A career-best knock by Sunil Dhaniram put Canada on course for a comprehensive victory over the Netherlands at the close of play on the third day of the four-day ICC Intercontinental Cup 2009-10 match in Rotterdam on Friday
Dhaniram scored a superlative 144, his second first-class century, to propel the tourists to 419-9 declared. Umar Bhatti then picked up three quick wickets and Khurram Chohan bagged two as the hosts slumped to 77-5 before finishing the day at 120-5 while chasing 368 runs for an unlikely victory.
The Dutch require another 248 runs to collect maximum points from the match and all the hopes, after the weather, rest on the shoulders of Daan van Bunge who was batting on 47. With him was debutant Jeroen Brand on 10 not out as the two batsmen survived 12 overs without being separated.
The day, however, belonged to Guyana-born 40-year-old Dhaniram who was playing in his 29th first-class match. The left-hander had resumed on the third morning at his overnight score of 68 along with Qaiser Ali (60) with the North Americans on 215-3 and leading the Dutch by 163 runs.
After Dhaniram lost Ali in the second over of the day with the addition of only two runs and then Shaheed Keshvani at the score of 229, he took control of the proceedings and did bulk of the scoring with some clean and crisp hitting.
His 144 came off 178 balls and included 17 fours and two sixes before he became the eighth Canadian batsman to be dismissed at the score of 342, falling to debutant Berand Westdijk who finished as the pick of the Netherlands bowlers with 4-85.
Dhaniram added 92 priceless runs for the sixth wicket with wicket-keeper Ashif Mulla who followed up his first innings contribution of 28 with a valuable 40 off67 balls with five balls.
After the departure of Dhaniram, captain Umar Bhatti (36) and Khurram Chohan (36 not out) added a quickfire 52 for the ninth wicket to take the score from 342 to 394.
The partnership, which came off 51 balls, ended when Bhatti fell to Bunge who finished with 3-109.
Scores in brief
Canada 177 all out, 65.4 overs (Sandeep Jyoti 37, Ashif Mulla 28; Daan van Bunge 3-11, Peter Borren 3-37, Peter Seelaar 3-54) and 419-9d, 100 overs (Sunil Dhaniram 144, Qaiser Ali 61, Geoff Barnett 37, Ashif Mulla 40, Khurram Chohan 36 not out, Umar Bhatti 36, Sandeep Jyoti 35; Berend Westdijk 4-85, Daan van Bunge 3-19)
The Netherlands 229 all out, 81.3 overs (Nick Statham 57, Tom de Grooth 36, Wesley Barresi 31, Peter Borren 24, Jeroen Brand 20; Sandeep Jyoti 3-59, Rizwan Cheema 2-10, Zameer Zahir 2-31) and 120-5 (Daan van Bunge 46 not out, Umar Bhatti 3-24, Khurram Chohan 2-34)
Go to http://www.icc-cricket.com/events_and_awards/intercontinental_cup/index.php to find out more.