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CWC Challenge League: Canada Step Closer to Reclaim ODI Status with Challenge League Title

CWC Challenge League

With another great performance in the last CWC Challenge League A match, Canada moved closer to regaining their ODI status. The team went undefeated through the third leg of the league to finish ten points in front of second-place Jersey and seal a spot in the World Cup Qualifying Playoff.

The six-team international List lost just one of their 10 games played during the course of the competition’s first two legs. Canada once more defeated Qatar, Singapore, Denmark, and hosts Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. There was only a wash-out versus Vanuatu preventing a clean sweep for the Canadians. Even without previous captain and top scorer Navneet Dhaliwal, Canada easily defeated the opposition. With the bat, Pragat Singh and Srimantha Wijeratne effectively filled in for Dhaliwal, while former Pakistan under-19 seamer Kaleem Sana claimed 16 wickets in four games.

Let’s see how the other teams performed at CWC Challenge League:


At the beginning of the week, Singapore appeared to be in the best position to compete for the top spot, trailing the Canadians by only four points. However, a new-look squad that was missing Tim David (now an Australian) as well as senior players Arjum Mutreja and Surendran Chandramohan quickly lost the race after losing their opening match to underdog Vanuatu, the first of five straight losses. In their third match, they were able to exert significant pressure on Denmark as Aritra Dutta’s 99 off 113 runs helped them reach 217-9. However, Nicolaj Laegsgaard’s quick 61 from the top of the order gave Denmark the advantage, and despite losing 8 wickets, they managed to complete the chase with 22 balls to spare.


Laegsgaard’s all-around efforts throughout the three legs of the competition contributed significantly to Denmark’s strong performance. In addition to his 26 wickets, the left-arm spinner scored 265 runs at an average of more than one run per ball. Laegsgaard is a strong candidate for League MVP and a major factor in Denmark’s second-place finish, which they achieved by finishing level with Qatar on 17 points but ahead on net run rate. Laegsgaard’s opening partner Hamid Shah, who finished first in the run aggregates across the competition with 605 runs at 43 in Denmark’s 14 matches, is also a strong contender.


With three wins out of the four games the weather allowed them to play, Qatar will also be happy with their performance. They pushed Canada harder than any other team, cutting the leaders’ lead to 31-3 before Nicholas Kirton helped them recover. While Mohammad Nadeem continued to highlight the dominance of left-arm spin in the competition by taking 5-18 to spin out hosts Malaysia and finishing fourth in the wicket totals behind Laegsgaard and bin Zafar and just ahead of another left-arm spinner in Singapore’s Vinoth Baskaran, Akash Babu in particular had a strong tournament with the bat, scoring consecutive half centuries to set up victories over Malaysia and Singapore.


Malaysia never had much of a chance to escape the relegation zone despite winning three games in their final home leg, including their tournament opening victory over the Danes by two wickets. Together with Vanuatu, whose first victory over Singapore turned out to be their final of the tournament, Malaysia will compete in the Challenge Playoff next year along with Italy, Bermuda, and four other teams who qualified based on T20 rankings. They must place in the top four to keep their position on the 50-over international ladder.

While group champions Canada and Jersey advance to the CWC Qualifier Playoff, where they will face Papua New Guinea, the USA, and two other teams currently in League 2, they have already secured their spots in the upcoming edition of the Challenge League (or whatever may replace it). There, they will compete for two spots at the World Cup Qualifier against Papua New Guinea and the USA. Although it is unlikely that Canada will qualify for the ten-team 2023 World Cup, they will have the opportunity to regain their ODI status and return to the Associates top-flight competition through the Qualifier Playoff.


Himani Verma
Himani Vermahttps://stumpsandbails.com
Passionate about cricket the same way Jim was about pranking Dwight!

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