By Ravendra Madholall
Canada senior men’s team started their preparations for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket League World Division 2 after recording a comfortable 33-run victory in a warm-up game on Saturday in Sri Lanka.
The team, under the guidance of newly appointed veteran coach, Monty Desai, is in Sri Lanka for two weeks before heading off to Namibia for the six-team tournament.
After winning the toss, Canada rattled up a formidable 241-7 from the alloted 40 overs while their opponents, Ordnance Army, in reply, made only 208 all out off 36.1 overs.
Leading the way for the Canadian combination was left-handed opening batsman Rodrigo Thomas with an exciting 73 which included seven fours and two sixes. Another outstanding batsman, Naveet Dhaliwah, supported with 53. When the Army team took their turn at the crease, left-arm experienced spinner Saad Bin Zafar grabbed three wickets for 32 runs from eight overs. Off-spinner Nikhil Dutta took two for 22 while medium-pacer Dillon Heyliger also snapped up two wickets.
The Canada team which has a relatively new captain, former South Africa batsman David Jacobs, will play their second practice match at the same venue, Panadura ground, this weekend. Jacobs, took over the captaincy from all-rounder Nitish Kumar who skippered the team successfully at the World Division 3 tourney.
Canada will open their campaign against Hong Kong on April 20. The competition is expected to run for eleven days.The other four participating countries are USA, Namibia, Oman and Papua New Guinea.
The top four teams will advance to Division One to vie for a spot at the 2023 World Cup 50-over Qualifiers.
CANADA SQUAD: David Johan Jacobs (Captain), Bhavindu Adhihetty, Dilon Heyliger, Harsh Thaker, Hiral Patel, Mark Montfort, Navneet Dhaliwal, Nikhil Dutta, Nitish Kumar, Ravinderpal Singh, Rodrigo Thomas, Romesh Don, Ruvindu Gunasekera, Saad Bin Zafar, Srimantha Wijeyeratne, Sukhdeep Brar and Varun Sehdev
Ingleton Liburd is the manager of the Canada team