Canada beaten again.....badly
Canada chose to bat and put in John Davison and Geoff Barnett to open the action. The first wicket to fall did so in the second over when Davison got a thin outside edge to a delivery from Ondongo which was easily handled by K Obuya. A duck for the captain. From there Desmond Chumney came in and built a solid partnership with Barnett. 94 balls, 80 minutes, and 63 runs. When Barnett was finally retired things looked good for the Canadians - sitting 65-2 after 17.3 overs. Thus began a forgettable collapse. Canada slumped from 65-2 to 71-5, Ifill and Ali both gone first ball, and things were suddenly looking grim for the home side. After a little help from Codrington and Bagai, the Canadians continued to play undisciplined and frankly, stupid shots resulting in wickets tumbling. The last 3 wickets were lost for just 2 runs as Maxwell, Sanjay (not out), and Osinde made it a whopping SIX Canadian batsmen to leave the field with a duck as a prize. It was a spinners paradise on the pitch as Varaiya took 4 wickets for just 25 runs and the captain Steve Tikolo an astounding 3 wickets for 11 runs in 9 overs of work!!!
The Kenyan innings began as you would expect it to - safely and cautiously. K Obuya and Patel opened and made a very stable 46 run partnership for the first wicket. At that point Kenya staged a mini-collapse of their own going from 46-1 to 47-4 thanks to a 3 wicket over from Canadian skipper John Davison. The saviour for Kenya was Steve Tikolo. He batted a wonderful innings playing just enough shots to keep the scoreboard ticking over and was never in danger of being given out. He was helped by C Obuya and finally by Mishra and after 31.2 overs Kenya reached their target - 97 for 5. Strong bowling from Sunil Dhaniram, taking 2-18 on 10 overs, as well as Davison who took 3 wickets. Davison, however, gave away too many runs - 43 to be exact - and Kenya won the game comfortably.
Now the debate will begin: was it the right move by selectors to bring in the more "experienced" players from Victoria Park? Or would it have been a better move to leave the Intercontinental Cup side together for these matches also. Judging from the scorecard (Chumney 26, Ifill 0, Codrington 4) it was a bad move. Once again after a loss people will look not at the performance on the field but at that in the boardroom of the selectors.
It was another beautiful day at the Toronto CSCC and around 100 people were at the ground, mostly Canada supporters. Those who arrived late may have been shocked due to how far along the match was at that point with only 65 overs being played altogether. We now look forward to seeing how the team regroups heading into another Intercontinental Cup tie with Bermuda next weekend. The squad for that match will be more or less the same as the previous 4-day match, and if it performs well again it will speak volumes for keeping that team and giving up on the elder statesmen who were brought in for this weekend.
For those of you commenting, thanks a lot! This blog is already growing quite well. When I am posting live from the ground, though, I cannot see your comments. Just so you don't worry when I don't respond to them. Also I would like to continue covering matches including the 4-day next Saturday to Tuesday. But I may not be able to make it to all the days. If there is anyone in the Toronto area who would be willing to help out, please let me know and we will see what we can do. Cheers for now.