Canada openers laid a good platform

Canada and Oman eye promotion to Division 2

Canada openers laid a good platform

Canada and Oman notched up their third wins in the ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3 in Kampala, Uganda, on Saturday to lead the field with last round of matches to be played on 29 May, followed by the third/fourth and fifth/sixth position play-offs on 30 May.

In their fourth round fixtures, Canada thumped the United States of America by 96 runs, while Oman outplayed Singapore by five wickets. In the final match of the day, Uganda notched up its second victory of the series when it downed Malaysia by four wickets.

The feature of the fourth round action was a match-winning spell of fast bowling by Oman’s Bilal Khan (five for 19) against Singapore, excellent half-centuries by Canada’s Dhanuka Pathirana (87) and Bhavindu Adhihetty (67) against the USA, and an unbeaten century by Uganda’s Mohammad Irfan against Malaysia.

With the top two sides from this event to progress to the ICC World Cricket League Division 2, Canada and Oman will go head to head against Singapore and Malaysia respectively on Monday, while host Uganda will take on the USA.

Victories for table-topper Canada and Oman, who are separated by a fraction of a point on Net Run-Rate, will mean the two will take one step closer to their ambitions of playing in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The USA and Malaysia are already out of contention for promotion to Division 2, but Uganda and Singapore can make the event interesting if they can win their respective matches and Malaysia can turn the tables on Oman.

At Kyambogo Cricket Oval, Kampala, Canada, put into bat by the USA, posted a convincing 256 for eight in 50 overs after Pathirana and Adhihetty added 64 runs for the third wicket. Their partnership came at the back of a 74-run first wicket stand between Adhihetty and Nitish Kumar (30). Pathirana, for the sixth wicket, put on crucial 58 runs with Nikhil Dutta (31 not out).

Pathirana faced 94 balls for his 87 and hit nine four and a six, while Adhihetty’s 93-ball 67 included seven fours.

In its run-chase, the USA was never in the hunt after half the side was back in the hut at the score of 61. It eventually was dismissed for 160 in 43 overs, thanks to a 35-run last wicket partnership between Elmore Hutchinson (29) and Nosthush Kengije.

For Canada, Rizwan Cheema was the pick of the bowlers with three for 31, while Saad Bin Zadar bagged two for 29 and Satsimranjit Dhindsa scooped two for 19.

Canada captain, Nitish Kumar said: “I mean it was a pressure game and we had to win this to do well in the future. Our boys did really well.”

USA captain Steven Taylor said: “We won the toss and we thought when we put them into bat, we could restrict them to a low total. But they got away at the end, getting 256. In reply, we never had any partnerships throughout the game and Canada stuck to their game plan, batted well and got their wickets. Hats off to Canada.”

At Entebbe Cricket Oval, Oman’s 29-year-old left-arm fast bowler Bilal Khan was in sparkling form when he finished with figures of 7.1-2-19-5 as Singapore was sent packing for 100 in 37.1 overs after losing its last seven wickets for 17 runs.

Uganda’s Mohammad Irfan scores magnificent century

A punishing 108 in 71 deliveries by Irfan helped Uganda notch up its second victory of the series downing Malaysia by four wickets

Oman, in its turn at the wicket, lost both the openers inside two overs but Ajay Lalcheta (37) and Sultan Ahmed (32) put their side back on track by putting on 63 runs for the third wicket. In the end, Aqib Ilyas made victory easy by clubbing five fours in a 15-ball 22 not out.

Oman captain, Sultan Ahmad said: “It was a good toss to win. We bowled first, when we got here. I was really pleased that we could restrict them to a 100.”

Uganda’s Mohammad Irfan was in a punishing mood at the Lugogo Cricket Club, Kampala, when he clobbered seven fours and 10 sixes in a 71-ball 108 not out as his side achieved the 190-run target with four wickets and 13.4 overs to spare.

Irfan had walked onto the crease with his side reeling at 32 for three in 15.2 overs and immediately took the charge by taking the attack to the bowlers and single-handedly steering his side home. His domination of the Malaysia bowling can be judged from the fact that when he took the guard, his side needed 151 runs and when he returned unbeaten, he had scored 108 out of those runs.

Earlier, Malaysia’s 189 in 50 overs revolved around Shafiq Sharif (58) and Virandeep Singh (39), while bowling honours went to Frank Nsubuga (four for 43) and Henry Ssenyondo (three for 30).

Malaysian captain, Faiz Ahmed said: “This game was crucial for us. I am happy with the batting, to score 189 runs and our bowlers did well for the first 20 overs. But because of the fielding, we gave the game away. Afridi scored a good innings of 108 runs, congratulations to them.”

Uganda’s Davis Karashani said: “As I always said, we have to take it one game at a time. Today we came out knowing we needed to win big and we did it thanks to a big performance from Afridi Lala.

“He showed he wanted to win it for us. He always desired to bat high up the order and which we have allowed him to do today and throughout the tournament. For him to play this well in such a big game is tremendous.”

The top two sides from this competition will be promoted to ICC World Cricket League Division 2. From Division 2, the top two sides will join four sides from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and the bottom four ranked sides from the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018. The top two sides from the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier will progress to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, to be staged in the United Kingdom from 30 May to 15 July.

Scores in brief

Canada beat USA by 96 runs at Kyambogo Cricket Oval, Kampala

Canada 256-8, 50 overs (Dhanuka Pathirana 87, Bhavindu Adhihetty 67, Nikhil Dutta 31 not out; Mrunal Patel 3-35)

USA 160 all out, 43 overs (Ibrahim Khaleel 37, Elmore Hutchinson 29; Rizwan Cheema 3-31, Saad bin Zafar 2-29, Satsimranjit Dhindsa 2-19)

Oman beat Singapore by five wickets at Entebbe Cricket Oval

Singapore 100 all out, 37.1 overs (Anish Paraam 34, Chetan Suryawanshi 30; Bilal Khan 5-19, Khawar Ali 2-24, Mohammad Nadeem 2-28)

Oman 101-5, 24.1 overs (Ajay Lalcheta 37, Sultan Ahmed 32)

Uganda beat Malaysia by four wickets at Lugogo Cricket Club, Kampala

Malaysia 189 all out, 50 overs (Shafiq Sharif 58, Virandeep Singh 39; Frank Nsubuga 4-43, Henry Ssenyondo 3-30)

Uganda 193-6, 36.2 overs (Mohammad Irfan 108 not out, Shahzad Ukani 29)

Points table

Team Played Won Lost Points NNR

Canada 4 3 1 6 1.036

Oman 4 3 1 6 0.777

Uganda 4 2 2 4 -0.206

Singapore 4 2 2 4 -0.544

USA 4 1 3 2 -0.212

Malaysia 4 1 3 2 -0.823

Upcoming matches

29 May: Malaysia v Oman (Lugogo); Canada v Singapore (Kyambogo); Uganda v USA (Entebbe)
30 May: Final (Lugogo); 3rd v 4th Playoff (Kyambogo); 5th v 6th Playoff (Entebbe)

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