Canada crushed arch-rivals Singapore by six wickets when the two ICC 2023 World Cup Challenge League A points table leaders clashed on July 30 during the tournament’s second round matches being played at Ontario’s King City-based Maple Leaf Cricket Club. The Canadians were led to victory by a composed unbeaten century (100+) from their captain Navneet Dhaliwal.
Opening the batting, Dhaliwal safely piloted his team’s response to Singapore’s posted modest first innings total of 188/10 after the Canadians had suffered the early third-over loss of Rayyan Pathan (1). Attempting an ill-advised cut shot off the bowling of Singapore’s skipper Amjad Mahmood, who he was facing for the first time, Pathan succeeded only in stroking the ball straight into the hands of the diving fielder at point to be sent packing with the Canadian score on just 3.
Dhaliwal’s unbeaten century which included 12 fours and required only 103 balls for its construction, however, proved to be an impenetrable wall of resistance to any hopes Singapore might have held for a come-from-behind victory. Following the obvious inadequacy of their posted first innings total.
The damage created by the early loss of Pathan’s prized wicket was easily repaired by a second-wicket partnership of 62 between Dhaliwal and Matthew Spoors. The Alberta based Spoors struck a polished 27 off of 37 balls and seemed destined for a much higher score. He was, however, cleverly deceived by the spinning wiles of Paaram, falling all over his attempted forward defensive push to a well flighted delivery only to completely lose his balance in falling out of his crease. Singapore’s wicket-keeper Manpreet Singh effected the required smart stumping that sent Spoors on his way back to the pavilion.
Nicholas Kirton, who had featured as Canada’s batting hero in its opening match victory against Denmark, then became the second successive victim of Param’s left arm spinning wiles. Kirton was struck plumb in front first ball to be adjudged lbw, playing back when he might have been much better served going forward to a delivery which kept low. Kirton was gone for naught, and the Canadian innings was suddenly tottering on 66/3 in the 15th (14.4) over.
Varun Sehdev, who had under-performed with the bat against Denmark having scored only 1, however, not only prevented Paaram from achieving a hat-trick but then also combined with his skipper Dhaliwal in a 73-runs partnership for the fifth wicket that deflated Singapore’s rekindled hopes of an unlikely victory. After an understandably nervous start, Sehdev compiled a sedate 32 off of 60 balls to take the Canadians well within reach of their victory target.
Sehdev departed off the final ball of the 31st over, bowled by Baskaran. His exit, however, only prompted the arrival of Shreyas Movva, the dynamo Canadian wicket-keeper batsman whose belligerent 16-balls 35 runs cameo had seen his team home to victory against Denmark.
Movva (19*) was far more subdued in his second crease appearance, content to play second-fiddle to his captain Dhaliwal’s march towards his coveted unbeaten century. Movva, however, had the honor of clinching the victory smashing the second ball of the 41st over for four to give Canada the very crushing win by 6 wickets with 52 balls still remaining.
As the dejected Singaporeans trudged off of the King City field, their primary thoughts must have been about the demonstrated inadequacies of their batting in posting a first innings total of 188/10 – 50 overs. That was never going to be sufficient against Canada’s very strong batting.
Anish Paaram’s 57 and opener Rohan Rangaram’s 49 were the only scores of note as Singapore’s batsmen found the generated heat of Canada’s Guyana-born duo Jeremy Gordon and Dilon Heyliger, a bit too hot to handle. Gordon 2/40-9 and Heyliger 2/44-8.2 both troubled almost all of Singapore’s batsmen with their at-times express pace and steep bounce.
Canada’s third seamer, Ammar Khalid also chipped in with 1/21-4 and while the seamers were combing to capture half of Singapore’s wickets at one end, the spinners were doing almost the same exact job at the other. Saad Bin Zafar 1/21-10, Varun Sehdev 1/22-8 and Salman Nazar 1/29-10 each provided valuable support to a combined, very clinical, Canadian bowling performance of which recently appointed Head Coach Pubudu Dassanayake would have been justifiably extremely proud.
Singapore 188/10-50 ovrs. Anish Paaram 57, Rohan Rangaram 49. Jeremy Gordon 2/40-9, Dilon Heyliger 2/44-8.2
Canada 190/4-41.2 ovrs. Navneet Dhaliwal 100*, Varun Sehdev 32. Anish Paaram 2/23-4.
Canada won by 6 wickets with 52 balls remaining.