By RON FANFAIR
Canada again proved no match for an opponent at the cricket World Cup, crashing to a 175-run loss to Zimbabwe last Monday in Nagpur, India.
A 181-run third wicket stand between wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu who scored 98 off 99 balls and Craig Ervine who hit 85 off 81 balls, dashed any hopes Canada may have had of pulling off the upset after picking up two early wickets with just seven runs on the board in the fourth over.
Leg-spinner Balaji Rao took 4-57 while medium pacers Khurram Chohan and Harvir Baidwan each claimed two wickets in Zimbabwe’s total of 298-9 off 50 overs.
Nitish Kumar made history by becoming the youngest player to appear in the World Cup at age 16. He opened the batting with veteran John Davison who, at age 40, is the oldest player in the tournament.
The partnership was brief as Davison lost his wicket without scoring for the second successive match. Kumar lasted just 10 balls while posting one run and skipper Ashish Bagai was dismissed off the first ball he faced to put Canada in a very precarious position at 7-3 in the sixth over.
None of the Canadian batsmen was able to come to grips with the Zimbabwe spinners who took all 10 wickets. Zubin Surkari with 26 off 48 balls was Canada’s topscorer in their meek reply of 123 off 42.1 overs.
The Canadians, who fell to Sri Lanka by 210 runs in their opening fixture, meet unbeaten Pakistan today.
Meanwhile, Barbadian and West Indies pacer Kemar Roach became the sixth bowler to take a hat-trick in the World Cup.
He performed the feat last Monday in the West Indies’ 215-run victory over The Netherlands in Delhi.
Roach captured 6-27 off 8.3 overs to send the Dutch reeling for 115 in the 32nd over in reply to the Caribbean team’s total of 330-8 in 50 overs.
The other bowlers with hat-tricks in the World Cup are India’s Chetam Sharma (1983), Pakistan’s Saqlain Mushtaq (1999), Australia’s Brett Lee and Sri Lanka’s Chaminda Vaas (2003) and Lasith Malinga of Sri Lanka in 2007.