Navneet, Nitish star as Canada pip Ireland in thriller; Oman rout Nigeria


Navneet, Nitish star as Canada pip Ireland in thriller; Oman rout Nigeria
GOTCHA: Ireland's Gareth Delany fails to make his ground during the match against Canada.

Abu Dhabi - Canada's second-wicket record partnership ensured third consecutive victory

By Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Wed 23 Oct 2019, 9:56 PM

Last updated: Thu 24 Oct 2019, 12:54 AM

Navneet Dhaliwal (69) and Nitish Kumar (53) shared 111-run stand as Canada pulled off 10-run upset win over Ireland in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier Group B clash in Abu Dhabi.
Canada's second-wicket record partnership ensured third consecutive victory and top spot in the points table. Ireland are now in a spot with must-win matches against Jersey and Nigeria.
Canada chose to bat first but suffered early setback as Rizwan Cheema (5), who had replaced Rodrigo Thomas, fell early. However, skipper Dhaliwal and Kumar - both in prime form - took control. The pair found boundaries with ease and plonked sixes. Dhaliwal was dropped on 69 by Mark Adair but perished off Gareth Delany without adding any runs. Boyd Rankin snared Kumar and Hamza Tariq (0) as Canada failed in final flourish but had 156 on the board.
Ireland lost Kevin O'Brien (4) early to Romesh Eranga, who made a return to the squad. Paul Stirling and Delany kept up with required run rate. But Delany (16) was run out to brilliant fielding by Kumar. And spinner Saad Bin Zafar pulled things back further with scalps of Andy Balbirnie (0) and Stirling (23).
New batsmen Harry Tector (22) and Gary Wilson (16) kept Ireland in the match with 29-run stand but both departed in quick succession. It was a thrilling end as Stuart Thompson (28) and George Dockrell (13) raised hopes with an unbeaten 40-run stand. But with 19 needed from last over, the pair couldn't get Ireland over the line.
Kumar, Man of the Match, said it was a tough win. "Wicket was slow. It wasn't easy to hit for guys who came at the end. You will need time to get used to the pace of the wicket. Ireland bowled slower balls well. Our key to victory was taking Ireland wickets in key times. They struggled to get any rhythm," Kumar said after the match.
Earlier in another match, Oman's Aamir Kaleem (4-14) and Bilal Khan (3-7) demolished Nigeria. Nigeria batsmen didn't justify skipper Ademola Onikoyi decision to bat first. Six of them were out in single digit scores. A 24-run partnership between Daniel Ajekun (16) and Sulaimon Runsewe (14) helped set 72-run target. In response, opener Jatinder Singh slammed 22-ball 48 to steer Oman to seven wickets victory in just seven overs.
Man of the Match Kaleem said Oman executed plans to perfection. "We targeted this game. We wanted to contain Nigeria to less than 70-80 runs and chase it down in 5-6 overs. We achieved that."

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