Canada keeps Cricket World Cup dream alive with Challenge League victory

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia

Canada beat Malaysia to claim Challenge League Group A and seal a ticket to the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier Playoff in 2023.

Winning their final Challenge League match with a resounding 189-run victory over Malaysia, Canada have topped the group with 27 points and advanced to the World Cup Qualifier Play-off 2023.

It means the side are one step closer to reaching the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, though have two more qualification steps on their way to India, first via the six-team Qualifier Playoff, and the Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.

It’s been a dominant display by the Canadians across the Challenge League campaign — losing just one match in 15 outings — their only defeat all the way back in September 2019. They continued to showcase their good form earlier this week in Malaysia, accounting for Qatar in a four-wicket win, before a trouncing 187-run victory over Singapore to punch their Playoff tickets.

Openers Aaron Johnson (60) and Pargat Singh (83) set the tone at Bayuemas Oval in their Singapore trouncing, before a knock of 41 from Harsh Thaker and a quickfire half-century from Nikhil Dutta (53 not out) propelled the side to 294/9.

Singapore had no answer for Saad bin Zafar in reply, with the left-arm orthodox spinner tearing apart the middle order and cleaning up the tail to finish with 5/18 from 6.2 overs, an ICC report said.

With this, Canada joined Jersey (winner of the other Challenge League group) as two of the six teams to turn out at the Cricket World Cup Playoff, with the pair joined by the bottom four finishers of League 2, scheduled to finish in early 2023.

The United States of America and Papua New Guinea will feature in the Playoff as both sides are unable to climb out of the bottom four, with UAE and Nepal, the remaining bottom four teams at present, still mathematically able to climb into the top three.

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