Canada v UAE: Day 3 Report
Canada put the finishing touches on a dominating performance in the Intercontinental Cup match against the United Arab Emirates today. The bowlers came out flying and wrapped up the UAE batsmen for a second innings in which they barely managed to score 100 runs. In the end, Canada pick up maximum points from the match, and finish their home international season on a high point.
After two days of beautiful sunshine, this morning saw dark clouds over the ground, and thundershowers scattered around the city. The immediate area was dry at the beginning of the day, and play began as scheduled at 10:30 local time (14:30 GMT). However, after just 9 balls had been bowled, the rains came down and the umpires called the players off the field. The rain never intensified, though, and after a 42 minute delay, the players were back on the field and resumed play.
The overnight partnership of Arshad Ali and Shadeep Silva continued to make runs for their side, and made a partnership of better than 50 runs. Ali was gone on an unlucky play - a leg-side delivery from Henry Osinde brushed his gloves on the way through, and was taken brilliantly by wicketkeeper Asif Mulla.
Silva batted on, punishing balls that were even just slightly wider than they should have been. After Saqib Ali had been caught by a very sharp Aftab Shamshudeen at third slip, the UAE were 85 for 3 with 20 minutes remaining to reach the lunch break. Silva and his new partner Khurram Khan tried to play for time, and to reach the interval intact. It seemed they would reach their goal, until Silva got a thick edge to a Steven Welsh delivery which sailed to Kevin Sandher at point who took a comfortable catch at chest height.
Lunch was taken at the fall of the wicket, with the UAE total at 90 runs for the loss of 4 wickets. Things were looking good for the Canadian side. And things continued to improve for Canada in the moments after the break. Durand Soraine grabbed two quick wickets in his first over - the first full one of the second session as well - and suddenly the UAE were reduced to 90 for 6, and in real danger of losing the match in less than 3 days.
The tail showed little resistance, and was cleaned up easily by a combined effort of Durand Soraine and Steven Welsh. As it has been throughout the match, the wickets came as a result of undisciplined shot selection, rather than a tricky pitch. The Canadian bowlers put the ball in challenging areas, and the batsmen got themselves out. The final blow was struck when Aslam skied a ball to Sunil Dhaniram at long on. The UAE were all out for 110 runs. Steven Welsh picked up 5 wickets in the second innings, conceding just 51 runs in 20.3 overs. That gave him a total of 12 wickets for the match. Durand Soraine also bowled very well, taking 3 wickets for 9 runs in just 5 overs.
It was the kind of match that shows so much promise for fans of the Canadian team. The bowlers fired, the batsmen applied themselves, and the result was a comprehensive victory by an innings and 228 runs, which vaults Canada to the top spot on the Intercontinental Cup points table. Steven Welsh was a deserving man of the match selection for Canada, with honourable mentions being given to Sunil Dhaniram and Trevin Bastiampillai for their strong batting innings.
The UAE will remain in Toronto and play an Ontario XI on Wednesday. Canada's home international season is now completed, and they will go on tour to Africa in the fall.