In-form Canada opener Ruvindu Gunasekera smashed a sparkling 65-ball 95 in an innings that included six boundaries and six sixes, while team-mate Hiral Patel added a quick-fire 43 as the side punished the Danish bowlers to make 178 in its 20 overs at the ICC World T20 Qualifier tournament in Dubai.
In reply, Denmark’s Rizwan Mahmood and Freddie Klokker battled to chase down the big target, after Henry Osinde had removed Kamran Mahmood and Aftab Ahmed but the side struggled to reach the target on a good pitch.
Gunasekera was pleased with his performance and admitted Denmark had given the side a challenge: “Denmark were a decent team out there today, their batting was good especially the opener and also Klokker whose played in the BPL (Bangladesh Premier League). Their bowling was decent, with good lengths which gave us some trouble especially since it was such a good pitch today.
“I was looking in the last three overs to get us up to 170 or 180, and with only five runs to go before I could have got a century I suppose it was just the luck for me today that I fell short. It was about making sure we added to the total in the last three overs but hopefully when it comes to making the play-offs I can come through when it’s crunch time.”
Looking ahead to the side’s final Group A fixture tomorrow against Nepal in Sharjah the 20-year-old said: “We’re looking forward to playing Nepal, we know they’re a good side and they’re being coached by our former coach Pubudu Dassanayake so it will be a good game of cricket, am sure.”
Canada beats Denmark by 55 runs in Abu Dhabi
Canada 178-3, 20 overs (Ruvindu Gunasekera 95, Hiral Patel 43)
Denmark 123-4, 20 overs (Rizwan Mahmood 65 not out, Freddie Klokker 40; Henry Osinde 2-16)
Man of the match Ruvindu Gunasekera