KING CITY, Ont. — Nicholas Kirton scored 48 runs and Saad Bin Zafar added another 43 to help Canada defeat Denmark by 74 runs Wednesday in ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League A play.
Canada finished its 50 overs with 219 runs at the expense of eight wickets. The home side then dismissed the Danes for 145 all out after 43.2 overs with bowler Dillon Heyliger taking five wickets.
The six-team tournament, which runs through Aug. 7 at the Maple Leaf Cricket Club, is part of the World Cup qualifying process. Malaysia, Qatar, Singapore and Vanuatu are also taking part.
Canada plays Singapore on Saturday.
The Challenge Leagues are a 2 1/2-year competition involving 12 teams considered three steps away from the 2023 World Cup. The King City event was originally slated to be held last August but was pushed back due to the pandemic.
Denmark won the toss and elected to put Canada into bat.
The Canadians lost Rayyan Pathan with just two runs on the board with fellow opener Navneet Dhaliwal exiting 18 runs later. But Matthew Spoors (27) and Kirton steadied the ship with a 55-run partnership.
Surya Anand led the Danish batters with 39 runs. The Denmark batting order collapsed at the tail, with the last five wickets going for just seven runs.
There are two Challenge Leagues, A and B, each comprising six teams that play 15 matches each over two years. Canada is in Group A while Group B is made up of Bermuda, Hong Kong, Italy, Jersey, Kenya and Uganda.
Canada currently tops Group A at 5-1 while Uganda heads Group B at 8-2.
The top team in each league at the end of the competition will secure two of the six places in the Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier Playoff to be held later in 2022, alongside the bottom four of Men's CWC League 2. The top two teams from the playoff continue in the hunt to participate in India 2023.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2022
The Canadian Press