Canada shocks Ireland by 12 runs for first win in T20 World Cup history

After posting a competitive total of 137 for seven batting first on a difficult pitch, Canada’s bowlers produced a unified effort to restrict Ireland to 125 for seven in 20 overs.

Published : Jun 07, 2024 23:51 IST , NEW YORK - 4 MINS READ

Canada’s Nicholas Kirton, left, and partner Shreyas Movva run between wickets.
Canada’s Nicholas Kirton, left, and partner Shreyas Movva run between wickets. | Photo Credit: AP

Canada’s Nicholas Kirton, left, and partner Shreyas Movva run between wickets. | Photo Credit: AP

Canada punched above its weight to shock fancied Ireland by 12 runs and record its first win in the T20 World Cup on a pitch that played much better and where the batters weren’t getting hit here on Friday.

Asked to bat first, Canada struggled to force the pace until Barbadian-born Nicholas Kirton threw caution to the wind and lifted it to a fighting 137 for seven.

Kirton blazed away to a 35-ball 49 and wicketkeeper Shreyas Movva chipped in with 37 off 36 deliveries as the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium saw 100 being crossed for the first time in the tournament.

In reply, Ireland too went past the three-figure mark but fell short of the 138-run target set by Canada, ending at 125 for seven.

George Dockrell (30 not out) and Mark Adair (34 off 24 balls) revived Ireland’s prospects with their excellent partnership of 62 runs, but they couldn’t see their team through.

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Jeremy Gordon (two for 16) and Dillon Heyliger (two for 18) bowled brilliantly to stop their higher-ranked opponent.

It’s the second time in two days that an associate team has stunned a full member nation, after USA’s victory over former champion Pakistan.

Heading into this game, the focus was more on the pitches at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, thanks to the uneven bounce and prodigious movement they offered in the earlier matches of the tournament.

However, things seemed to have improved a lot as the curators shaved off the grass and rolled it many times.

There was the odd occasion of extra bounce, but overall, it behaved much better after attracting criticism with ICC on Thursday conceding that the tracks used “have not played as consistently as we would have all wanted”.

Ireland’s decision to bowl first first was vindicated as it had Canada on the mat at 53 for four in the beginning of the ninth over.

Seamer Craig Young (two for 32) impressed the most early on as he removed Aaron Johnson (14) and Pargat Singh (18) after opening bowler Mark Adair got the better of Navneet Dhaliwal (6), who had scored a half-century in the tournament opener against USA.

Meanwhile, Dilpreet Bajwa (7) was taken care of by leg-spinner Gareth Delany as Canada found itself in all sorts of trouble at the halfway mark after having managed 37 runs for the loss of two wickets in the PowerPlay. This was the second best score in the PowerPlay at New York after India’s 39 for one against the Irish on Wednesday.

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Seeking to give his team a solid start, Dhaliwal failed in his endeavour as he cut one straight to Dockrell at backward point off the bowling of Adair in the third over.

Johnson got a couple of boundaries against Josh Little but soon made his way back to the dressing room as he played a pull shot and ended up giving a catch at fine-leg.

Pargat was out caught by Little after a promising start, as he sliced a Young delivery while looking to loft it.

Delany, then, took a fine return catch to send back Bajwa with his first ball of the match.

Then, Kirton and Movva dragged Canada to a challenging total.

When its time to bat came, Ireland reached 26 in 5.4 overs when Jeremy Gordon got the big wicket of skipper Paul Stirling (9).

Andrew Balbirnie (17) followed suit, caught and bowled by leg-spinner Junaid Siddiqui and Canada skipper Saad Bin Zafar bowled Harry Tector for seven to leave Ireland reeling at 41 for three in the eighth over.

Things turned from bad to worse for Ireland as it lost three more wickets in quick succession. Lorcan Tucker (10) was run out, while Curtis Campher (4) and Gareth Delany (3) were dismissed by Dilon Heyliger as Ireland slipped to 59 for six in the 13th over and stared at an imminent defeat.

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