Canadian cricketers wrap up T20 World Cup qualifier with win over Bahrain

Canada finished tournament at 3-2

Captain Navneet Dhaliwal hit a swashbuckling 54 and Harsh Thaker took four wickets as Canada defeated Bahrain by seven wickets Thursday to finish fifth at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier A. Dhaliwal is seen in an undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Cricket Canada

Captain Navneet Dhaliwal hit a swashbuckling 54 and Harsh Thaker took four wickets as Canada defeated Bahrain by seven wickets Thursday to finish fifth at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier A. Dhaliwal is seen in an undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Cricket Canada

MUSCAT, Oman — Captain Navneet Dhaliwal hit a swashbuckling 54 and Harsh Thaker took four wickets as Canada defeated Bahrain by seven wickets Thursday to finish fifth at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier A.

Dhaliwal’s unbeaten innings off 27 balls featured three fours and four sixes, helping Canada reach its victory target of 131 with 33 balls remaining.

The Canada skipper hit three straight sixes in a 24-run 14th over for Canada. Dhaliwal then slammed another six the next over to wrap up the victory at 132 for three.

The United Arab Emirates won the eight-country qualifier, defeating Ireland by seven wickets. The Emirates reached the victory target of 160 at the expense of three wickets, with eight balls remaining.

Both finalists had already qualified for the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia later this year. Nepal beat Oman by nine wickets to finish third.

Canada, which has never qualified for the T20 World Cup, finished the tournament at 3-2.

Bahrain won the toss and elected to bat first. Sikander Billah scored 33 runs and David Mathias 30 as Bahrain finished its 20 overs at 131 for eight.

Thaker, a right-arm off-spinner, took four wickets for 20 runs and triggered a middle-order collapse.

After opener Mathew Spoors was removed 12 runs into Canada’s innings, Rayyan Pathan and wicketkeeper Shreyas Movva steadied the ship. Pathan scored 38 off 26 balls while Movva added 32 off 30 balls.

Ireland and Oman qualified for the tournament by virtue of being eliminated in the first round of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, while Nepal and the U.A.E. booked their slots via their rankings in the ICC MRF Tyres Men’s T20I Team rankings.

The other teams advanced through regional qualifying tournaments with the U.S. and Canada finishing 1-2 at the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier in November in Antigua.

The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier B is scheduled for July 11-17 in Harare, with Hong Kong, Jersey, the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Uganda, the U.S. and host Zimbabwe taking part.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2022.

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