Canada stops Scotland, qualifies for World Cup

Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2001, 0:00 [IST]
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Toronto: Canada beat Scotland by five wickets and with more than 10 overs to spare in the ICC Trophy qualifying final on Tuesday to book its place at the 2003 World Cup.Canada restricted top seeded Scotland to an inadequate 176 for nine with opening bowler Sanjayan Thuraisingam claiming man-of-the-match honours with five for 25 from 10 overs, Canada going to its first World Cup since 1979. Despite a couple of wobbles on the way Canada eventually ran out easy winners, 177 for five in 39.5 overs with Nicholas Degroot 19 not out and Muneeb Diwan one not out.

Canada captain and former Barbados batsman Joseph Harris steered his team to the brink of victory with 35 from 40 balls before he was bowled by David Cox with Canada two runs short. The hosts innings began badly when opener and Victoria cricketer John Davison was caught behind by Colin Smith off John Blain for nought, Canada one for one in the opening over. But a stand of 56 between Ishwar Maraj and Desmond Chumney restored Canadian hopes.

Roared on by vocal and mainly expatriate West Indian support, Maraj batted well for 50 from 76 balls including two fours. But he gave his wicket away caught and was caught at backward point by Scotland captain George Salmond off Blain, Canada 122 for four in the 30th. However, any faint hopes of a recovery from the visitors, who appeared in the 1999 World Cup, were quickly snuffed out and Canada was soon enjoying a famous victory.

Top seeds Scotland won the toss and elected to bat at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club ground. Rain had delayed the start and the overcast conditions seemed to favour swing bowling while a wet outfield would help slow the ball on its way to the boundary. Perhaps Salmond's decision had something to do with the fact that in its last game Scotland had collapsed dramatically while batting second against Namibia and lost a match it ought to have won.

But batting first brought little extra benefit, Scotland suffering a pair of three wicket collapses in the top and middle order. It was in trouble almost from the start and was 24 for three inside 12 overs. First to go was Greig Williamson, brilliantly caught one-handed in the covers by Diwan for five off Thuraisingam, Scotland seven for one in the fourth over.

Then Thuraisingam took two wickets in two balls as Scottish batsmen contributed to their own downfall. First Douglas Lockhart (eight) tried to pull only to get a top edge and see Davison running back from square leg take a well-judged catch as the ball dropped over his shoulder. The ball appeared to be 'stopping' on the wicket putting a premium on batsmen keeping the ball on the ground. However, Smith (six), drove loosely and Degroot took the routine cover catch.

Thuraisingam's opening spell of 6-1-15-3 was reward for accurate bowling and he received good support from the lively Davis Joseph (8-1-24-0). Drew Parsons and Salmond then steadied the Scotland ship, posting a 50 partnership in 51 minutes off 71 balls. But both men fell in the forties (Parsons 48 and Salmond 43) when Scotland badly needed one of them to bat on. Thuraisingam finished the innings with a double wicket maiden.

AFP Copyright AFP 2001

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