Canada power through Cayman Islands
Canada continued their winning ways on day 4 of the U19 WCQ in Toronto, laying a beating on the Cayman Islands.
After winning the toss and choosing to bowl, Canada got their first return almost immediately. Kevin James, who has bowled well throughout this tournament but not been adequately rewarded for his efforts, bowled Darren Cato with just the second ball of the match.
The second wicket was the toughest one for Canada to get, as Sacha de Alvis joined Ramon Sealy and added 27 runs for their partnership. De Alvis was the best performer for the Cayman Islands, scoring 26 runs before an unfortunate dismissal when a leg-side delivery brushed his gloves on the way through to Canadian wicketkeeper Bhatti.
De Alvis' wicket was the first taken by Arsalan Qadir in the match, but it was not his last. He had a brilliant 5-over spell in which he took 5 wickets, conceding only 6 runs and bowling 2 maiden overs.
The rest of the Cayman batsmen showed no application at the crease, swinging too freely and falling victim to accurate, threatening Canadian bowling. A highlight in the field came when Patrick McConvey edged a ball into what looked like the gap between keeper and slip. Kevin James made a great reactionary dive to his left and picked the ball just before it found the grass with his left hand. James himself chipped in for 3 wickets, conceding 41 runs in 10 overs.
Darado Thompson and Dale Parker dug in for a brief tenth-wicket stand (of 10 runs), but they proved no match for the Canadian attack, Cayman Islands were all out for 77 runs, lasting 25.2 overs in their innings.
Canada came out of the gate quickly, looking to wrap up the match as quickly as possible. Ruvindu Gunasekara continued his strong form, making 36 runs off 28 balls and dispatching 7 boundaries all around the ground. Chris Manohar (13) was the only man to be dismissed, when a flick off the pads carried to Darren Cato at square leg who held a good catch diving forward. Majid Usman added 16 runs to the Canadian total. The innings was over after 9.3 overs, when another Gunasekara cover drive crackled its way to the boundary to push Canada over the top before lunch.
Once again the bowling was extremely inaccurate, as 14 wides were conceded in only 9.3 overs bowled. Dale Parker was the worst bowler by far, going for 33 runs in his two overs of work and giving up 11 wides in that time. Kervin Ebanks was a reasonably bright spot on the day, bowling some good balls and returning figures of 1 for 28 from 4.3 overs.
In today's other match, Argentina won the toss and invited Bahamas to bat first. It was a good decision as wickets fell early and often through the Bahamas innings. Only opener Johnathan Barry managed to reach double digits, and he scored 38 runs for his team. Most of the remainder of the runs came from - once again - wayward bowling, as 38 wides were given away. The total score for Bahamas was 113 all out from 37.2 overs.
The top Argentine bowler was Tomas Birnie who took 4 wickets for 23 runs in his 10 overs. Pablo Siracusa was not far behind, taking 3 for 19 in his spell.
Argentina's innings begain immediately, as there was still some time before the scheduled lunch interval. After losing a man early, they batted carefully, reaching 24 for 1 off of 10 overs as lunch was called - with some ominous clouds beginning to circle the ground. Play was delayed for about 45 minutes after the lunch break, but Argentina easily chased down the total with 4 wickets to spare and in 26.2 overs. Top scorer was Pedro Bruno with 18 runs, and Roderick Mitchell took 3 for 41.
So tomorrow's final matches will see a championship showdown between Canada and Bermuda, for thr right to represent the Americas region at the ICC U19 World Cup in Malaysia. Should there be no result - unlikely, as the forecast is for sun - Canada would advance on net run rate. Tomorrow's other match will feature the Cayman Islands against Bahamas.