Canada draw first blood in King City
It was an entertaining match at King City that saw Canada pick up a victory in the first match of the Scotiabank ODI Tri-Series. A match that had ebb and flow was everything that one-day cricket has to offer and there is promise for more going forward this week
Canada got off to an explosive start, led by the powerful batting of Mohammad Iqbal and Rizwan Cheema – both recent additions to the national team. They came out throwing the bat and punished George O'Brien and Stefan Kelly in the early power play overs. The opening partnership made 53 runs in just 5.3 overs before Iqbal nicked a Kelly delivery into wicketkeeper Jekon Edness' gloves.
Cheema fell victim to a bit of a rush of blood. After stroking his third maximum – a towering shot over long on and into the adjacent farmer's field – he played a bit too aggressively across the line of a Kelly yorker and was bowled. Ashish Bagai never got his eye in before edging a Dwayne Leverock ball to the keeper and Canada had suddenly slumped to 72 for 3 from 10.1 overs – a much less dominant position.
The next 25 overs or so were an interesting battle between bat and ball. Canada batted sensibly (a quality that has often been lacking in their play) and Bermuda bowled economically, and to be honest neither team came out much ahead. Dwayne Leverock was his usual stingy self, taking a wicket, bowling 3 maidens and conceding just 20 runs in his 10 over spell. Ramesh David drove Canada's impetus through the middle overs and looked headed for a half century before Karun Jethi ran him out by calling for a suicidal run. He ended up as Canada's top scorer with 48, made off of 82 balls.
Jethi made amends for his error by going on to make 47 not out – and doing so off of just 36 balls as the innings drove towards its conclusion. Runs also came off the bat of Sunil Dhaniram, who looked a bit off but still managed to make 36 before being caught at cover by Lionel Cann. The rest of the big hitting at the death was done by Harvir Baidwan, who made a quick 21 off 20 balls. Canada completed their 50 overs with a score of 260 runs for the loss of 7 wickets.
Bermuda also got bowling contributions from Rodney Trott, who took 2 wickets for 50 runs in 10 overs of work, and Stefan Kelly, whose 2 for 57 in 9 overs included the wickets of the dangerous openers. Stephen Outerbridge also bowled well, allowing only 11 runs in 4 overs, but for some reason wasn't used beyond that point.
The visitors came out believing they could chase down the target, and openers Oronde Bascombe and Jekon Edness showed great aggression – and though they weren't as explosive as the Canadians they were just as effective. Bascombe came out hardest, carting Henry Osinde and Eion Katchay around the ground for 20 off 19 balls before Harvir Baidwan came on and trapped him lbw with his first delivery.
Edness batted on with debutant Chris Douglas and did some serious damage. They batted confidently all around the ground and left Sunil Dhaniram, the latest of Canada's rotating captains, grasping at straws. The 90 run second wicket partnership put Bermuda well on their way to achieving their target. The partnership was finally broken by the sixth Canadian bowler used, when Rizwan Cheema induced Edness to scoop an easy catch to Dhaniram at short cover.
Douglas had a spectacular debut, making a confident 69 and guiding Bermuda through the middle of their innings. Stephen Outerbridge partnered with him for a while, but shortly after he was gone for 27, Douglas was cleaned up by Karun Jethi and Canada's comeback was on.
From 190 for 3, Bermuda fell to 197 for 6 as a middle order collapse was capped by captain Irving Romaine being caught on the long off boundary off the bowling of Ramesh David for just 5 runs. The rest of the lineup offered little better as only Delyone Borden (15) and George O'Brien (11) managed to make double figures. The final overs lacked excitement as the game drifted inevitable to Canada who ended up victorious by 25 runs, Bermuda finishing their 50 overs on 235 for 8. The battle should have been easier for Canada, but for some poor fielding – they dropped three easy catches that could have gotten rid of some danger men earlier. That said, they took catches when they needed to and came out on top.
Ramesh David was the top Canadian bowler, taking 2 wickets for 30 runs in his 10 overs. Karun Jethi took 2 for 39 in 10 overs, which, coupled with his 47 not out with the bat, earned him man of the match honours.
Canada's win gives them an inside track to the final of this series on Sunday, as Bermuda would now have to beat West Indies on Wednesday to have a chance to qualify. However, as somebody in the press tent mentioned today, all this means is that West Indies will have a chance to beat Canada twice, and Bermuda only once. They surely are the favourites, but we should still be in for some excitement in the rest of this tournament.