CANADA LOSE SQUEAKER BY 2 RUNS
Ireland (2-0) squeaked out the tiniest of victories on Saturday defeating Canada (0-2) by 2 runs in the second match for each team at the World Twenty20 Quaifier in Abu Dhabi.
After winning the toss, Ashish Bagai tossed the Irish in to bat and quickly had them on the back foot as Junaid Siddiqui (1-30) and Harvir Baidwan (2-29) removed the openers leaving Ireland 29-2. The Irish experience prevailed though as O'Brien brothers carried them to 92-4. The introduction of Jimmy Hansra (2-24) saw to it that the O'briens departed in quick fashion. Still very much a contest, some late hitting from Trent Johnston (39*), Gary Wilson (20) and John Mooney (14*) accounted for 38 runs from the last 18 as Ireland reached 168-5 from their 20 overs. The late flourish undid some great work by Canada's bowlers.
Canada's chase started in disaster as Hiral Patel and Rizwan Cheema both were trapped for golden ducks leaving Canada reeling for 0-2. Much like they did in 2010 in Toronto however, Ashish Bagai (67*) and Ruvindu Gunasekera (65) took the fight to the Irish putting on a remarkable 125 for the 3rd wicket hauling Canada right into the game. The highest T20i scores for both men could not have come at a better time as Canada chipped away at the large total with relative ease. With Gunaskera gone trying to make hay, Hansra (22*) joined Bagai and the two kept the score ticking over. With 14 required off the last over, Hansra smashed a six bringing the equation to 5 off 2 but it was a bit too much as Canada fell by 2 runs.
A spiritied peformance against the tournaments top side will be a boost to Canada but at 0-2 there is a lot to do to make it into the next round. Like Canada, the proverbial '6' continue to struggle as only the Irish remain undefeated. Afghanistan, the other side already qualified for the 50 over CWC, are 1-1 joined by Netherlands. Canada, Scotland and Kenya are all 0-2 and will be looking for a big week after the break. Papua New Guinea, Bermuda and Nepal, coached by Canadian Pubudu Dassanayake, are all 2-0 and making noise in group B.
Canada's next match is Monday against Hong Kong (2-0)