Davison's allround magic gives Canada the upper hand
USA 110 for 8 (Davison 6-49) trail Canada 221 (Davison 84, de Groot 69) by 121 runs
Canada, somewhat surprisingly, held the upper hand after the opening day of the Intercontinental Cup match against the USA. This was in no small part due to an outstanding allround performance from their captain John Davison. Davison opened the batting, making 84, despite being forced to retire hurt. He then proceeded to devastate the American innings, taking six of the eight wickets to fall. At the close the USA were on 110 for 8, 121 behind Canada's first-innings total.
Canada won the toss and chose to bat in perfect conditions. Canada omitted Manzoor Chaudry and Kevin Sandher from their squad of 13, and the USA included Leon Romero as a last-minute replacement for Rohan Alexander. Davison opened with Desmond Chumney, and appeared to have made a good decision as Canada advanced to 57 without loss. This promising start soon stumbled, however, as Davison was forced to retire hurt, and the Canadian wickets tumbled against the American spinners. Zamin Amin and Javed Nasir each took two wickets as Canada struggled to 107 for 5 at lunch.
Davison returned after the interval and built a good partnership with Hani Dhillon. Davison eventually fell for 84, just two short of his first-class best, and Dhillon for an excellent 69 on an impressive debut. Dhillon faced 148 balls and hit 6 fours and two sixes.
The brand-new turf wicket - possibly to be used in the next World Cup - was low in bounce and clearly favoured spin bowling. Javed Nasir, the legspinner, excelled with 5 for 78, and Canada were dismissed for 221.
The American reply got off to a disastrous start when Johnson was dismissed first ball in the first over lbw to Patel. Richard Staple, the captain, who scored 30, and Romero stabilised the innings. With Clayton Lambert, the former West Indies Test batsman, to come, the Americans were in a strong position, but that was before Davison got in on the act again. America had no answer to his offspin as he recorded his best first-class figures of 6 for 42. He was well supported by Sunil Dhaniram who kept the pressure on with tight, accurate bowling, and was rewarded with the wicket of Reid. Davison took the prized scalp of Clayton Lambert, caught by Billcliff for just 2.