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Canada downs U.A.E. for 3rd consecutive victory in ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 play | CBC Sports



Canada downs U.A.E. for 3rd consecutive victory in ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 play | CBC Sports

Harsh Thaker hit an unbeaten 111 for his maiden one-day international century as Canada defeated the United Arab Emirates by eight runs in a rain-shortened match Tuesday to record its third straight victory in ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 play in Dubai.

The Canadian men top the eight-team table with two wins over the U.A.E. and one over Scotland.

Losing the toss, Canada was sent to bat and was three for 60 when Thaker entered to turn the tide. The 26-year-old all-rounder hit six fours and two sixes in his 113-ball innings with opener Aaron Johnson adding 29 runs and Nicholas Kirton adding 26.

“It was big,” said Thaker, named player of the match. “I was a bit low in runs in Nepal [where Canada lost a three-match warmup series]. Then we came here [and the] coach and captain believed in me a lot, my teammates believed in me a lot. I was batting well but I wasn’t getting a big score. So to get this 100 is a big feeling.”

Canada finished at 241 for six after 49.4 overs.

With rain coming into the equation, the Emirates were set a target of 236 in 46 overs. It came down to the final over at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, with the home side falling just short.

Vriitya Aravindo led the Emirates with 51 runs while opener/captain Muhammad Waseem added 42 at the Emirates finished at 228 for eight in their allotted time.

‘Harsh delivered for us’

Dillon Heyliger led the Canadian bowlers with four wickets at the expense of 47 runs. Thaker also took a wicket.

“I couldn’t be more happier,” said Canada captain Saad Bin Zafar. “We started off really well. A.J. and Srimantha [Johnson and fellow opener Srimantha Wijeyeratne] have been giving us good starts and even today the start was really good. We always talk in our team that one of the middle [batting] order, one of the top order, raise their hand and work those 50s into 100s. And Harsh raised his hand today and he delivered for us.”

Canada wraps up play in the current tri-series against Scotland on Thursday. It returns to action in August, in a tri-series with the U.S. and host Netherlands.

The World Cup League 2 features eight teams: Canada, Namibia, Nepal, the Netherlands, Oman, Scotland, United Arab Emirates and the U.S. After 144 matches from 24-tri-series, the top four sides will move within one step of qualifying for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2027 in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

The four teams that move on will join others in the World Cup Qualifier which will send four teams on to join 10 direct qualifiers in the World Cup. Co-hosts South Africa and Zimbabwe and the other top-eight ranked teams will complete the 14-team World Cup lineup.

Canada regained its one-day international status for the first time in almost a decade by finishing in the top four at last April’s ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier Playoff in Namibia.

The Canadian men are also headed to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, for the first time, in June in the West Indies and U.S.

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