Canada almost pulled off a second major upset in as many days at the World Cup in Colombo, following Ireland’s stunner at Bangalore yesterday. But, a magical spell of spin bowling by the Pakistan captain, Shahid Afridi, quickly put an end to that. He bagged 5 Canadian scalps for 23 runs to become the leading wicket-taker in the competition.
Once again, it was Canada’s offence that let them down. Save for a hopeful period of resistance by Surkari (27), Bagai(16) and Hansra(43), the other batters found batting difficult against top-class bowling. The hard-hitting Rizwan Cheema, Canada’s version of Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien, failed to do for Canada what Kevin did for his country.
When the dust had settled, Canada fell short of their target by only 46 runs. Their bowler’s held up their end of the bargain, restricting their opponents to a paltry 184 all out, a moral victory of sorts. Harvir Baidwan claimed three wickets for 35 runs in 8 overs, Cheema (2/33), Rao (2/50), and Hasra (2/23).
But it is the batsmen that must improve if Canada are to pull off a surprise or two in their remaining contests. Edmonton’s Tyson Gordon was Canada’s last hope in the late order, but he misread a well-disguised Afridi googly to spoon one to long-on where Saeed Ajmal took a spectacular running-catch.
The Pakistanis used the Decision Referral System (DRS) to their advantage to expose a number of umpiring errors. There were five umpiring decisions overturned via the DRS, four by Daryl Harper and one by Nigel Llong.
Canada’s next opponents are Kenya at New Delhi on 07 March at 900 GMT.