Canada and Bermuda Progress from Americas Final
Canada and Bermuda completed the line-up for the Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier after securing the last two berths at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Americas Final.
The two teams kept their dream of playing at next year’s 2020 ICC T20 World Cup in Australia alive by booking their place at the qualifier taking place in the UAE in October and November.
Unbeaten Canada won all five of their completed games to top the standings, with only a washout against hosts Bermuda in their second match preventing them from achieving a clean sweep.
A century from Ravinderpal Singh ensured the Canadians enjoyed a winning start against Cayman Islands, who slipped to an 84-run defeat after being restricted to 112/7 from 20 overs.
Following the no result against Bermuda, Canada kept momentum on their side with a thrilling four-wicket win against the United States of America with just five balls to spare.
A rematch against the Cayman Islands ended in another dominant win, with Navneet Dhaliwal’s half-century (53) getting Canada over the line as they completed an eight-wicket triumph.
That set up a crunch clash against Bermuda, who also went into the game unbeaten after beating the USA twice and the Cayman Islands once in their first three completed games.
But Dillon Heyliger’s 4/19 reduced Bermuda to 116 all out before Canada knocked off the runs in 13.1 overs thanks to Rizwan Cheema’s 72 to secure another eight-wicket win.
And a 15-run victory over the USA in their final game, including a half-century for Singh (67), was enough to make sure Canada could not be leapfrogged by Bermuda at the summit.
The hosts did finish their tournament on a winning note, though, defeating Cayman Islands by six wickets after Allan Douglas top scored for Bermuda with 47 from 28 balls.
Bermuda ultimately finished two points behind Canada as they clinched the second qualifying spot, while the USA won both of their games against Cayman Islands to finish in third.
Canada and Bermuda now join Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Namibia, Jersey, Singapore, UAE, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Oman, Scotland and Nigeria in the global qualifier.
The latter six of those countries missed out on qualification to the event proper after finishing outside the top ten of the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings on the cut-off date of 31 December 2018, while the UAE automatically qualified as hosts and the others have all emerged from Regional Qualifiers over the past few months.
Australia and nine other top-ranked sides (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies) ensured direct qualification to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 after finishing in the top ten of the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings on 31 December 2018. For more information click here.
Canada captain Navneet Dhaliwal said: “It feels very satisfying to get an opportunity to play in the T20 World Cup and this will give us confidence before leaving for Dubai for qualifiers.
“We have been playing well the last 18 months and we are looking forward to perform well at the qualifier. The best thing about the tournament was how Bermuda fought back and qualified.
“All of us were thinking Canada and USA will go through, but the way Bermuda played is just incredible. It a good learning curve for all the team that anything is possible in cricket.
“It means a lot to us as a group and to all Canadian fans as after a Global T20 league in Canada the popularity of cricket went high. More people are showing interest in cricket. They have expectations from us and we want to succeed for Canada.”
Bermuda captain Terryn Fray said: “The feeling is unreal as it has been a while since Bermuda has been in this position and we have fully embraced all the feelings and emotions throughout this tournament.
“For us as Bermuda the best thing would be the passion that the local fans bring with them to the match but otherwise the ICC and the media have produced a very professional atmosphere for all the players and I think it is good experience for everyone playing.
“This means everything. To play for your country and be successful as a team qualifying for a major tournament will always be a great feeling. We have defied the odds this year and we are trying to put Bermuda back on the cricket map.”