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SAAD BIN ZAFAR
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SAAD BIN ZAFAR

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2022-08-11

A career best, undefeated, century by Nicholas Kirton followed by an outstanding spell of off-spin bowling were the highlights of Canada’s massive 204 runs victory over Vanuatu on the penultimate Day 7 of the ICC 2023 World Cup Challenge League A Round 2 tournament being played at the Maple Leaf Cricket Club in King City Ontario. The win in its fifth and final match of the League’s second of three scheduled rounds, gave Canada a perfect 5-0 undefeated record for the tournament. 

Canada’s eventual massive 204 run victory had hardly seemed possible within the first half hour of play, the start of which had been delayed by under-covers seepage from overnight King City rains that had left the pitch needing to be dried out. With the match reduced to a 38 overs per side encounter, Vanuatu’s captain, Andrew Mansale, had absolutely no hesitation in inviting his Canadian hosts to take first strike after winning the toss. 

Mansale’s decision to give his opening bowlers first crack at the obviously still moisture full pitch, seemed to have paid dividends of the highest order. Even before the completion of the first hour of play, Canada had lost its first four wickets with only 34 runs on the scoreboard with eleven overs of the available 38 having been bowled.

By that time Canada had lost both of its openers, Rayyan Pathan (7) falling yet again for another single digit score, as well as their captain and triple centurion from within the competitions first two rounds, Skipper Navi Dhaliwal (10). Matthews Spoors was then given out caught behind by wicket-keeper Jamal Vira after the standing umpire Jermaine Lindo had initially indicated that the down legside headed delivery had missed the edge. Umpire Lindo, however, reversed his decision after his counterpart at square-leg, Emmerson Carrington, signaled to him that the edge had indeed been found.

Spoors’ controversial decision, his second in successive matches, was soon followed by that of wicket-keeper Shreyas Movva, lbw to seamer Apolinaire Stephen for 4. Which left the Canadian innings tottering at 34/4 at the start of the eleventh over (10.1).

A career high, well composed and undefeated century by Nicholas Kirton in partnership with the Salman Nazar’s half-century, however, rescued the Canadian innings from any further disasters. Kirton was at his elegant best, stroking an unbeaten 108 off just 95 balls. His stroke-filled century was punctuated by 5 massive sixes and 7 spanking fours. His driving, especially through the offside, was an absolute joy to behold.

Kirton was admirably supported by the ever-busy Nazar, whose 71 balls half-century (55*) was slightly less hectic including as it did only four boundaries. Upon reaching the coveted landmark, Nazar raised his head, helmet and bat to the heavens in an emotional salute to his beloved father who he had lost a few months ago. He was also visibly further overcome with his emotions at the moment. 

Kirton and Nazar’s fourth-wicket partnership of 155 runs was ended by the latter having to retire hurt with his score on 55. Nazar’s departure, however brought Ravinderpal Singh to the crease. 

The ever-aggressive Singh demonstrated his power-hitting capabilities to their fullest extent striking four colossal sixes and 2 fours in a belligerent 42 that required only 17 balls for its composition. Singh’s timely aggression catapulted the Canadian innings to an imposing 246/4 at its close at the end of the 38 allocated overs.

Vanuatu’s opening bowlers, Apolinaire Stephen 2/34-8 and Nalin Nipiko 2/19-5, were the only wicket-takers, having made effective use of the pitch’s available moisture. None of the other five bowlers used by skipper Mansale, however, were in any way threatening to the Canadian middle-order batsmen, as they all ended with economy rates of in excess of six runs per over.

Perhaps somewhat shell-shocked by the demonstrated belligerence of the Canadian middle-order batting, Vanuatu’s batsmen quickly found themselves floundering, initially in the face of the pacy Guyana-born Canadian seamers Dillon Heyliger and Jeremy Gordon, followed by the guiles of Canada’s spinners Rommel Shahzad and Saad Bin Zafar. Heyliger (2/12-4) made the initial breakthrough having opener Ronald Tari (8) caught smartly by Rommel Shahzad at second slip off the final ball of the sixth over and with the score on 24. 

Once Tari had departed, the resistance offered by Vanuatu’s other batsmen proved to be extremely feeble as the remaining eight available wickets fell in the space of 12 overs for just 18 additional runs. Canada’s lanky off-spinner Rommel Shahzad, appearing in only his second match in National colors proved to be almost unplayable, capturing 4/8-4.3 overs. Saad Bin Zafar 2/2-5 was just as effective as the two Canadian spinners weaved webs around Vanuatu’s hapless batting. The Vanuatu innings closed at the fall of its ninth wicket as the injured Apolinaire Stephen was unable to bat.

The decisive win left Canada positioned at the top of the League’s overall standings with a near perfect record of 18 points from 9 wins and just one loss. Canada’s very healthy net run rate of 2.436 has also provided a major cushion over its rivals for the League’s third and final round of matches. Those will be played in Malaysia, this coming December and from which the winning team will then progress to the 2023 World Cup’s last qualification hurdle to be held in Zimbabwe around the middle of next year.   

Summarized Scores:

Canada 246/4-38/38 ovrs. Nicholas Kirton108*, Salman Nazar 55*(Rt) Ravinderpal Singh 42*; Nalin Nipiko 2/19-5, Apolinaire Stephen 2/34-8.

Vanuatu 42/9 – 17.3 ovrs. Joshua Rasu 10. Rommel Shahzad 4/8-4.3. Saad Bin Zafar 2/2-4, Dillon Heyliger 2/12-4.

Canada won by 204 runs.

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2022-08-11

Captain Navi Dhaliwal stroked yet another composed century and then snared four outstanding catches to lead his Canadian cricket team to a crushing victory over Qatar as matches continued in the ICC 2023 World Cup Challenge League A – Round 2 tournament being played at the Maple Leaf Cricket Club in King City Ontario. Dhaliwal’s century, his second of the tournament following the 101 he scored against Singapore on Saturday July 30th, was the backbone of Canada’s posted first strike 50 overs total of 274/9. In reply. Qatar’s batsmen found themselves to be at sea against both the express pace of Jeremy Gordon and the left-arm spinning wiles of Salman Nazar. The two Canadian’s scythed through the Qatar innings capturing seven wickets of the ten wickets to fall. 

Having won the toss and elected to bat, skipper Dhaliwal found himself having to do a repair job to his team’s innings after the early loss of his fellow opener Rayyan Pathan (7) who fell in the fourth over (3.3) with the score on 21. Matthew Spoors coming in at three, however, played yet another supportive innings adding 54 with Dhaliwal for the second wicket before becoming the victim of a questionable umpiring decision. 

Struck on the pad by a Mohammed Nadeem delivery that kept somewhat low, Spoors was flabbergasted to see Umpire Mallela raise the dreaded finger. So much so that he visibly questioned the umpire’s decision in manner that could possibly result in an ICC issued reprimand! Spoors’ controversial departure for 15 led to the crease arrival of Nicholas Kirton who had been the top-scoring batting hero of Canada’s July 27 tournament opener victory over Denmark. 

Having suffered the ignominy of a first ball dismissal two days prior, during Canada’s victory over Malaysia, Kirton was almost back to his very best, stroking an elegant 47 balls 37 as his contribution to a 93 run third-wicket partnership with his skipper Dhaliwal. The Canadian captain’s wicket was eventually the fourth to fall, but not before he’d reached his century (103) off of 116 balls with twelve fours included. 

Saad Bin Zafar came and went in a hurry, scoring just 1 before he too exited without an addition to the score. 5/171-36.6 overs might not have been where the Canadians would have envisioned themselves to be at that stage of proceedings. Any worries of a further collapse were, however, effectively thwarted by a 51-run partnership between Harsh Thaker (22) and Ravinderpaul Singh (56*) for the sixth wicket. 

Singh’s valuable innings was punctuated by three massive sixes and two fours as his legendary power-hitting talents finally came to the fore for the very first time in the tournament. There were further losses of the wickets of Dillon Heyliger (10), brilliantly caught at mid-wicket by the diving Assad Borham for what has surely been thus far the catch of the tournament, Shreyas Movva (10) and Salman Nazar (1) via the run-out route off the very last ball of the innings which closed with the Canadian score on 274/9-50 overs.

Set a challenging but by no means insurmountable 275 for victory off the allocated 50 overs, Qatar’s response got off to an almost identical start as Canada’s. Qatar’s first wicket, that of Akash Babu (11) smartly caught by Canadian skipper Dhaliwal at slip off the bowling of Jeremey Gordon, fell with the score on 21 after 3.3 overs. As indicated almost identical and just a singe shy of Canada’s 1/21-3.3 first wicket loss.

The loss of Qatar’s second wicket at 67 after 13.4 overs was also not at all dissimilar to Canada’s which had occurred on 75 after 17.6 overs. There were no further similarities for the remainder of the Qatari response, however, as wickets crumbled in a heap in the face of Jeremy Gordon’s highly uncomfortable express pace. Well supported as it was by Salman Nazar’s clever left-arm spin. 

There were six single digit scores as Qatar lost eight wickets in the space of twelve overs for only an additional 31 runs! Zaheer Ibrahim’s 36 balls 34 was the only resistance of note as the Qatar crumbled to an eventual massive 184 runs defeat.

Gordon claimed 4/22-6, while Nazar chipped in with 3/37-5.5. There were also single wicket hauls for Harsh Thaker 1/6-4 and Saad Bin Zafar 1/25-8 as well as a run out via a direct hit throw from point by the diving Matthew Spoors as a final just reward for his demonstrated electrifying fielding in each and every one of the matches Canada has played in the tournament thus far.

Canada’s outstanding tournament fielding was even further emphasized by Skipper Dhaliwal’s slip catching. The Canadian captain snared four victims standing at slip with catches that were at times breathtaking. Leading from the front in setting fielding standards that have been no less as lofty as those of his twin centuries punctuated batting.

  

Summarized Scores:

Canada 274/9-50 ovrs. Navneet Dhaliwal 103, Ravinderpal Singh 56, Nicholas Kirton 37. Mohammed Nadeem 3/41-10, Muhammed Murad 3/47-9.

Qatar 91/10- 25.5 ovrs. Zaheer Ibrahim 34. Jeremy Gordon 4/22-6, Salman Nazar 3/27-5.5

Canada won by 184 runs.

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2022-08-11

Hosts Canada’s triumphant march towards ICC 2023 World Cup Challenge League A Round 2 glory continued on Sunday July 31 with crushing 121 runs win over Malaysia. Man-of-the Match Saad Bin Zafar’s five-for, 5/31-8.3, the second to be recorded by a Canadian player during the tournament following Dilon Heyliger’s 5/34-8 in the hosts’ July 27 opening encounter against Denmark, was the difference-maker in the match.

Replying to Canada’s posted first-strike total of 239/8-50 overs, Malaysia’s batsmen proved themselves to be cluelessly at sea against Zafar’s left-arm spinning wiles. Once he had been introduced to the attack the impressively experienced Zafar carved through the Malaysian bating like a hot knife through butter, taking wickets with increasing regularity as the visitors and impending hosts for the tournament’s forthcoming deciding Round 3 later this year collapsed in a heap to be all out for 118 in under 30 overs (29.3).

Earlier, Canada had reached its posted 50 overs total of 239/8 thanks mainly to a matured unbeaten 57 by the 24-year-old Harsh Thaker. Dropped at point before he’d scored, Thaker corrected the error of his early innings attempted aggression with a composed 72 balls half-century that was punctuated by just five fours. 

Thaker’s half-century was built upon the foundation that been laid by a second-wicket partnership of 41 between Rayyan Pathan (49) and Matthew Spoors (23) following the early loss of second-match centurion skipper Navneet Dhaliwal. The Canadian captain perished early, falling for just 8 with the score on 15.

Following his failures in both of Canada’s two previous matches, Pathan demonstrated his intent to get back amongst the runs controlling his natural aggression in compiling a composed 49 that was made off of 54 balls including just one six and a half-dozen fours. His eventual dismissal, agonizingly one run short of what would have been a most deserved half-century, was the direct result if his having been stuck at the non-strikers end on 49 for no less than five overs. During that time Pathan could only stand as a hapless witness to the ongoing struggles of the Canadian’s wicket-keeper batsman Shreyas Movva who proved to be far more successfully at jockeying the strike at the end of each over than he was at scoring at any acceptable rate. 

Movva posted 39 that included three fours. His eventual dismissal, as the fifth Canadian wicket to fall and with the score on 153 after 32.2 overs opened the door for the aggressive intentions of Thaker and eventually Dilon Heyliger. The burly Heyliger was almost at his belligerent best striking two massive sixes and one four in an unbeaten 28 that only required 19 balls, and which gave the Canadian innings just the impetus that was needed in its final overs.  

Summarized Scores:

Canada 239/8-50 ovrs. Harsh Thaker 57*, Rayyan Pathan 49, Dhivendarn Mogan 2/29-4.

Malaysia 118/10/29.3 ovrs. Sarvin Munlandy 48. Saad Bin Zafar 5/31-8.3, Salman Nazar 2/15-8, Jeremy Gordon 2/27-6.

Canada won by 118 runs.

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2022-07-31

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.


Summarized Scores:

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.

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2022-07-31

Nicholas Kirton’s polished 48, struck off of 82 balls and including two sixes and as many fours, was the backbone of Canada’s comfortable 74 runs victory over Denmark in the opening fixture of the ICC’s 2023 World Cup Challenge League A second round matches being played at Ontario’s King City Maple Leaf Cricket Club. Having been sent into bat by Denmark, tournament hosts Canada recovered from the early losses of openers Rayyan Pathan (2) and skipper Navi Dhaliwal (8) to eventually post a challenging first strike total of 219/8-50 overs, which proved to be too much for Denmark’s batsmen. Denmark in reply found the experienced Canadian bowling attack too tough a proposition, folding for 145/10 in 43.2 overs.

Kirton featured in an important 55 runs third-wicket partnership with Canada’s Alberta based Australian import Matthew Spoors who batted at three. Spoors struck 27 to help rebuild the Canadian innings after the early losses of both of its openers with only 20 runs on the board and still within the first 10-over power play. After Spoors’ dismissal, bowled by Hamid Shah, Canada suffered a further setback just five runs later with the loss of Varun Sehdev (1) that left the innings precariously placed at 80/4 at its mid-point stage of the 25th (24.5 overs).

Kirton eventually departed, just two runs short of what would have been a very deserving half-century but Denmark’s bowlers were prevented from making any further major inroads through the combined batting talents of Canada’s all-rounders Harsh Thaker (39) and Saad Bin Zafar (43). Thaker and Zafar batted sensibly together in adding 52 for the 6th wickets as the second fifty-run partnership of the innings.

A belligerent 16-balls 35 not out cameo by wicket-keeper Shreyas Movva, gave the Canadian innings just the momentum that was required in its final overs as the score reach 219/8- at the end of the allocated 50. Bowling for Denmark, Hamid Shah 2/31-10 and Oliver Hald 2-45/7 were the main wicket-takers.

Needing 220 for victory at a required run rate of 4.4 runs per over Denmark got off to a shaky start losing both openers within the first 10 overs (8.3) and with the score on 27/2. It was a wobbly foundation from which the required stability never came. 

In the face of some at times fiery seam bowling by Man-of-the Match Dilon Heyliger Denmark’s batsmen found their respective stays at the crease to be short-lived. Surya Ahmad’s 34 and Saif Ahmad’s 34 were the only scores of note as Heyliger ran rampant to claim 5/34 from his 8 overs bowled. Heyliger was very well supported by both Salman Nazar (3/28-8.2) and Varun Sehdev (2/29-1)) as Denmark’s innings closed at 145/10 in the 44th (43.2) over to give Canada a very comfortable 74 runs victory.


Summarized Scores:

Canada 219/8 (50 ovrs) Nicholas Kirton 48, Saad Bin Zafar 43, Harsh Thaker 39, Shreyas Movva 35. Hamid Shah 2/31-10. Oliver Hald 2/45-7.

Denmark 145/10 (43.2 ovrs); Surya Anand 39, Saif Ahmad 34, Zameer Khan 28. Dilon Heyliger 5/34-8, Salman Nazar 3/28-8.2, Varun Sehdev 2/29-10.

Canada won by 74 runs.

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2022-07-19

Ontario Triumphs Over BC To Be Crowned National T20 Champions!

In a match that was a fitting conclusion to an impressively staged five-day tournament and worthily competitive as a Final, Ontario defeated British Columbia by 5 wickets to claim the coveted title of Canadian National 2022 T20 Champions. Ontario’s very strong batting line-up, comprised as it was of a plethora of Canadian National team batsmen, was in the end just that much too strong to endure any insurmountable challenges in surpassing BC’s posted, decidedly insufficient, 20-overs total of 151-4.

The highlight of BC’s 151-4 was yet another delightful half-century from the Canadian National team’s recently debuted opening batsman, Aaron Johnson. The Jamaican-born Johnson who made his Canadian debut in a recent July 7 50 Over friendly match against Nepal, struck 7 fours in his 40-ball fifty. He and Anoop Raini (18) combined for an opening partnership of 51 that was made in 7.4 overs. Johnson then added 31 with Bhupinder Singh (23), before he was eventually deceived by Parveen Kumar’s clever slower delivery to be caught and bowled, almost immediately after he’d completed his half-century celebrations.

BC’s hard-hitting skipper, National Canadian batsman Ravi Singh, tried desperately to provide his team’s innings with the impetus necessary to achieve a sufficiently challenging first-strike total. Singh’s aggressively struck 38, with 5 fours included, only required 21 balls. It proved to be in vain though as he departed, bowled by Shahbaz Kayani off the fourth ball of the 20th over, with the score on 149.

Shahbas Kayani returned the best figures among the six Ontario bowlers used, all of whom were relatively expensive. He claimed 1/18 from his 3 overs.

Set an undaunting 152/20 overs for victory, Ontario’s openers Rayyan Pathan and Shubham Sharma went about their task as if there were only half that many available balls to be faced. Sharma was a virtual non-striking spectator as Pathan, the tournament’s leading run-scorer, carved BC’s opening bowlers to every part of the King City outfield. 

Pathan struck 2 sixes and 3 fours, 24 boundary runs in total in his 12-ball innings of 25. Had he not been caught at long-off somewhat needlessly attempting to hit yet another boundary off the fourth ball of the third over, the first three of which had produced 6, 4 and 6, BC’s posted 151 run total might indeed have been surpassed within under 10 overs.

Sharma (3) perhaps attempting to duplicate Pathan’s fireworks was dismissed soon after, caught by Bhupinder Singh off the bowling of Udaybir Singh Walia with the score on 32. Ontario’s skipper Navneet Dhaliwal, whose role with the Canadian National team is identical, however steadied the innings with a typically composed knock of 27 that was made off of 23 balls. Dhaliwal’s innings was punctuated by 1 six and 3 fours. 

Dhaliwal’s was the third wicket to fall, departing as he did with the score on 86/3-9.5 overs. He and Armaan Kapoor (40) had added 54 for the third wicket. 

Kapoor’s useful 40 was made off of 27 balls and included 5 fours. After Kapoor fell, bowled by Newab Singh off the third ball of the thirteenth over, there was the quick further loss of Parveen Kumar whose short-lived innings of 4 lasted only 6 balls. Kapoor fell with the score on 118/5 after 14.1 overs raising BC hope of q come from behind victory. 

Whatever hopes the BC players and their visiting supporters may have harboured for such an unlikely victory were effectively squashed by an unbeaten 34-runs sixth wicket partnership between Canadian National team all-rounders Harsh Thakar and Saad Bin Zafar. Thakar scored 29* off 21 balls with one six and a four. Zafar’s contribution was 21* off 16 balls with 2 fours.

The pair saw Ontario home to victory without any further stress, to the gleeful delight of their fellow team members. Following the match’s conclusion there were presentations of numerous awards to the tournament’s outstanding players, as well of course the Championship trophy to Ontario’s captain Navneet Dhaliwal. 

Ontario’s Rayyan Pathan who scored 254 runs from 5 innings at an average of 63.50 and at a strike rate of 145.14 was named the tournament’s CO-MVP alongside Aaron Johnson of BC. Johnson’s 208 tournament runs were scored from 6 innings at an average of 34.67 with a 139.50 strike rate.

Earlier in the day, Quebec 133/8-20 overs had persevered over Nova Scotia 121/6-20 to claim a narrow twelve runs victory and third place in the tournament’s final standings. Quebec captain Shreyas Movva again provided the backbone of his team innings with a top score of 34, made from 45 balls with 5 fours. Zeeshan Ansari 2/17-2, Shadab Ahmed 2/19-4 and Rahul Vashishtha 2/25-3 were Nova Scotia’s top wicket-takers.

Chasing 134 for victory in 20 overs at a run rate of under 7 runs per over, Nova Scotia came close but not close enough, agonizingly falling short of their victory total by just 12 runs. Neel Patel’s ever 50, made off 34 balls with 1 six and 9 fours was the top score of the Nova Scotia innings. Bowling for Quebec, Ramki Gangasani 2/23-3 was the top wicket-taker,   

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

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2022-07-19

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. 

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2022-07-07

Stand-in wicket-keeper Shreyas Movva’s unbeaten half-century proved to be the difference-maker as Canada recovered from a shaky start to secure a comfortable 83 runs victory over the visiting Nepal in the July 6th friendly 50 overs match played at King City’s Maple Leaf Cricket Club. Movva’s 50 balls 50, which included 2 sixes and 3 fours, rescued the Canadian innings from a perilous position of 118-9 (39 overs) to an eventual 50 overs total off 188/9. It was a total that would prove to be too high a mountain to climb for Nepal’s batsmen, who folded easily to be all out for 105 in the 40th over (39.2).

In front of a lively crowd of scores of their Canadian-Nepalese community supporters, Nepal won the toss and invited Canada to bat at the start of the second of two scheduled friendly encounters between the rival International Cricket Council Associate Member countries. Persistent rain had completely washed out the previous day’s, July 5th first match, that had also been scheduled to be played at King City.

Nepal’s decision to field first seemed to have paid off immediate dividends when Canada’s current National batting star, Rayyan Pathan was out bowled by Kishor Mahato for just 1 off the fourth ball of the very first over. Following Pathan’s shock dismissal newcomer opener Aaron Johnson, making his very first appearance in Canadian National colours, however, staged a minor recovery by adding 39 with Bhupinder Singh for the second wicket.

Singh’s departure, bowled by Mohamad Alam for 10 at the start of the 11th over, however, triggered a mini procession as further wickets fell with increasing regularity as Canada slumped to 118-9 by the start of the 30th over. Johnson became the first of Nepal’s now internationally famous captain Sandeep Lamichhane’s 3 victims, lbw for 44 (55 balls, 8 fours). He was quickly followed by the dismissals of Akhil Kumar (12), Harsh Thaker (0), Udaybir Wallia (16), stand-in captain Saad Bin Zafar (3), Armaan Kapoor (10) and Salman Nazar (0) as six further wickets fell in the space of 28 overs for just an additional 75 runs.

Movvas batting alongside the obviously much better talented than an average number 10 Ammar Khalid, then rescued the innings with a boundary studded unbeaten 10th wicket 70 runs partnership. Khalid’s 38 balls 30* included 1 six and 3 fours.

Bowling for Nepal skipper Lamichhane was, as expected, the main wicket-taker capturing 3/31 from his 10 allocated overs. He was ably supported by Dipendra Airee who took 2/33-9.

Chasing a very gettable 189 runs victory target at a comfortable required run rate of just about 4 runs per over, Nepal was never even in the chase. The Canadian bowling attack of Ammar Khalid (2/13-6), Salman Nazar (2/31-9.2), Rommel Shahzad (2/35-10), Saad Zafar (2/13-6) and Harsh Thaker (2/13-8) proved too effective a combination, completely bundling out the entire Nepal innings for just 105 runs in 39 overs. There were two ducks among five single digit scores in the Nepal innings for which Dev Khanal’s paltry 26 was the top score.

The Canadian team’s resounding victory over Nepal should serve as a most timely morale booster as it prepares for its July 25th – August 7, 2022 hosting of the ICC’s Challenge League 2023 World Cup Qualifier. Canada will play hosts to Denmark, Malaysia, Qatar, Vanuatu and Singapore during the two-week tournament, all matches for which will be played at King City’s Maple Leaf Cricket Club.

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2021-09-15

The often-quoted assertion that “Cream always rises to the top” has long since become universally accepted as one of life’s truisms. Its validity was certainly in evidence on Day Two of the three-day, September 13-15, 2021 Canadian National Men’s T20 Championships being played at King City’s Maple Leaf Cricket Club, as no fewer than four of Canada’s established star players were among the day’s outstanding performers. 

Canadian National team “regulars” Rayyan Pathan (72), Ravinderpal Singh (56) Saad Bin Zafar (53) and Rodrigo Thomas (50) all scored highly entertaining half-centuries for their respective teams. There were also similar scores from the slightly less famous Bhupinder Singh (54) and Aaditya Vardarajan (53) on a day that was dominated by some outstanding batting.

As Fire’s captain, Canadian National all-rounder Saad Bin Zafar, got the day’s proceedings off to an entertaining start with a belligerent 35 ball 53 that included 3 fours and 4 sixes. Zafar’s knock piloted his team to 131/5 off its 20 overs in the day’s opening encounter against the Shields. 

Chasing 132 for victory at a required run rate of 6.6 runs per over, his fellow National team all-rounder Rayyan Pathan was even more aggressive at the top of the Shields batting order. Pathan blasted his way to a 73 ball 38, which was punctuated by 7 sixes and 5 fours. His pyrotechnics was the backbone of the Shields’ cruise controlled response of 132/4 in just 16.5 overs and a most comfortable six-wicket win.

Summarized Scores: 

Fire 131/5 (20 Ovrs), Saad Zafar 53, Uvin Bandara 26; Shields 132/4 (16.5 Ovrs) Rayyan Pathan 73.

Shields won by 6 wickets.

Match 2 of the second day, featuring Fury against the Stallions and which was played simultaneously with the first on an adjacent pitch, was yet another low-scoring but highly exciting encounter. Batting first Fury was bundled out for under a hundred, losing all ten of their wickets for just 93 in 18.5 overs of woeful batting. Seven batsmen failed to score while two, Hamza Tariq (39) and Nikhil Dutta (36), accounted for almost 80% of the eventual total. Bowling for the Shields, Junaid Siddiqui 3/20-4, Shahid Ahmadzai 2/14-4 and Rommel Shahzad 2/22-3.5 were the main wicket-takers.

Incredibly Fury’s posted 83/10 proved to be sufficient as the Stallions’ batsmen were, unbelievably, even more woeful in response all ten of their wickets falling for just 88 to lose by 5 runs. That result had hardly seemed possible after the Stallions’ opening pair of Shreyas Movva (24) and Hiral Patel (21) had posted 46 for the first wicket before the latter was dismissed. 

From 46-1 in the ninth over, the remainder of the innings, however, became a procession as the remaining nine wickets fell for just an additional 42 runs. Darshil Patel 4/8-3 and Salman Nazar 3/18-4 were the chief destroyers for the rampant Fury’s bowling attack.

Summarized Scores: 

Fury 93/10 (18.5 Ovrs) Hamza Tariq 39, Nikhil Dutta 36;  Junaid Siddiqui 3/20-4, Shahid Ahmadzai 2/14-4, Rommel Shahzad 2/22-3.5. Stallions 88/10 (19.3 Ovrs) Shreyas Movva 24, Hiral Patel 21; Darshil Patel 4/8-3, Salman Nazar 3/18-4.

Fury won by 5 runs.

Fresh from their exciting and unexpected 5 run victory over the Stallions, Fury continued its winning ways with a far more emphatic 9 wicket win over Fire in the third match of the day. Fire batting first was dismissed for 130 in 19.4 overs. Opening batsman Aaditya Vardarajan scored a 48 ball 53 at the top of the order, while captain Saad Bin Zafar (27) and veteran T20 specialist Rizwan Cheema (24) were both typically aggressive in their respective knocks of 12 and 19 balls. Varun Sehdev 2/17-3, Salman Nazar 2/19 -4 and Nikhil Dutta 2/37-4 all had two-wicket hauls for Fury.

Chasing 131 for victory, at a 6.55 required run rate, Fury reached its target with consummate ease for the loss of just one wicket. Canada’s National opening bat, Rodrigo Thomas, was at his majestic best in compiling a 32 ball 50 that was graced with 7 silky driven fours and one towering six. Thomas was eventually given out, stumped by wicket-keeper Nicholas Manohar off the bowling of Aaditya Vardarajan. Ruvindu Gunasekera (39) and Hamza Tariq (33), however, then combined for an unbeaten 46 six-run second-wicket partnership to see Fury to victory by 9 wickets.

Summarized Scores:

Fire 130/10 (19.4 Ovrs)Aaditya Vardarajan 53. Saad Bin Zafar 27, Rizwan Cheema 24; Varun Sehdev 2/17-3, Salman Nazar 2/19-4, Nikhil Dutta 2/37 -4. 

Fury 136/1. Rodrigo Thomas 50, Ruvindu Gunasekera 39, Hamza Tariq 33.

Fury won by 9 wickets.

The fourth and final match of the Championships’ Day Two, featuring the Shields and the Stallions, was a virtual nail biter. Stallions eventually prevailed by 5 wickets, but with only three balls to spare.

Batting first the Shields reached 131/6 off its 20 overs, largely due to Bhupinder Singh’s 48 ball 54 and Yasir Abbasi’s run-a-ball 46. Junaid Siddiqui 3/30-4 was the Stallions’ main wicket-taker.

In reply, Ravinderpaul Singh’s unbeaten, belligerent, boundary studded 49 ball 64 which included 5 fours and 2 sixes, was sufficient to take the Stallions to 132/5 off 19.3 overs. Victory to the “Horseys” by 5 wickets, albeit with only three balls to spare!

Summarized Scores:

Shields 131/6 (20.0 Ovrs) Bhupinder Singh 54, Yasir Abbasi 46; Junaid Siddiqui 3/30-4,

Stallions 132/5 Ravinderpal Singh 64, Udaybir Singh Walia 23; Arshdeep Dhaliwal 2/28-4.

Stallions won by 5 wickets.

The Championships will conclude on Wednesday, September 15 with four final day matches. Fire vs Stallions and Fury vs Shields both starting at 10.30 am. Fire vs Shields and Fury vs Stallions starting at 2:30 pm

Photo credit - Eddie Norfolk

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2020-03-16

Extracted from "Wickets" magazine

If ever there was a male version of the Cinderella fairy-tale story, Canada’s Saad Bin Zafar would certainly qualify as a most appropriate subject for such an honour. His rise from the relative obscurity of Canadian cricket to international prominence as Man of the Match for the Vancouver Knights Championship Final victory in the Toronto hosted Inaugural Season of the Mercury Canada Global T20 Championship Final, can only best be described as meteoric!

Saad Bin Zafar (born 10 November 1986) is a Pakistan-born Canadian cricketer who plays for the Canada national cricket team. As a left handed batsman and left-arm orthodox spin bowler, Zafar is sufficiently competent in both as to be regarded as a genuine all rounder.

Zafar's Cinderella story had a very early start. At the tender age of 10 he started playing tape ball on the streets of his hometown. Later at the age of 14 his school's sports teacher spotted Zafar and introduced him to leather ball cricket by selecting him for the school's juniors cricket team.

In 2004, having immigrated from Pakistan to Canada, Saad started playing club cricket for Overseas Cricket Club in the Premier Division of the Toronto & District Cricket League. His consistently outstanding League performances eventually caught the attention of the Canadian national Team Selectors. Zafar made his international debut on 4 July 2008 playing against Bermuda. He looked impressive on his debut as he took 4 wickets, including the wicket of Bermuda's captain Irving Romaine who was close to scoring a century.

Since then Zafar’s Canadian cricketing career has been punctuated by several outstanding international and domestic performances, By far the most impressive of these occurred when he scored 262 not out in a 50 over game in Scarborough Cricket League’s Premier Division in August 2015.

In January 2017, having been selected as one of Canada’s representatives for the ICC Americas in the 2016–17 Caribbean Regional Super50 Championships, Zafar emerged as the team’s leading wicket taker. The following year, in January 2018, he was named in Canada's squad for the 2018 ICC World Cricket League Division Two Qualification Tournament.

On 3 June 2018, Zafar was selected to play for the Vancouver Knights during the Players' Draft for the Inaugural Season of the Global T20 Canada tournament. Zafar was the second Canadian player to be selected in the Draft after Nikhil Dutta in round 9.

Zafar’s performances in his Global T20 Canada outings were highly commendable, In his third outing, in the Vancouver Knights match against the Montreal Tigers his bowling figures were 3/21 off his allocated 4 overs. In his fifth match, played against the Toronto Nationals, he was again impressive with the ball, taking 2/22 in 3.5 overs, He also scored an unbeaten 12 in a 47-run match winning partnership with Chadwick Walton.

In the final match of the 2018 Global T20 Canada Tournament against the West Indies B cricket team he had figures of 2 for 26 runs including a wicket
maiden over. Vancouver Knights didn’t have an ideal start to the chase as Chadwick Walton, Chris Gayle and Ben Dunk fell cheaply to leave them at 22 for 3. But Zafar and Rassie van der Dussen compiled a crucial unbeaten 126-run partnership to get Knights back on track in the chase. Zafar played the role of an aggressor, dealing in regular boundaries to post a 32-ball fifty. He collected eight fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 48- ball innings which yielded 79 runs.

Zafar’s brilliant all round performance, with both ball and bat in the Championship Final was pivotal to the Vancouver Knights eventual emergence
as Title winners. Hoisted on the shoulders of his jubilant more globally prominent international teammates he was adjudged Man Of The Match for his brilliant all-round performance.

A fitting conclusion to the most recent chapter or Saad Bin Zafar’s continuing Cinderella story. With further domestic and international match appearances becoming readily available, opportunities will certainly exist for Saad Bin Zafar’s recently acclaimed stardom to rise even higher!

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2020-02-18

Cricket Canada has announced the names of a strong fourteen member Men’s Senior Team Squad to participate in the 2020 International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup Challenge League A. The Tournament, which will be a part of the qualification process for the 2023 ICC Word Cup, will be held in Malaysia from March 14 – 27, 2020. Canada will play fifty 0vers matches against ICC Division A country teams representing Denmark, Qatar, Singapore, Vanuatu and hosts Malaysia during the Tournament.

Canada’s 14 member ICC 2020 Challenge Cup Squad will be captained by its experienced opening batsman Navneet Dhaliwal (pictured). In 30 List A (fifty-overs) matches played to date in Canadian colours, Dhaliwal has scored 1027 runs at an impressive 39.50 average, with two centuries and five half centuries. Nitish Kumar, Abrash Khan, Ravinderpal Singh, Harsh Thaker, Varun Sehdev and Srimantha Wijeyeratne, will provide batting support to Dhaliwal. 

Canada’s bowling attack will be centred around the front line spin of experienced campaigners Saad Bin Zafar, Nikhil Dutta, Salman Nazar and Shahid Ahmedzai. They will be ably supported by the part-time spin offerings of Nitish Kumar and Dhaliwal himself. Romesh Eranga and Faizal Jamkhandi are the only two seamers included in the squad, the wicket-keeping duties for which will be shared by Srimantha Wijeyeratne and Armaan Kapoor.

Experienced South African Amarinder Bhinder will be the Head Coach for the Canadian Squad, which will be managed by Carlos Ragoonath. Surendra Seeraj (Assistant Coach), Daulat Khan (Asst Coach/Analyst) and Tejash Patel (Physio) will be the other members of the Canadian Squad’s management team.

The full squad (in alphabetical order) with their respective roles is as follows:

Navneet Dhaliwal (RHB) (Capt), Shahid Ahmedzai (SLA), Nikhil Dutta (ROS), Romesh Eranga (LMF), Faizal Jamkhandi (RMF), Armaan Kapoor (WK/BAT), Abraash Khan (RHB), Nitish Kumar (RHB), Salman Nazar (SLA), Varun Sehdev (RHB), Ravinderpal Singh (RHB), Harsh Thaker (RHB), Srimantha Wijeyeratne(WK/BAT) and Saad Zafar (LHB).

Amarinder Bhinder (Head Coach), Carlos Ragoonath (Manager), Surendra Seeraj (Asst Coach), Daulat Khan (Asst Coach/Analyst), Tejash Patel (Physio)









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2019-10-27

Canada, needing to beat the UAE in their final match of the round robin in the ICC WCT20 qualifier,  lost by 14 runs, and failed to make the play offs. Three consecutive losses saw them fall to 5th place in the group. 

Canada won the toss, chose to bowl, and got off to a great start, with Romesh Eranga bowling Rohan Mustafa in the first over, and Junaid Siddiqui, playing his first match of the tournament and opening the bowling, having Chirag Suri caught off his first ball. Saad Bin Zafar broke a promising partnership when Rameez Shahzad was given leg before- 48/3 in the 8th over. Tight bowling meant UAE did not hit a boundary in the middle 8 overs. Saad Bin Zafar took his second wicket in the 18th over, thanks to a fine stumping from Hamza Tariq, and his third next ball to a catch in the deep. He finished his spell with 3/21 from four overs. The UAE hit well to take 40 from the last two overs to set Canada a target of 155. Muhammad Usman made 89*. of their total of 154/5.

Wijeyeratne got Canada off to a bright start with 21 from 15 balls, but the scoring slowed in the middle overs. Navneet Dhaliwal made 41 from 36 balls but when he was out, Canada needed 73 from 7 overs. Ravinderpal Singh hit a couple of boundaries but with 28 needed from the last two overs he was caught in the deep. Kirton was unbeaten at the end, making  37 but took 39 balls in doing so. Canada finished on 140/5. 

Scorecard

ICC Video

Toss and interviews

Hamza Tariq stumping

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2019-10-24

Canada lost to Hong Kong in their fourth match at the WC T20 qualifier today, falling well short of a 151 run target. Canada had won their first three matches but now fall to second place in their group on net run rate. They play Oman, now in 1st place, in their next match. 

Hong Kong batted first after winning the toss. They got off to a fast start but then three wickets in 7 balls slowed their progress - Jeremy Gordon made the initial breakthrough, then Saad Bin Zafar had Aizaz Khan caught, and captain Navneet Dhaliwal ran out Ahsan Abbasi. After 10 overs, Hong Kong were 58/3. Nitish Kumar broke the 4th wicket partnership, taking 1/18 in four overs as Canada's spinners bowled tightly in the middle overs. Man of the match Kinchit Shah (59*) hit well, and Canada needed 151 to win.

Canada lost both openers for 17 runs when they started their reply, and struggled  against tight bowling and fielding falling well behind the required run rate. Seven batsman got to double figures but the top score was 20 from Rizwan Cheema as Canada lost by 32 runs. 

Scorecard


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2019-10-23

Canada had a big win over Ireland in their third match of the ICC WC T20 qualifier today to remain unbeaten. This was their first victory over a full member nation since 2003. 

Canada won the toss and chose to bat. Rizwan Cheema, playing his first game of the tournament was bowled with the score on 13, but Navneet Dhaliwal and Nitish Kumar put together a good partnership. After 10 overs, Canada were 72/1. Dhaliwal reached his half century from just 37 balls. A reverse sweep from Kumar brought up the century partnership from 67 balls with 6 overs to go. Dhaliwal was finally caught in the deep for 69 from 51 balls. Kumar reached his third consecutive fifty from 34 balls, but was caught in the deep from the next ball. Hamza Tariq fell first ball,  but Ravinderpaul Singh and Dillon Heyliger took Canada to 156/5 from their 20 overs.

Ireland fought hard against good Canadian bowling, and fell just 10 runs short. Needing 27 from the last two overs, Gordon and Heyliger bowled well at the death for the win. Earlier Saad Bin Zafar and Eranga each took 2 wickets, and Nikhil Dutta bowled 3 overs for just 12 runs, taking a wicket. Nitisgh Kumar added a catch and an outstanding run-out to his half century and was named man of the match. 

Canada's next match is against Hong Kong tomorrow.

Scorecard 

ICC Video

Post match presentation

Ireland wickets

Dhaiwal batting highlights

Dhaliwal hits a 6

Cheema bowled

Post toss interviews


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2019-10-21

Canada beat Nigeria by 50 runs in their second match of the ICC WC T20 qualifier today in Abu Dhabi. Canada now top their group on net run rate and are the only unbeaten team. Nitish Kumar and Hamza Tariq srarrted with the bat, and Dillon Heyliger took three wickets. 

Canada  batted first, and found scoring difficult against a disciplined Nigerian attack and with a big playing surface making boundaries challenging. A number of bats got a start but only  Nitish Kumar (57*) built a decent innings. Canada were 112/6 in the 17th over, but then Hamza Tariq slammed 33 from 16 balls to take them to a decent total of 159/7. 

Dillon Heyliger and Jeremy Gordon unsettled the Nigerian openers with some genuine pace, with Heyliger taking two wickets to good catches in the deep. The Canadian spinners took control in the middle overs (Saad Bin Zafar with 2 wickets) and helped by a sharp run out, Nigeria lost wickets and fell well behind the run rate. They batted out their overs, making 109/8. 

Gordon bowled his 4 overs for just 12 runs, Saad bin Zafar took 2/25, and Heyliger, with another wicket in the last over, took 3/16. 

Scorecard

Canada have 4 points from two matches, tied with UAE, Ireland and Oman but top the table on net run rate. Canada face a real test on Wednesday, when they take on Ireland.

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2019-09-25

Canada beat  Denmark to maintain their 100% record  in the CWC Challenge League Group A tournament in Kuala Lumpur. 

Canada, captained by Nitish Kumar standing in for Navneet Dhaliwal,  batted first and made 302/8 in their 50 overs. Srimantha Wijeyeratne top-scored with 84, and Abraash Khan (42), and Ravindepal Singh (43) made useful contributions. 

Denmark's target was revised to 221 from 33 overs after a rain delay.  They were in a promising position at 101/1 after 25 overs but then 3 wickets apiece from Dutta and Saad Bin Zafar halted their progress, and they finished on 172/9. Saad Bin Zafar was named player of the match- 34* from 14 balls and 3/28. 

Canada play Singapore (3 and 1) in their final match tomorrow. 

Scorecard

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2019-09-22

A brilliant all round performance by Nitish Kumar took Canada to a third successive win at  the CWC Challenge Group A tournament in Malaysia, beating previously unbeaten Qatar by 115 runs. Kumar followed up an excellent 129 with 5 wickets.
Canada batted first, and put up another big total. Thomas (51) and Dhaliwal (38) got them off to a solid start then twin centuries from Nitish Kumar (129 from 84 balls) and Srimantha Wijeyeratne (112) took them to 379/4 from their 50 overs.

Qatar  put up a good fight with an opening stand of 149 and were in with a chance after 25 overs. Saad Bin Zafar broke the stand in the 26th over and Kumar took the next five wickets, ending with 5/72 as Qatar were bowled out for 264.

Canada's next match is against Singapore on Wednesday.


Scorecard

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2019-09-19

Canada beat Malaysia by 206 runs in their second match of the  CWC Challenge League Group A tournament in Kuala Lumpur. Batting first, they made a massive 408/7, led by 140 from captain Navneet Dhaliwal. He hit 13 sixes in the 94 ball innings, putting on 140 for the first wicket with Rodrigo Thomas (62), and 120 for the second with Nitish Kumar (60). Ravinderpaul Singh smashed 94 from just 46 balls. 

Malaysia were bowled out for 202 in 46.3 overs, Nitish Kumar  taking 3 wickets, Heyliger and Eranga two apiece, and Saad Bin Zafar one. 

Canada are now 2-0 with their next match on Saturday against Qatar. 

Video on Facebook

Scorecard

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2019-09-17

Canada beat Vanuatu by 5 wickets as they played their first match in the CWC Challenge League Group A at Kuala Lumpur. Vanuatu, batting first were bowled out for 160, Nikhil Dutta taking 3/29, and Saad Bin Zafar, Heyliger and Eranga each taking two wickets. After a poor start that saw Canada at 54/4, captain Navneet made 72 not out as Canada won with 5 wickets and 18 overs to spare. 

Matches are being streamed when possible on Cricket Canada's Youtube channel

Scorecard

Harsh Thaker - first full cap

Man of the match

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2019-08-25

Canada completed a very successful tournament by beating the USA in their final match, securing top spot and going unbeaten in  the ICC Americas T20 final.

USA won the toss and put Canada in. Canada made 173/8 from their 20 overs, led by 67 from just 33 balls and eight sixes from Ravinderpal Singh. Dhaliwal continued his good form with 36. 

Saad Bin Zafar led the Canadian bowlers with 3/34, and a good all-round effort kept the Americans struggling to keep up with the run rate. They finished on 158/8, and Canada won by 15 runs. 

Scorecard

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2019-08-22

With a win over the Caymans today in the ICC Americas T20 finals, Canada are assured  of a top-two finish in the tournament, and a place in the ICC T20 World Cup qualifier. 

 Canada won the toss and chose to bowl. After just one over of pace, Canada turned to their spinners, and Saad Bin Zafar, Nikhil Dutta and Nitish Kumar all took wickets as Caymans reached 43/3 after 8.4 overs. Saad Bin Zafar took two more wickets to record figures of 4-0-8-3, and the Caymans managed just 91/7 in their twenty overs. 

In replay Canada survived a scare, losing both openers without a run on the board, but Dhaliwal (53*) and Kumar (37*) took them to victory without losing another wicket and with 8 overs in hand. Canada thus have 7 points and cannot finish lower than second in the tournament, 

Youtube stream

Scorecard

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2019-08-22

Canada beat the US today in Bermuda to put themselves in an excellent position in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Americas Region Final. Canada is on five points after an easy win in their first match, tied with Bermuda on the top of the table. 

The US won the toss and chose to bat. The opening pair got off to a fast start, reaching 39 in four overs. the partnership was broken when Saad Bin Zafar came on, having Patel well caught  by Rizwan Cheema at slip from his first ball. Nikhil Dutta had Marshall stumped with the score on 75 after 9 overs. Canada fought back strongly with their spinners, Nitish Kumar bowling Taylor, then Dutta inducing a catch in the deep to dismiss Malhotra- 95/4 with 6 overs to go.  Some tight bowling and good fielding kept the run rate in check and the US finished on 144/6 from their 20 overs.

Canada attained the target with just 4 wickets and 5 balls to spare. Captain Naveneet Dhaliwal led the way with 54 from 41 balls, and Dilon Heyliger finished the match off with 23 not out after Canada needed 19 from the last two overs.

Scorecard

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2019-07-25

This year's Global T20 features higher Canadian participation and this was demonstrated in the opening match between last year's champions, the Vancouver Knights, and the Toronto Nationals. Much of the attention was on the superstars- Yurav Singh, Brendon McCallum, Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard but Canadian players played a major part in the match.

Rodrigo Thomas was joint top-scorer for the Toronto squad with 41, and Rizwan Cheema had Yurav Singh stumped in his only over. Saad Bin Zafar took 2/7 in two overs, as the Nationals made 159/5.

Another high profile player fell to a Canadian bowler, as Mark Montford bowled Chris Gayle- Toronto's bowling attack featured three Canadians in the first four bowlers used - Montford, Jeremy Gordon and Salman Nazar. However the honours went to New Zealander Walton and south African van der  Dussen who put on 126 to earn the Knights an 8 wicket win.

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0
2019-07-17

Scorecards from Day 2. Teams were re-arranged to provide alternate opportunities for selectors to evaluate players for two games. 

July 16 National T20, King City







Team 1 v   Team 2








Toss: Team 2








Result:  Tied








Team 2   innings 








Rodrigo Thomasc Hamza Tariqb Duuta41385




Rayan Pathanc Heyligerb Dutta331732



*Nitish Kumarc Heyligerb  Ghani1011





Harsh Thakerst Hamza Tariqb  Ghani84
1



Ravinderpaul Singhlbwb Ghani11121




#NAME?c Moonesarb Ghani35





Saad Bin Zafarnot out
40
23



Mark Montfortc Harmandeep Singhb Heyliger 6






Varun Sehdevnot out
55





Extras4w, 4b
8






Total7 wickets, 20 overs157






DNB:   Satsimranjit Dhindsa, Junaid Siddiqui, Sana Kaleem, Sukhdeep Brar




FoW808295100113141



Bowling:OversMaidensRunsWicketswnb



Eranga403401




Pervez30220





Heyliger40441





Dutta302421




Umer Ghani402742




Moonesar20100
















Team 1   innings








Abraash Khanc Robin Singhb Dhindsa1192




Rizwan Cheemac Robin Singh b  Brarb  Brar352232



Ruvindu Gunasekeralbwb Kaleem04





Jatinder Matharuc Robin Singhb Brar671




Raheem Gilanic Ravinderpaul Singhb Brar16
2




?st Robin Singhb Junaid Siddiqui191512



*+Hamza Tariqc Junaid Siddiquib Saad Bin Zafar731




Nikhil Duttanot out
362132



Dillon Heyligerc Brarb Dhindsa1232




Umer Ghaninot out
67





Extrasw 7, nb 2
9






Total8 wickets, 20 overs157






FoW14374554849798121

Bowling:OversMaidensRunsWicketswnb



Kaleem301312




Dhindsa40532





Brar402432




Saad Bin Zafar40231





Junaid Siddiqui30111





Monfort20330






































July 16   National T20, King City







Navy v Green








Toss: Navy









Result:  Green won by 9 wickets


















Navy   innings 








Ruvindu Gunasekera c Talwar b Kumar 811





*Navneet Dhaliwal c Pranavb Gill1213





Arslan Khan c Pranavb Saad Bin Zafar1718





Raheem   Gilanib Brar3948





Bhavindhu Adhihettyc Gill b Kumar36





Suliman Khanc Pranavb Saad Bin Zafar89





Gurinder Thandist Mowabb Manoosingh13





Simranjit Singhst Mowabb Saad Bin Zafar66





Preet   Jagnanpreet not out25





Yax Patelnot out
22





Extras4w, 2lb
6






Total8 wickets, 20 overs104






DNB: Faizal   Jamkhandi








FoW17285258677077102

Bowling:OversMaidensRunsWicketswnb



Sidhu302201




Brar30211





Kumar3082





Gill202011




Saad Bin Zafar40103





Talwar3190





Manoosingh20121
















Green   innings








Rizwan Cheemarun out
2812





Umar Farooknot out
28






Nitish Kumar not out
39






Extrasw 13
13






Total1 wickets, 13.1 overs108






DNB: Pranav   Sharma, Akash Gill, Trevor Manosingh, Saad Bin Zafar, Sukhdeep Brar, Shreyas   Mowab, Manjeet Sidhu, Daksh Talwar
FoW35








Bowling:OversMaidensRunsWicketswnb



Singh20110





Suliman Khan10220





Patel2080





Dhaliwal1060





Jaganpreet20220





Gunasekera1080





Jamkhandi202003




Thandi1.10110






































July 16   National T20, King City







Team 3 v   Team 4








Toss: Team 3








Result:  Team 3 won by 39 runs


















Team 3   innings 








Upkar Singh   Pandher  b Asad Khan12





Bhavindhu Adhihettyretired
4945





Shreyas   Mowab not out
6250





Arslan   Khan b Talwar1211





Rahul   Vashishtha not out
98





Extras2w
2






Total2 wickets, 20 overs135






DNB: Arun   Nag, Trevor Manoosingh, Manjeet Sidhu, Gurinder Thandi, Zeeshan Whalia, Rana   Salman, Ashish Narval, Simranjit Singh
FoW494101

















Bowling:OversMaidensRunsWicketswnb



Suliman Khan40300





Asad Khan40181





Dhillon401901




Patel 30261





Mann20210





Talwar30211



























Team 4   innings








Pranav Sharmacb Rana Salman35





Akash Gill
b Whalia01





Avwal Sandhub Manoosingh1333





Satnam   Ramdhab Whalia611





Umair Ghanilbwb Manoosingh2724





Daksh Talwarnot out
31






Arminder Dhillonstb Sidhu35





Kanwar Mannrun out
43





Preet   Jaganpreet cb Whalia118





Asad Khannot out
11





Extrasb 1
1






Total8 wickets, 20 overs94






DNB: Yax   Patel








FoW031136616475
























Bowling:OversMaidensRunsWicketswnb



Whalia40103





Rana Salman30101





Arun Nag20110





Narval2060





Manoosingh30172





Thandi20150





Sidhu20110





Singh20130
















July 16   National T20, King City







Green v Blue








Toss: Green









Result:  Blue won by 8 wickets


















Green   innings
RunsBalls4s




Abraash Khan run out
4851





Avol   Sandhu b Whalia 01





Satnam   Ramdhab Junaid Siddiqui512





Arun Nag
b Mann13





Harmandeep Singh st b Salman Nazar 26





Varun Sehdevcb Mann48





*+Hamza Tariq lbwRana Salman 1316





Nikhil Dutta cRana Salman01





Sana Kaleemc Moonsenarb Junaid Siddiqui17





Arminder Dillonrun out
65





Asad Khannot out
12





Extras w 3, nb 1  
4






Total all out, 19 overs  79






FoW1344143586374747579











BowlingNational T20 - scorecards, Day 2









Whalia2071





Jatinder Mathuru10100





Moonesar30181





Junaid Siddiqui3162





Mann30132





Salman Nazar40131





Rana Salman30122
















Blue innings









Zeeshan WhaliacDutta10161




Rayyan Pathannot out
384421



Robin Singhlbwb Dutta02





Jatinder Mathuru not out
332504



Extrasnb 1, b 1
2






Total2 wickets, 15.2 overs83






DNB: Junaid Siddiqui, Salman Nazar,   Kanwar Mann, Rana Salman, Mahadeo Moonesar


FoW3232


















Bowling:OversMaidensRunsWicketswnb



Sana Kaleem30110





Cecil Pervez20140





Dutta30192





Dhillon2160





Nag20120





Sehdev2.20130





Asad Khan1070




























































....

0
2019-07-17

The National T20 is underway at Maple Leaf CC, King City. Sixty of Canada's best cricketers are in attendance, split into four teams, each containing a mix of national team players and cricketers selected for the high performance squad based on their performances in the regional T20 competitions. The tournament gives selectors an opportunity to evaluate players in match situations against top-quality opposition. 

Day 1 Scorecards:

15-Jul National T20 King   City






Red v Blue








Toss: Blue








Result: Blue   won by 11 runs. 
















Blue   innings  
runsballs 4s 6s


Rayyan Pathan c ? b Brar 561



Upkar Singh Pandherc Kumar b Cheema 232121


Robin Singh run out
27




Jatinder Mathuru c ? b Cheema 512



*Ravinderpaul Singh  c ? b Gill 523124


Ricardo Williams c ? b Saad Bin Zafar 67




Zeeshan Whalia  c ? b Manosingh 58




Dillon Heyliger lbw b Saad Bin Zafar 35




Salman Nazar run out 
16121



Romesh Eranga c ? b Gill 35




Junaid Siddiqui not out 
23




Extras w 4 b 26





Total all out 19.4 overs128















FoW: 1-7 2-25 3-37 4-50 5-61 6-87 7-96 8-110 9-125 10-128. 










Bowling:








Gill40352




Brar3.401512



Saad Bin Zafar401722



Dhillon20190




Cheema30112




Talwar20100




Manosingh10191
























Red   innings  
runs balls 4s 6s


Rodrigo Thomas c Salman Nazar b Williams 3325




Akash Gill c Robin Singh b Eranga 03




*Nitish Kumar c Mathuru b Williams 12121



Saad Bin Zafar c Williams b Salman Nazar 1216




Shreyas Mowab c Pandher  b Heyliger 21242



Rizwan Cheema c Junaid Siddiqui b Heyliger 12




+Robin Singh
b Heyliger 25




Trevor Manosingh c ? b Junaid Siddiqui 511




Sukhdeep Brar c Ravinderpaul Singh b Salman Nazar 9111



Navjot Dhillon not out 
0





Daksh Talwar  
17




Extras  w 12
12





Total all out 18.4 overs107





FoW;1-16 2-40 3-55 4-68 5-776-89 7-90 8-999107 10-107. 
Bowling 








Zeeshan Whalia 101602



Romesh Eranga 302002



Ricardo Williams 30182




Junaid Siddiqui 401911



Salman Nazar 3.40123




Dillon Heyliger 402232























July 15,   National T20, King City






Blue v Navy








Toss: Blue








Result: Blue   won by 36 runs
















Blue innings  runs balls 4s 6s




Rayyan   Pathan b Simranjit Singh 66




Upkar Singh Pandherc Simranjit Singh b Patel 1011




Robin   Singh b Patel 655851


Ashish Narval c +Khan b Jamkhandi 25




*Ravinderpaul Singh  c +Khan  b Dhaliwal 382722


Kanwar Mann not out
59




Dillon Heyliger not out
58




Extras w 9, nb 2, b 516






Total 5 wickets 20 overs147





DNB: Salman Nazar, Romesh Eranga, Junaid   SiddiquiUmer Ghani







FoW: 1-16 2-39 3-62 4-134 5-137














Bowling:








Dhindsa20190




Simranjit   Singh

1




Jamkhandi40461




Patel30192




Dhaliwal2061




Thandi


1














Navy innings







Bhavindhu Adhihetty c ? b Eranga 22




*Navneet Dhaliwal c? b Kanwar 482723


Harsh Thaker  c ? b Salman Nazar 18261



Yudveer Singh c ? b Umer Ghani 1114




#NAME?c Pandher b Kanwar 13121



Rahul Vashishtha c ? b Kanwar 1013
1


Satsimranjit Dhindsa not out
35




Gurinder Thandi not out 
24




Extras w 4
4





Total 6 wickets
111















DNB: Faisal   Jamkhandi

















FoW: 1-2 2-43 3-77 4-82 5-105 6-106.













Bowlingomrwwides



Eranga301311



Heyliger402001



Junaid Siddiqui30140




Salman Nazar302301



Umer Ghani30201




Mann402131











































July 15, National T20 King City







Green v Red








Toss: Red








Result:  Green won by 19 runs
















Green   innings 







Abraash Khan c Kumar b Brar 181321


Subham Sharma c Sharma b Brar 7101



Satnam Ramdha c Kumar b Brar 04




Varun Sehdev c Manoosingh b Saad Bin Zafar 47




*+Hamza   Tariq b Saad Bin Zafar 610




Mark Montfort c Thomas b Manjeet Sidhu 611



Harmandeep Singh not out 
503443


Nikhil Dutta   not out  
443042


Extras w 12, nb 1, b 215





Total for 6 wickets 20 overs150















DNB:   Arminder Dhillon, Kaleem Sana, Cecil Pervez















FoW: 1-26 2-26 3-29 4-40 5-47 6-60. 













Bowling:








Gill 405004



Brar 40233




Saad Bin Zafar 411525



Kumar 20200




Manoosingh 20240














Red innings








Pranav Sharmac Hamza Tariqb Dutta19251



Rodrigo Thomas c Hamza Tariqb Sana19




*Nitish Kumar c Dhillon b Sehdev 15171



Umar Farook st Hamza Tariq b Dutta 30272



Akash Gill run out Sharma 02




Rizwan Cheema c Hamza Tariq b Montfort 19123



Saad Bin Zafar not out 
1312 1


Trevor Manosingh c Dhillon b Dutta 02




Sukhdeep Brarrun out Sana201321


Navjot Dhillon not out 
531



Extras  w  8 lb 19





Total 8 wickets 20 overs131















DNB: Manjeet   Sidhu

















FoW;1-7 2-42 3-49 4-49 5-87 6-93 7-93 8-126. 











Bowling 








Sana  403112



Pervez 4
1290



Dhillon 402705



Dutta 40223




Sehdev 20121




Montfort 201011













































July 15, National T20, King City







Green   v Navy








Toss: Navy









Result:  Green won by 6 wickets


















Navy   innings
RunsBalls4s6s



Raheem Gilani run out  Hamza Tariq03





Ruvindu Gunasekera c Hamza Tariq b Asad Khan 18





*Navneet Dhaliwal c & b Asad Khan 681




Harsh Thaker  c Khan b Singh 29292




Suliman Khan run out
01





Arslan Khan  c Moonesar b Nag 8121




Rahul Vashishtha  c Hamza Tariq b Montfort 826





Satsimranjit Dhindsa c? b Singh 47





Umair Ghani Montfort 35





Preet Jagnanpreet  c Moonesar b Singh 02





Simranjit Singh not out 
00





Extras w 9, nb 2
11






Total all out, 16.1 overs71

















FoW: 1-4 2-4 3-22 4-22 5-38 6-64 7-66 8-70 9-70 10-71











Bowling:OversMaidensRunsWickets





Kaleem Sana 20110





Asad Khan 30192





Nag 2081





Sehdev 30170





Moonsesar 3150





Singh 2083





Montfort 1.1032






































Green   innings
RunsBalls4s6s



Abraash Khan c ? b Simranjit Singh 211321



Mark Montfort c ? b Simranjit Singh 04





Aval Sandhu c Umair Ghani b Suliman Khan 28194




Nikhil Dutta not out
615





Harmandeep Singh lbw b Suliman Khan 01





*+Hamza Tariq not out 13131





Extras w 3, nb 1  

4





Total for 4 wickets, 11.2 overs  
72
















DNB: Arun   Nag, Asad Khan, Mahadeo Moonesar, Kaleem Sana, Varun Sehdev















FoW: 1-32-30 3-64 4-64
















Bowling:OversMaidensRunsWickets





Dhindsa 20190





Simranjit Singh 1





Jamkhandi 40461





Patel 30192





Dhaliwal 2061





Thandi  1










....

0
2019-07-07

Congratulations to the 30 Canadians drafted by clubs in the Global T20 League, to be played in Brampton, July 25-August 11. They are:

Toronto Nationals 
Jeremy Gordon
Ravinderpal Singh
Salman Nazar
Mark Montford
Rodrigo Thomas

Vancouver Knights
Saad Bin Zafar
Rizwan Cheema
Rayaan Pathan
Harsh Thaker
Matthew Nandu

Winnipeg Hawks 
Hamza Tariq
Sana Kaleem
Umair Ghani
Romesh Eranga
Varun Sehdev

Edmonton Royals
Davy Jacobs
Navneet Dhaliwal
Satsimranjit Dhindsa
Aakash Gill
Shahid Ahmadzai

Montreal Tigers 
Dillon Heyliger
Nikhil Dutta
Bupinder Singh
Arslan Khan
Ashton Deosammy

Brampton Wolves 
Nitish Kumar
Aabrash Khan
Arman Kapoor
Faisal Jamkhandi
Nawab Singh

By agreement with Cricket Canada, each team must have five Canadian qualified players in their squad. 

....

0
2019-03-22

Last minute arrangements succeed to secure the tour

Antigua, Trinidad, South Africa or Sri Lanka puzzle was solved in favour of Sri Lanka, once it became clear that no other place provided much needed quality opposition and training arrangements than Sri Lanka. Institute of Sports (IOS), from Nagpur India, who have a long history of relationship with Cricket Canada were able to make all required arrangements to support Cricket Canada athletes training for the qualifier.

The Senior Men’s squad is practicing hard in Sri Lanka ahead of the WCL 2 Qualifiers. The squad held its first practice session at Panadura Ground on 10th March 2019. This world class training tour includes, cricket, mental and physical fitness as well as strategy sessions among other things. The training management has enforced a strict diet and training regime. The training is focused around team work, developing new skills and acclimatisation to foreign environments.

Following is the list of players and coaching staff, currently training in Sri Lanka. The final team for the qualifier shall be selected after the pre tour to South Africa and on the eve of starting of the qualifier in Namibia in April 2019.

Players:-
Bhavindu Shakya Adhihetty
David Johan Jacobs (Captain)
Dilon Alex Heyliger
Harsh Thaker
Hiral Dashrathbhai Patel
Mark Montfort
Navneet Singh Dhaliwal
Nikhil Dutta
Nitish Roenick Kumar
Ravinderpal Singh
Rodrigo Augustine Thomas
Romesh Eranga Galkandage Don
Ruvindu T Gunasekera
Saad Bin Zafar
Srimantha Adrian Wijeyeratne
Sukhdeep Singh Brar
Varun Sehdev

Coaching Staff:
Daulat Khan
Henry Osinde

....

0