Gunasekera And Gordon Take Canada To Victory

Jeremy Gordon (third from right) took eight wickets in the match.

Canada 436 (Gunasekera 150) & 68-2 beat
Netherlands 164 (Raza 4-8) & 336 by 8 wickets
ICC Intercontinental Cup, King City

The bottom two sides in the ICC Intercontinental Cup did battle at King City in Ontario and it was Canada who came out on top over the Netherlands to move up to fifth in the eight-team table.

Ruvindu Gunasekera was their star player, hitting 150 to help them earn a huge first innings lead and then hastening them to victory and finishing the match with a six to finish on 44 off 24 balls today.

It was Canada who inserted their guests upon winning the toss on Thursday and they immediately capitalised by bowling the Dutch out for 164. Eric Szwarczynski hit 57 and actually helped his side reach the good position of 132 for two at one stage alongside Michael Swart (31) and Tim Gruijters (29).

However, Cecil Pervez (2-45) had Szwarczynski trapped LBW to spark a collapse of eight for 32. All-rounder Raza-ur-Rehman and Guyana-born fast-bowler Jeremy Gordon did most of the damage. The former took four of the remaining seven wickets to fall, including those of Daan van Bunge (5) and Wesley Barresi (6), to end with incredible figures of four for eight off 8.3 overs. Gordon took the other three and ended with four for 56 to continue his good recent form in the competition.

Gunasekera then helped Canada survive a wobble towards the end of day one which saw them lose three wickets for eight runs to dangerous 18 year-old fast-bowler Vivian Kingma. Kingma broke the opening stand of 35 by bowling Hiral Patel for 15 and then cleaned up Nitish Kumar and Raza-ur-Rehman for ducks. Ashish Bagai then joined Gunasekera and the pair took their side to stumps on 116 for four.

If day one had belonged to the bowlers, then the second day certainly belonged to the batsmen, or more specifically Gunasekera. Despite losing Bagai without adding to his overnight score of 33, he shared a stand of 112 with Salman Nazar (60) for the fifth-wicket and 87 with Jimmy Hansra (53) for the sixth. He finally fell to van Bunge’s leg-spin for 150 off 173 balls.

The Canadian tail then ensured that their advantage wasn’t wasted and took the lead to 272 runs. Damodar Daesrath hit 46 from number eight, while Harvir Baidwan (12), Pervez (26) and Gordon (16 not out) all chipped in. Kingma dismissed Pervez to end the innings and finish with four for 89.

The Netherlands then lost both openers Michael Rippon and Michael Swart in successive overs to Gordon and Baidwan and could have collapsed to a defeat of humungous proportions. Szwarczynski, though, again saved his side’s blushes and hit 85, adding 99 with van Bunge, who blazed 54 off 49 balls, for the fourth-wicket. They reached stumps on day two on 169 for four.

The third day saw Barresi partner Szwarczynksi but both fell in quick succession and it was left to Tom Heggelman to provide resistance from number eight. The 26 year-old from Schiedam hit 75 not out and put on 80 with Pieter Seelaar (39) for the eighth-wicket to haul the total up to 336. Gordon again impressed, taking four for 93, while Baidwan showed his experience and took four for 69.

Despite Heggelman’s excellence, Canada were left needing just 65 in the fourth innings and, thanks to Gunasekera, they knocked them off in 7.1 overs.

The two teams will now play World Cricket League Championship matches on Tuesday and Thursday. Canada are already out of contention for the top two finish that would guarantee them a place in the 2015 World Cup and sit plumb last. The Netherlands, meanwhile, are second and know that two wins will see them become favourite to join Ireland in qualifying. They should welcome back regulars Stephan Myburgh, Ahsan Malik and Mudassar Bukhari into their starting eleven, as well as influential seamer Timm van der Gugten.

© Cricket World 2013