and the UAE were bowled out for 112 in just 39.5 overs.
Canada's captain Sunil Dhaniram leaned heavily on his opening duo of bowlers. Of the 39.5 overs bowled, 36.5 of them were bowled by Henry Osinde and Steven Welsh combined. Welsh ended up with 7 wickets, conceding 42 runs and bowling 8 maidens. Osinde was actually somewhat unlucky to take just two wickets for 60 runs conceded. Kevin Sandher bowled a wicket maiden in his only over of the day. It truly was an annhilation of the UAE batting order, with only 4 batsmen able to score more than 4 runs.
Ahmed Nadeem struck quickly, in the first over, as he trapped Aftab Shamshudeen leg before for just a single run. In the second over, Javed Ismail induced an edge from Geoff Barnett, and suddenly once-jubilant Canada were stunned, with 3 runs on the board and 2 wickets down.
Canada's third and fourth batsmen had a few scares, but Trevin Bastiampillai and Qaiser Ali managed to get the home side to the tea break without losing another wicket. At the interval, Canada had reached 19 for 2 off 11 overs.
Patience was the order of the day in the final session of the day. Bastiampillai and Ali continued to tread very softly, focussing solely on protecting their wickets rather than on scoring runs. They frustrated the Arab bowlers by blocking out any threatening deliveries, and nudging the ball into space whenever possible. As the afternoon wound on, Ali began to open up his shoulders and playing some more aggressive shots, and increased his run rate as a result. He also walked back to the pavilion as a result, as he inside edged a Shah delivery onto his leg stump. But his 42 runs off 95 balls were the lion's share of a 67 run 3rd wicket partnership that put Canada on track for a first innings lead.
Hemnarine Chattergoon joined Bastiampillai for a while, but was given out on a very close lbw decision on the first ball of a fresh spell for Javed Ismail. But Asif Mulla joined the run-scoring, and reached a quick 28 runs at stumps. Canada's total powered through the 112 put up by the UAE and reached 124 for 4 at the end of the first day's play. Tomorrow, they will look to build on the lead and likely to bat through the majority of the day, seeking an innings defeat of their opposition.