Canada v UAE: Day 2 Report
On the second day of the Intercontinental Cup match, Canada batted for most of the day and powered into a commanding lead over the United Arab Emirates. Patient batting from the middle and bottom of the order, highlighted by a brilliant 141 for Sunil Dhaniram, gave Canada a 338 run first-innings lead.
The overnight partnership of Asif Mulla and Trevin Bastiampillai continued to bat well in the opening session. They added runs and frustrated the bowlers, batting safely through the first hour of play. Mulla was the more aggressive partner, hitting out especially hard against the spinners, while Bastiampillai continued to play a safe, careful innings through most of the session. The partnership was broken when Mulla snicked a ball through to the keeper off a Mohammed Touqir delivery. Mulla was none too pleased with the decision, but he had to go. The partnership added 141 runs to the total, and lasted 128 minutes.
The patient innings of Bastiampillai finally came to an end in a moment of youthful exhuberance. A Javed Ismail delivery was wide and there for the taking. Trevin lashed at it, but could only manage a tickle of a top edge, which was easily handled by the wicketkeeper Silva. Still, this innings was the best of his very young career. He batted defensively when his team needed him to, and aggressively when that was called for. He faced 209 balls to make his 71 runs, and was at the crease for almost 5 hours of play.
Sunil Dhaniram and Steven Welsh saw the rest of the way through to lunch, and Canada were 244 for 6 at the break. They continued afterwards, as a hot sun beat down upon the players, with Dhaniram providing most of the hitting and Welsh playing sensibly. When he played an unsensible stroke, lashing outside off, he was caught by the keeper and walked back to the pavilion. Durand Soraine came and went without troubling the scorers, given out leg before wicket by umpire Roger Dill on an extremely slow decision.
Dhaniram truly served as an anchor for the Canadian tail, reaching his 50 off a rapid 61 balls, with 44 of the runs coming from boundaries. His 180 run 9th wicket partnership with Kevin Sandher took the Canadian total through 300 runs, and they continued to add to the total through the remainder of the second session. Dhaniram was jubilant upon reaching his century from just 106 balls, and in 135 minutes. He batted with power and precision throughout, stroking 19 boundaries in reaching 100. The century was Dhaniram's maiden first-class century - made at the age of 38!
The onslaught continued after tea, with Sandher making the first 50 of his 64 runs off 92 balls, and continuing to increase the run rate as Canada neared a declaration. The declaration would never come, as Sandher was bowled by Shah and Henry Osinde followed on the first ball he faced, skying it to a substitute fielder at mid-off. Still, the Canadian innings produced 450 runs, and Sunil Dhaniram finished not out on 141 spectacular runs.
The best UAE bowler - and it was hard to find one - was Zaheed Shah, who took 4 wickets, but leaked 108 runs off his 30.3 overs of work. Javed Ismail also took 4 Canadian wickets, but was even more expensive, conceding 123 runs.
The end of the Canadian innings allowed enough time for 17 overs to be bowled before the end of the day. And they would be bowled at a very tired UAE team. But with the pitch becoming flatter and flatter over time, there could still be a lot of play in this match. That being said, they needed to score 338 runs just to force Canada to bat a second time.
The tiredness showed early, as just the second ball delivered by Henry Osinde, a bouncer, glanced off the gloves and then the helmet of Gayan Silva. It carried gently into the hands of the keeper Asif Mulla, and the UAE were one down before they had scored. Shadeep Silva and Arshad Ali batted more sensibly, and made it to the end of the day with the UAE total on 40 for 1.
It's a pitch that started off flat and has gotten flatter, and there should be plenty of runs in it as the match goes on. Whether the Arab batsmen can show the application required to put them on the board is a question that will be answered beginning tomorrow morning, as they require 298 more runs to avoid an innings defeat.