Windhoek [Namibia], March 30 (ANI): An interesting battle was played out on a slow surface wicket, as Canada won their second match, beating the United States of America by 26 runs in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier Play-off.
The United States of America won the toss and opted to bowl. The match began with yet another top-order failure for Canada. Pargat Singh (0), Matthew Spoors (4) and Srimantha Wijeyeratne (1) all fell in no time as Ali Khan (2/41) and Saurabh Netravalkar (2/24) showed top form.
Aaron Johnson and Nicholas Kirton were given the task of reconstruction, and they exercised restraint until the ninth over, when they finally let go. Before being dismissed for 47 by Nisarg Patel's slow left-arm orthodox spin, Johnson played a fine knock with six fours and a six. 43 balls later, Kirton and Nikhil Dutta followed him to the dressing room, with Canada at 98/6 and in serious trouble.
Skipper Saad Bin Zafar stuck around with Harsh Thaker (43) in a 48-run stand but the USA kept chipping away with wickets at regular intervals to ensure that Canada didn't cross 200.
In response, USA batters found the going tough. They lost opener Saiteja Mukkamalla for just one run, while Thaker accounted for skipper Monank Patel with his off-spin in the eighth over.
Arriving at number four, Aaron Jones, who had scored a magnificent 36 in the previous game, and Sushant Modani made sure that the run-scoring kept up with the asking rate. Then Thaker (2/30) struck once again in the 16th over to get rid of Jones. As Pargat dismissed Gajanand Singh, the game's hero for the USA, in the 26th over, Canada took the lead.
Regular strikes ensured that the wickets column kept bleeding, while disciplined bowling kept the scoring rate in check. Only the Modani (64) stood his ground as the game slowly slipped away from the USA. His dismissal in the 45th over extinguished the last embers of American hope. Saad (3/43) and Kaleem Sana (3/14) shined with the ball for Canada. (ANI)