Canada’s men’s cricket team is heading to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup for the first time after defeating Bermuda by 39 runs on Saturday in Hamilton, Bermuda.
Canada won the toss and elected to bat first at the National Sports Centre. Each team was restricted to 18 overs, instead of 20, due to the late start and weather conditions.
The Canadian batsmen finished strongly with Nicholas Kirton sparking a 20-run final for a total of 132 runs for four wickets. Opener Navneet Dhaliwal led Canada with 45 runs.
The Bermuda batsmen had no answer for the precision of Kaleem Sana and the pace of Jeremy Gordon, all bowled out for 93 in the 17th over. Both players took three wickets and Bermuda’s bottom order collapsed from 85 for five to 93 all out.
The Canadians have failed to qualify for the previous eight editions of the T20 World Cup, which was expanded to 20 teams in 2024, when it will be co-hosted by the West Indies and the United States.
Canada, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Panama were competing in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Americas Region final, a double round-robin format, for a place in the 2024 T20 World Cup.
🇨🇦 Team Canada has reserved a ticket for the @icc T20 World Cup for the first time!
< br>Be proud Canadians, be very proud
Canada and Bermuda finished with 4-1-0 records and a shutout. But Canada, which lost to Bermuda by 86 runs in its first match, won the tournament with a superior net run rate (3.98 to 2.41).
“A lot of cricket gurus here wrote us off after the first day, but I think God couldn’t have written a more dramatic script for us,” Canada captain Saad Bin Zafar said before lifting the tournament trophy surrounded by his teammates. .
“It tested our patience and self-confidence, but we kept a positive mindset throughout the tournament…Every day was a fight for every race, because we were chasing that racing pace.”
“Our dream is to play in a World Cup,” he added.
Sana named player of the match
Sana was named player of the match after taking his three wickets at the expense of just four runs. He was also named bowler of the tournament after taking 15 wickets in total.
“I can’t describe my feelings right now,” Sana said after receiving her reward.
Bermuda’s Kamau Leverock was named the tournament’s best hitter, with 233 runs, and MVP.
The Cayman Islands (1-3-0 with two no results) finished third and Panama (0-4-0 with two no results) fourth after their early Saturday match was cancelled.
Both of Friday’s matches (Canada vs. Panama and Bermuda vs. the Cayman Islands) were canceled due to bad weather. Tropical Storm Philippe slammed Bermuda with heavy rain and winds before being downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone on Friday as it moved north toward Atlantic Canada and New England.
The game was delayed an hour Saturday due to morning rain. And when play resumed, the cricketers had to deal with strong winds.
The wind was such that if a fielder’s cap fell off, they had to chase it. Only 40 of Canada’s runs came in the nine overs playing into the wind.
Canadian opener Aaron Johnson was the first to go, caught by Dominic Sabir in the 15th over in the fifth over with Canada with 28 runs on the board. Pargat Singh followed in the 10th over, caught by Charles Trott at the boundary for nine runs, leaving Canada at 56 for two.
Harsh Thaker was caught going towards the boundary, getting out for 21 in the 15th over with Canada at 95 for three. Dhaliwal was caught off the next ball.
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Captain Delray Rawlins restricted Canada to five runs in the penultimate over. But Canada defeated Leverock in the final over with Kirton hitting two sixes and a four.
Kirton finished with 26 off just 10 balls and Dilon Heyliger with 10. Sabir took two wickets at the expense of 34 runs in his four overs.
Sana, one of the tournament’s best bowlers, frustrated the Bermuda batsmen early on when play resumed. Bermuda managed just four runs in the first three overs and Sana conceded just one in their first two overs.
Canada struck quickly with Thaker removing opener Tre Manders, well caught by Johnson at slip, in the second over with just two Bermuda runs on the board.
Leverock was dismissed in the tenth over, caught on 23. And Rawlins followed soon after, caught by Johnson with Bermuda on 55 for three. Terryn Fray was then stumped for 30 with the score of 63 for four.
Bermuda needed 70 runs in their last seven overs. A six and a four from Allan Douglas Jr. in the 13th over helped Bermuda’s cause. But Douglas got out in the 14th over thanks to Heyliger’s acrobatic diving catch off Jeremy Gordon’s delivery, leaving Bermuda at 85 for five.
Douglas scored 22 off 12 balls, and his departure marked the end of Bermuda’s resistance. The home team needed 47 from their last four overs and fell well short.