Cricket: Canada U19s in West Indies Under-19 Regional Super-50

Canada U19 cricket squad at Pearson International Airport.

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Canada’s Under-19 cricket team flew to St Kitts to participate in the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Under-19 Regional Super-50.   Canada is representing ICC Americas in the West Indies tournament after recently winning the ICC Americas Under-19 World Cup Qualifier and gaining a place in the 2018 Under-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand.

Farouk Kirmani, Canada’s Under-19 coach, said “As the team now needs to prepare for January’s World Cup in New Zealand, gaining experience against high level competition will be invaluable. We are grateful to Cricket West Indies for providing this opportunity, and are confident that this team will represent Canada well in what will be challenging matches.” 

Canada U19’s play against the six West Indies regional teams in the U19 Super-50.  Canada’s first game on August 15 is against Guyana U19, winners of the CWI Regional 3-day tournament that ended last Saturday (August 12).   Guyana U19’s beat  and overtook Jamaica U19s in the last round of the 3-day tournament to become champions.  Canada plays Jamaica on August 17 in the U19 Super50.

Canada U19 then plays the Leeward Islands U19 on August 19, Barbados U19 on August 22, Trinidad and Tobago U19 on August 24 and closes against Jamaica on August 26.   Canada U19 does not play on August 28 when the six CWI regional teams compete in the last three matches of the tournament.

West Indies, the current ICC Under-19 champions are keen to defend that crown in 2018.  In July the West Indies U19 team won a 5 game youth ODI series in South Africa 3-2 then won 2 and lost 1 youth ODIs against Zimbabwe.   Players from the recent Windies U19 tour will be playing for their regional teams in the CWI U-19 Super-50 tournament.

Canada U19s comeback to win ICC Americas U19 World Cup Qualifier

Canada U19s pulled off a dramatic win against USA U19s in the last game of the ICC Americas Under-19 World Cup Qualifier at Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club on (date).  USA were unbeaten with 3 wins from 3 games entering that last game, having beaten Canada in a low-scoring game at Maple Leaf Cricket Club in the second match of the tournament.   USA and Canada each won twice against  Bermuda U19, the only other team in the ICC Americas Qualifier.

USA U19s won the toss and made steady progress in the tournament’s closing game reaching 39 before the first wicket fell.  The innings then stumbled against Canadian off-spinner Rommel Shahzad (6 wickets for 28 runs, 10 overs) and slow-left arm spinner Aran Pathmanathan (3 for 20, 10 overs).   USA’s all total of 132 meant Canada needed to win within 266 balls (44.2 overs) in order to overtake USA in the standings on net run rate (NRR).  Canada lost two wickets without a run scored in the first over bowled by US seamer Keshav Pabbisetty.   Arslan Khan produced a key knock of 52, taking part in a fourth wicket  stand of 56 with Kavian Naress (16). Left-arm spinner Karthik dismissed Kavian Naress (73/4) and Arslan Khan (81/5) to give the US hopes of a win. Hopes that disappeared as Ashtan Deosammy (24*) with support from Aran Pathmanathan (13*) and Krishen Samuel (11*) steered Canada U19’s to victory at 133/6 from 39.2 overs and a place in the 2018 U19 Cricket World Cup.

USA U19’s had lead the standings from a first day rain-shortened 20-over game win against Bermuda U19s until the closing overs of the tournament. Canada and USA each won 3 games and lost 1 but Canada U19s had the better net run rate of +1.395.   USA U19’s finished with a net run rate of +1.162.   Bermuda U19s lost all four games and ended with a net run rate of -2.980.

Canada U19s had struggled to 63 all out after 47.5 overs against USA U19s in the second game of the tournament.  There was some variable bounce and some fine catches by the US fielders.  Keshav Pabbisetty took 3 wickets for 9 runs from 10 overs and left-arm spinner Mohak Buch took 3 for 15 from 10 overs. The US opening bats added 20 runs before three wickets fell in adding 4 runs.  Canada then saw a glint of victory as three wickets fell for the addition of one run with USA in the mid-thirties. Ray Ramrattan, helped by a missed catch, made 27* to lead his team to a winning 67/6 in the 26th over.

Canada U19 scored 229/8 (50 overs) then bowled out Bermuda U19 for 88 (35.3 overs) in the third game of the tournament.  Arslan Khan struck a fine 74 and was joined in a stand of 68 for the fourth wicket with Kavian Naress (23).  Aran Pathmanathan chipped in with 28 runs then took 3 wickets for 9 from 6.3 overs. Seamer Faisal Jamkhandi took 3 wickets for 11 runs from 7 overs  Bermuda collapsed to 44 all out from 27.3 overs in the penultimate game of the tournament.  Akash Gill took 4 for 17 with pace bowling from 8 overs and Pathmanathan’s spin picked up another 3 wickets, this time 3 for 4 runs from 5.3 overs. Captain and opening bat Bhavindu Adhihetty thumped 22* as Canada U19s raced to a winning 44/2 after just 4 overs.

The opening game between USA U19 and Bermuda U19 was reduced to 20 overs per innings due to a wet outfield. Bermuda opening bat Ras Burrows hit 56 of 103/8 (20 overs). US medium pacer Arjan Patel picked up 3 wickets for 12 runs.  USA captain Arjun Patel struck 46* and lead his team to a winning 104/4 after 16.3 overs. Gaurav Patanker reached 50 and Vivek Narayan 34 of the USA’s 220 all out (50 overs) in the second game against Bermuda. Sahil Patel chipped in with 22 runs then spun his way to 5 for 20 from 10 overs as Bermuda replied with 102 all out from 36.5 overs.

In May, Canada’s men’s team gained promotion along with Oman, from ICC World Cricket League Division 3 to Division 2, which is expected to  take place next year.   Promotion means both countries are still in the hunt to gain a place as a Qualifier in the next ICC  Cricket World Cup.

Canada’s Squad for Cricket West Indies Under-19 Regional Super-50

Canada U19 Squad;  Akash Gill (captain), Bhavindu Adhihetty (vice-captain), Arslan Khan, Baider Bakht, Ashtan Deosammy, Krishen Samuel, Pranav Sharma, Rommel Shahzad, Pieter Christiaan Pretorius, Aran Pathmanathan, Faisal Jamkhandi, Rishiv Joshi and Kunwar Singh Chana.

Canadian Team Officials: Farouk Kirmani (Coach), Wijay Senanthirajah (Manager) and Shah Zafar.

(Courtesy Eddie Norfolk)