Nova Scotia’s Surge Ends With Semi-Final Loss As BC, Ontario Claim Final Berths!
Starting the National T20 Championships’ Fourth day in next to last place in the Group B standings with only one win from three matches played, no one would have expected Nova Scotia to have earned themselves a semi-final berth by mid-afternoon. Except perhaps, the Nova Scotians themselves.
Needing to win their fourth and final Preliminary Round match against Prince Edward Island (PEI) by a sufficiently decisive margin as to surpass Manitoba’s -0.175 net run rate to get into the Group’s second place position, Nova Scotia did just that, winning by 29 runs to end at -o.139. Nova Scotia’s victory and semi-final advancement was, however, spectacularly only achieved off the third ball of the game’s final over.
Taking first strike Nova Scotia scored 123/9-20 with Daksh Talwar’s 37 as the top score. Manny Dhaliwal 2/20-4 and Fahad Ahmad 2/32-4 were PEI’s top wicket-takers.
Chasing 130 for victory, PEI lost wickets at a rate of almost one every two overs. The twentieth over started with PEI on 94/9 and Nova Scotia needing to win by at least 26 runs to secure their semi-final spot. Mission accomplished as PEI folded without further addition to the score off the third ball of the 20th over to hand the delighted Nova Scotians their much coveted victory by 29 runs.
Nova Scotia’s advancement meant that they would have to play their semi-final against Group A Winners British Columbia as a back-to-back match with just over an hour’s break in between. Whilst the players for all four semi-finalists, BC, Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia cooled their heels waiting for the appointed start time of their finalists-determining matches to arrive, Newfoundland and New Brunswick were competing against each other in the final game of the Preliminary Round.
Newfoundland batting first posted 112/9 off its 20 overs with Gurman Khurana’s 19 as the top score. Hitarth Bhavsar 2/11-2 and Rishabh Verma 2/20-4 were New Brunswick’s top wicket-takers.
Set 113 for victory, New Brunswick reached its target in the 19th (18.4) over for the loss of 7 wickets. Kamran Mohammed top scored with a belligerent 63 that was made off of only 36 balls with 3 sixes and 5 fours included. Indranil Mallick Neel (2/11-1.4) and Ibnul Inan Chowdhury (2/21-4) were Newfoundland’s double-wickets takers.
Day Four’s Ontario vs Quebec semi-final proved to be a bit of a lopsided contest. Batting first Ontario posted 199/9-20 with the tournament’ batting leader Rayyan Pathan further establishing his class with yet another half-century.
Pathan’s 71 required only 40 balls, punctuated as it was by 3 sixes and 9 fours. He was well supported by his captain Navneet Dhaliwal who played a composed innings of 43, that was made off of 39 balls with 2 sixes and3 fours. Dillon Heyliger’s 11 ball 31, inclusive of 4 sixes and 1 four, provided some fireworks in the last few overs of Ontario’s innings.
Needless to say, all of Quebec’s bowlers took a hiding. So much so that Ramki Gangasani’s 2/28-4 were the very best figures.
200 for victory at a required rate of 10 runs per over was always going to be a mountainous task for Quebec. Skipper Shreyas Movva tried his very best, getting to 32 off 28 balls before he became the first of Parveen Kumar’s (2/22-4) two victims. There was unfortunately, however, not much more on offer from his teammates as they could only get as far as 103/7-20 to lose by 97 runs. Saad Bin Zafar (2/26-4) was Ontario’s second most successful bowler.
While Ontario was making short work of Quebec, Group A Winners BC was also establishing its dominance over upstart semi-finalists Nova Scotia. Batting first BC posted 142/9-20.
Aaron Johnson served further notice to the Canadian Selectors of his National team opening batsman aspirations, by means of his 39 ball 50 which included 2 sixes and 6 fours. Rahul Vashishtha (4/33-4) and Daksh Talwar (2/18-4) had the best figures among the six bowlers used by Nova Scotia in its attempt to restrict BC’s total.
As it turned out the 143-run victory target set by BC proved to high a hill for Nova Scotia’s battle wearied batsmen. 78 all out in 16.5 overs was all they could manage in the face of some disciplined BC bowling. Dilpreet Singh Bajwa (3/11-4), Navot Dosanjh (3/14-40 and Newab Singh (2/12-2) were the primary wicket-takers for BC.
The Championship’s eventful Day 4 came to a conclusion with ninth-tenth and eight-seventh positions determining matches between Newfoundland-PEI and Alberta – New Brunswick respectively. Newfoundland (120/9-20) clinched the ninth spot with a very close 15 run victory over PEI (105/8-20).
Mahe Alam Chowdhury (52) and Guram Khurana (44) were Newfoundland’s batting heroes, while Ibnul Inan Chowdhury (3.12-4) was their main destroyer of the PEI batting. Earlier for the Islanders Akhil Mohan 3/16-4 had been the pick of their bowlers. The batsmen, however failed to duplicate his heroics with Piryam Soni’s (32) and Parth Patel’s (29) being the only scores of note.
The Alberta-New Brunswick contest for the seventh and eight positions in the tournament’s final standings was far more one sided than the Newfoundland-PEI encounter. Batting first Alberta posted an impressive 180/3-20. Jigesh Raval (52*) and Jagandeep (51*) both scored unbeaten half-centuries. Yasoob Haq (45) was just five runs short of the same achievement.
Chasing 181 for victory, New Brunswick got as far as 119/8-20 with Hitarth Bhavsar 32* as the top scorer. Canadian National player Yax Patel became the Championship’s very first bowler to take 5 wickets with figures of 5/14-4!
The Championship’s July 15 fifth and final day will feature the Manitoba-Saskatchewan fifth-sixth place and Nova Scotia-Quebec third-fourth place encounters. Both matches will be played simultaneously. Before the tournament climaxing BC-Ontario finalich is
The fixtures and results from all matches can be viewed on the Cricket Canada App.