July 11-15,2022 National T20 Championships – Maple Leaf Cricket Club, King City Ontario - Day 3

2022-07-14

While British Columbia (BC), Ontario and Quebec’s semi-final spots had been almost assured even before the July 13 third day’s matches at the King City Maple Leaf Cricket Club-hosted 2022 Canadian National T20 Championships had begun, few would have expected Manitoba to have also almost earned such a berth by the end of the day. Manitoba had started Day 3 in third place in the tournament’s Group B standings with just one win from its first three matches played and well behind both table leaders Ontario (3-0) as well as second placed Alberta (2-0). The unexpected combined effects of Manitoba’s 26 run victory over PEI and Alberta’s double losses, first very heavily and most surprisingly to Nova Scotia by 53 runs, followed by an equally massive 9 wickets defeat at the hands of Ontario in the rain-reduced 10 overs per side encounter, however, catapulted the Manitobans into a superior run-rate second place in the Group’s Preliminary Round standings.

Alberta’s unfortunate, totally unexpected, day of desired results reversals started with their surprisingly heavy loss to Nova Scotia. Batting first Nova Scotia posted 114/7 of its 20 overs. There were only two scores of note, Rahul Vashishta’s 31 and Antony Roche’s 29 in the Nova Scotia innings. Rommel Shahzad was again Alberta’s best bowler, bagging yet another three-wicket haul (3/14-4), his third in as many matches.

Chasing Nova Scotia’s modestly set victory target of 115/20 at a required run-rate of 5.75 runs per over, Alberta’s batsmen folded in spectacular fashion. 5/1 in the first over following the loss of opener Jigesh Raval (3), quickly became 16/2 at the start of the fourth with the big wicket departure of Canadian National team opener Matthew Spoors (5).

Purposeful bowling from Nova Scotia’s Arun Nag (3/11-4) and Mandeep Girdhar (3/21-4) provided no respite for Alberta’s hapless batsmen, as the remaining 8 wickets fell for just 45 runs in the space of 11 overs. Alberta’s innings folded at 61/10- 15.5, 53 runs short of the set victory target with four overs still remaining.

While Alberta was stumbling in its Group B semi-final place quest, Quebec was having no such issues in its confirmation of a Group A Preliminary Round second place finish. Starting the day with a perfect 2-0 record and needing a third win to firmly secure its semi-final berth, Quebec easily achieved its desired result by cruising to a 7-wicket victory over New Brunswick.

Batting first New Brunswick only managed to reach 98/7 of its 20 overs. Anvesh Pull’s, opening the batting, was the only score of note. His patient, undefeated 32, required 54 balls and included just a single boundary. Suray Ramkissoon (3/11-4) was Quebec’s main wicket-taker.

Chasing their set 99 run victory target, Quebec lost its first wicket that of opener Yashwanath Reddy (8) in the third over (2.5) and with the score on 8. Rajeeb Laskar (39*) and Ravindar Reddy (33) however, added 57 for the second wicket to take the French Canadians to 74-2 and well within sight of victory. A third wicket fell at 84 but there was no denying Quebec as the target was easily reached and eventually surpassed as the match ended with their score on 102/3-14.1

Saskatchewan ended its Championships Group A campaign on a most positive note by cruising to an 85-run victory over cellar placed Newfoundland. Saskatchewan’s posted first strike total, 166.3-20, proved to be too tall an order for Newfoundland’s batsmen who in reply were bundled out for 81 in 16.5 overs.

Half-centuries from Upkardeep Pandher (71) and Imran Khan (58) were the foundation of Saskatchewan’s posted total. Pandher’s 71 was made off of 57 balls with 2 sixes and 8 fours. Khan’s 58 was slightly less aggressive, requiring 45 balls while being punctuated by 1 six and 5 fours.

Saskatchewan’s demolition of Newfoundland’s batting was spearheaded by Sarmad Anwar whose 3.5 overs produced the ultra-impressive figures of 4/10. He was ably supported by Manjeet Singh Sidu who captured 3/14 in his four overs.

Starting the third day with a 2-1 record and badly needing a win in its Preliminary Round final match to remain in semi-final spot contention, Manitoba accomplished its objective with a 26 runs victory over Prince Edward Island (PEI). Manitoba’s posted 148/10-19.3 overs proved to be sufficiently out of reach of PEI’s batsmen whose 122/5-20 response was inadequately short of the established victory target.

Vasu Shah (33) was Manitoba’s top scorer in its posted first strike total. Among the bowlers, Amrindher Dhillon (3/17-4) produced the required wicket-taking goods for Manitoba’s successful defence of its posted total.

The Championships third day’s final set of matches to conclude the Preliminary Round, were unfortunately both affected by rain and reduced to 10 overs per side encounters. Alberta was the big loser, not only by succumbing to Group B leaders Ontario but eventually doing so by such a huge margin as to negatively affect its net run rate to such an extent as to find itself in third place, behind Manitoba and out of a semi-final berth!

Batting first Alberta posted 52/6 in its 10 allowed overs after the almost two-hours rain interruption. That proved wholly inadequate for Ontario’s very strong batting line up led by the tournament’s to date top-scorer Canadian National Team opener Rayyan Pathan. 

Chasing an adjusted total of 49 for victory, Pathan and his National Team Captain opening partner Navi Dhaliwall (14) made short work of the target racing to 44 in just 5 overs before the first wicket fell. Pathan ended unbeaten on 25 to take his three innings tournament tally to 158 runs scored at an impressive average of 79.00 with a 128.0 strike rate!

The nine wickets defeat left Alberta with a Preliminary Round record of two wins and as many losses from four matches played. Unfortunately for Alberta though its net run rate of -0.296 proved to be marginally inferior to Manitoba’s (2-2) of -0.175. Sufficiently so as to deprive the Albertans of the coveted semi-final spot which at the beginning of the day had seemed to be theirs for the taking.

Despite eventually losing to Group A Leaders British Columbia (BC) by two wickets, second placed Quebec secured its semi-final spot with a 3-1 record at the end of the tournament’s Preliminary Rounds. Batting first in the rain reduced 10 over match Quebec posted 89-2, thanks mainly to a 34-ball unbeaten half-century (51*) by Sheyras Movva.

Set an adjusted victory target of 114, BC’s Aaron Johnson (46) and Dilpreet Bajwa (29) placed them well within sight of the target with an opening partnership of 75 in just 5.4 overs. Despite the loss of seven further wickets, the target was eventually reached off the very last ball of the 1oth over.

The tournament’s Thursday July 14th Day 4 will be highlighted by the simultaneously played Ontario vs Quebec and BC vs Manitoba/Nova Scotia semi-finals

The fixtures and results from all matches can be viewed on the Cricket Canada App. 

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