By RON FANFAIR
Despite stumbling towards the finish line in the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup qualifying competition, Canada will make a fourth appearance in the sport’s premier 50-over event in February and March 2011.
Canada finished second in the Super Eight series and joins Ireland, Kenya and The Netherlands as the four ICC Associates which will join the 10 Full Members in the next World Cup co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Pakistan was stripped of hosting rights today because of the deteriorating security issues in that country.
The Irish finished at the top of the group with 10 points ahead of Canada, Kenya, The Dutch and Scotland with eight points each. The Scots, however, will not be at the World Cup because of an inferior net run rate.
The Netherlands dominance over Canada continued today with the Dutch clinching a six-wicket win with 17 balls remaining. It was the national team’s fifth loss in as many One-Day Internationals over the Dutch and its second straight loss this week after succumbing to the United Arab Emirates by five wickets last Wednesday.
The first five Canadian batsmen today failed to build on double-figure starts that reached just 17, and it was left to all-rounder Sunil Dhaniram who scored 33 off 61 balls and a seventh-wicket stand of 73 in 12.5 overs by Sandeep Jyoti and Umar Bhatti to pull Canada out of a deep hole at 131-6 in the 37th over.
Jyoti recorded 46 off 63 balls with four boundaries while Bhatti registered an unbeaten 39 off 45 balls to help Canada reach a respectable but unconvincing total of 205-8 in 50 overs.
The Dutch openers then posted an impressive 167 in 36.1 overs to put their team on course for an easy win and a World Cup spot.
Left-arm spinner Sunil Dhaniram was Canada’s most productive bowler with 3-38 off 10 overs in the Dutch team’s total of 206-4 in 47.1 overs.
In today’s other matches, Kenya defeated the Irish by six wickets, the Scots trounced the UAE by 122 runs and Afghanistan beat Namibia by 21 runs. The top four finishers along with Scotland and Afghanistan will receive full One Day International status for the next four years.
Canada meets the Irish in the ICC World Cup qualifiers final on Sunday at SuperSport Park in Gauteng Province.