After the USA, Now Canada Causes An Upset, Surprises Ireland By 12 runs

Canada won by 12 runs to record its first-ever T20 World Cup win.

Team Parvasi – Inside

When former Test cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Sidhu says that North America is a territory of opportunities, both the USA and Canada, playing their first-ever T20 World Cup has proven him right. While the USA, as an associate member of the ICC, surprised the regular (Test-playing) member Pakistan at Dallas the other day, Canada packed a series of surprises for more fancied Ireland at Nassau County Cricket Stadium on Friday.

They have grabbed their opportunities well and performed exceedingly well in the games played so far.

Canada won by 12 runs to record its first-ever T20 World Cup win. It joins India at the joint number two position in the table with a win each behind the pool leaders USA with two wins. India plays Pakistan on Sunday in what is expected to be the match of this World Cup.

Incidentally, it was the first game where winning the toss did not prove lucky for Ireland.

Canada became the first team in the ongoing T20 World Cup not only to play the full 20 overs but also to break the jinx of crossing the 100 mark by putting up 137  for seven wickets. In the previous two games played at the same venue, no team could enter the three-figure mark or play full quota of 20 overs.

Only yesterday, the ICC, after taking cognizance of criticism of uncertain bounce and behaviour of “drop-in” pitches, promised better opportunities for both batters and bowlers here. Canada justified the ICC statement by scoring at almost seven an over besides crossing the dreaded 100-mark, thanks to some crisp batting by both Nicholas Kirton who made 49 from 35 balls and hit three boundaries and two sixes) and Shreyas Movva (37) made from 36 balls with the help of three hits to the fence. Kirton and Movva shared a 75-run fifth-wicket partnership.

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Navjot Sidhu, Harbhajan Singh and  Balaji, all former Indian Test cricketers are here as commentators. They met members of the media covering this marquee event. They have unanimous in their opinion that pitches normally take some time to settle down holding that bowlers are equally important in a game of cricket though in instant cricket, like T20, batters normally wrest the limelight with the hits to the maximum.

“What if the bowlers have restricted batters to smaller aggregates in this event? After all, they also must have a level playfield to show their skills,” remarked Harbhajan Singh in a  Presser on the sidelines of the event.

After a good show with the bat, Canadian bowlers, too, came to their own as they had the Irish batsmen under check. After Andrew Balbirni and skipper Paul Stirling put up 26 runs for the opening wicket, pacer Jeremy Gordon struck sending Paul back to the pavilion.

After losing six wickets for 59, Ireland had a fighting seventh-wicket partnership between G. Dockrell and Mark Adair. The two carried the score past 100-mark, thus making it the first game in the tournament that saw both sides scoring over 100 runs, and a 50-run partnership before the end of the 18th over.

Ireland had set a challenge to score 28 runs in the last two overs to avert an upset at the hands of Canada. It was Gordon, who came in to bowl the last over and came to the rescue of his team. After a dot ball, he had the big-hitting Mark Adair caught and bowled to end the 62-run seventh-wicket partnership and make the score 121 for seven. A near-miss run out on the penultimate ball left Ireland 12 runs short of the target thus giving Canada its first-ever victory in T20 World Cup. G Dockrell remained unbeaten on 30 made from 23 balls.

Prabhjot Singh


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