Canada registered its first victory at the South Africa hosted ICC 2020 U19 World Cup with a massive 182 run Plate Championship Semi-Final win over Japan. The Canadians were led to victory by a belligerent 102 ball century (101) from their opening batsman Nicholas Manohar, which catapulted their score to 300/7 at the end of their 50 overs. Manohar’s outstanding batting was well supported by career best bowling figures from Akhil Kumar who carved through Japan’s batting order. Kumar returned figures of 6-46 from 10 overs as Japan in reply were skittled out for 118, falling 183 runs short of their victory target.
Batting first after Japan had won the toss and elected to field, Canada’s opening pair of Nicholas Manohar and Mihir Patel posted 31 for the first wicket. The loss of Patel, caught and bowled by Kento Ota-Dobell for 11 off the very last ball of the seventh over, was followed by a 71 run second wicket partnership between Manohar and Akhil Kumar batting at number 3 in the order. Kumar’s contribution to the partnership was a patient 13 made off 32 balls, as he played a supporting role to the far more dominant Manohar. In an innings which included 16 boundaries, Manohar became only the second Canadian batsman to ever score an ICC U19 World Cup century. Akash Gill’s 120 against Papua New Guinea in 2018 had previously stood as the only century made by a Canadian batsman at an ICC U19 World Cup. Manohar also featured in a 71 run partnership for the third wicket with Eshan Sensarma (34) before he was eventually dismissed, caught at the wicket off Tushar Chaturvedi’s bowling in the 33rd over, for his well played 101. Canada’s match winning 300 run total was also punctuated by two further fifty run partnerships. Benjamin Calitz (29) and Canada’s skipper Ashtan Deosammy (40) added 52 for the fourth wicket. Deosammy also featured in a 58 run partnership with Udayir Walia (40) before becoming the sixth Canadian wicket to fall. Bowling for Japan Kento Ota-Dobell, with figures of 2-47 off 10 overs, was the least expensive among the wicket-takers. Leon Mehlig 2-64 (10 ) and Tushar Chaturvedi 2-47 (7.83) were the only other wicket-takers.
Chasing a formidable 301 runs for victory off 50 available overs, Japan got off to a slow but steady start, their opening batsmen, Neel Date (59) and Shu Nogucia (13) posting 42 for the first wicket after 9.1 overs. Date and Debashi Sahoo also added 29 for the second wicket before Japan’s innings fell apart in the face of Akhil Kumar’s bowing wizardry. No other Japanese batsman reached double figures as the last eight wickets fell for only 45 runs. When Kumar had finished weaving his magic, Harmanjeet Bedi chipped in with 2-0 from just four balls to end Japan’s innings and complete Canada’s massive victory.
Kumar’s 6 wicket match tally also pushed him to the top of the table as the Tournament’s leading wicket-taker. He has so far captured 13 wickets for 209 runs from 37 overs.
Canada will now face UAE in their final match, with the winners placing 13th.