|Scorecard:||Argentina v Canada|
|Player:||HD Barton, AA Mulla, GJ Savage, EA MacDermott, H Osinde|
DateLine: 29th November 2008
At Piccolo Park Argentina produced an excellent all-round performance to have Canada reeling on the ropes and within one delivery of producing a historic shock victory. An especially dazzling display in the field, with a succession of brilliant catches, kept the South Americans in line for a famous victory until last Canadian batsman Henry Osinde heaved a mighty six over the ropes to clinch a nailbiting win for a lackluster Canadian outfit.
After electing to bat first, Argentina posted a respectable 191 for 7 in their 50 overs, with the undoubted hero being player-coach Hamish Barton in a dream international debut performance. The former Auckland player batted throughout the innings after opening the batting, and was left cruelly stranded on 99 not out when Argentina’s innings of 191 for 7 closed after 50 overs.
Barton’s undefeated innings came off 144 balls, with 6 fours and a six. Of the other Argentine batsmen, only all-rounder Lucas Paterlini contributed more then twenty, his 26 coming off 19 balls, including 4 fours. Best of a steady but unspectacular Canadian attack were Karun Jethi with 2 for 46, and Harvir Baidwan and Henry Osinde respectively, both with 2 for 41.
In reply, Canada seemed to be control of the run-chase, but as Argentina grabbed key wickets at opportune moments, suddenly the Canadians were 148 for 7, with overs remaining not an issue, but faced with an awkward 44 runs still to collect and with only 3 wickets in hand. Skipper Umar Bhatti (22 off 29 balls, 3 fours) and Karun Jethi (20 off 16 balls with a four and a six) had seemed to take Canada towards a victory, but two quick wickets left the Canadian final pairing at the crease with 8 runs still to find.
However the hopes of a determined Argentina outfit were dashed by one towering blow from last man Henry Osinde, and Canada had ultimately snatched a breathtaking one wicket win. Top scorer for Canada was Asif Mulla with 55 off 66 balls, while Jason Sandher made an attractive 29.
Argentina’s outstanding fielding performance was backed up by some disciplined bowling, the picks being skipper Esteban MacDermott, with 3 for 34 in 10 overs, and also seamers Gary Savage (3 for 36 in 9 overs) and the dependable Diego Lord, with 3 for 31 in 10 overs.
After the match, Argentina team manager Derek Culley commented on the great performance of his team: “The positive attitude of the boys throughout was amazing. We will keep looking to improve, especially in reducing the bowling extras, and trying to generate more batting support from the middle order.”
Canadian captain Umar Bhatti, although relieved to have escaped with the win, said they would be looking for strong improvement in the games ahead: “Our performance today was below par in all departments and needs immediate improvement if we are to challenge for the title. Chasing low totals is always tricky, and lack of application from our batsmen made it difficult in the end, but credit to Argentina for a great game.”
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2008 International Cricket Council)
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