Predictable draw for Auty Cup
The two-day Auty Cup match between Canada and the USA in King City, Ontario has predictably ended in a draw for the second year running, with Canada retaining the trophy thanks to their first innings lead.
There was controversy before the match even started when the suspended Steven Taylor was named on the USA team sheet. With the USA low on players, USACA have decide to defer his suspension to Saturday's 50 over contest, a match with a high probability of being washed out if local weather forecasts are accurate.
Canada batted first on the opening day on Thursday and their opening pair of Ruvindu Gunasekera and Trevin Bastiampillai put on 105 before Bastiampillai was out for 55. Gunasekera went on to score 72 before he was fourth out in the 59th over with the score on 148-4.
The only other innings of note though was 31 from Rizwan Cheema as the USA spinners took control. Canada were bowled out for 228 in 90.1 overs. Timil Patel was the pick of the bowlers with 4-66, whilst Ryan Corns also bowled well to take 3-21.
When the USA took their turn to bat, they initially looked like they had a chance of securing a first innings lead as Ravi Timbawala and Karan Ganesh put on 79 for the fourth wicket. But the two were both dismissed in consecutive overs and the USA soon found themselves collapsing from 134-3 to 141-7.
Number nine Abhimanyu Rajp provided a little late order resistance with 29, but the USA were bowled out for 183. With no chance of an outright result with the time left, Canada were sure of retaining the Auty Cup thanks to their first innings lead.
Canada came out to bat in their second innings and Gunasekera cut loose with an unbeaten 100 from 93 balls as Canada scored 168-2 in 31 overs before the match was declared a draw.
As many observed last year, inluding myself, Cricket Canada and USACA need to look at making this game a three-day match in future. Sides retaining the trophy on first innings leads are most unsatisfactory, but that is always likely in a two-day match played on a decent pitch. A three-day game would have a better chance of an outright result, and would be better preperation for Intercontinental Cup matches for Canada.