Boom boom out go the lights on Canada

RICHARD MAUNTAH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:44 PM ET

TORONTO - In the field, Canada had their best game in a cricket world cup since their win over Bangladesh in 2003.

With the bat they continued to struggle on Thursday, but partly because Pakistan’s got that boom boom pow.

Shahid Afridi, nicknamed Boom Boom for a career of explosive innings with the bat is redefining himself with the ball. Already coming into the match leading the tournament in wickets, he took five more giving him 14 in three matches, helping his side overcome a poor total to post a 46-run win.

“That was a wake up call for us,” Afridi, the captain of the side, said after Canada responded to Pakistan’s 184 all out by making just 138.

After a poor performance in all phases of the game against Zimbabwe, Canada bounced back in style.

The bowling attack was a lot stingier than in the past two games, holding the run rate to a reasonable amount. There were a number of balls called wide but the movement in their deliveries kept the Pakistani batsmen at bay.

Misbah-ul-Haq (37) and Umar Akmal (48) gave them trouble in the middle innings but with quick dismissals to Afridi and the late-order batsmen, the bowlers, along with a much improved innings from the fielders, gave Canada a total it could realistically shoot for. And with the Ireland upset of England fresh in everyone’s mind, the strong contingent of Canadian fans inside Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka had hope they might witness history.

Harvir Baidwan took three wickets with Rizwan Cheema, Balaji Rao, and Jimmy Hansra each taking two. Pakistan lost its final four wickets in a spell which netted the side only four runs.

“We had two bad games” Baidwan said. “We just wanted to focus on good line and length today.”

The batting started better. After very quick dismissals of opening partnerships lately, teenagers Ruvindu Gunasekera and Nitish Kumar opened with 16. After Afridi took the wicket of captain Ashish Bagai, Hansra and Zubin Surkari settled the innings down and made a 60 partnership, putting the match in Canada’s favour for a period.

Then Afridi turned it up, bowling out Hansra, who ended with 43, and Cheema, the dangerous power-hitter of the Canadian side, for just eight. Tyson Gordon went next for nine and one ball later, out went Baidwan.

And as if an encore was necessary, he took the field and threw a 40-foot strike at the wickets to get Rao on a run out.

“I think we did a great job with the ball but our batting woes continue,” Bagai said. “We had a good chance today to show what we’ve put time in on the past two years but we fell short.”

Also Thursday, a 221-run partnership between Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers powered South Africa to a 231-run win over the Netherlands in Mohali, India.

De Villiers finished with 134 while Amla made 113 for the South Africans. Wesley Barresi made 44 for the Dutch.


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