Canada and Barbados win on bowlers' day
Canada opened their Caribbean T20 campaign with a convincing 23-run win over Hampshire at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua. After choosing to bat, Canada seemed to have made an inadequate 129, but it proved sufficient as a couple of run-outs and a stifling spell from left-arm spinner Parth Desai kept Hampshire to 106 for 8.
Canada made a solid, but unhurried, start as their openers put on 39 in six overs before Hiral Patel was run out. Ruvindu Gunasekera, who dominated the opening stand, fell in the next over and their batting mainstay, Ashish Bagai, was also dismissed soon after for 8. Thirty-two-year-old Rizwan Cheema then ensured the run-rate remained above six with a quick 31 that included two sixes.
Chasing a smallish target, Hampshire made a slow and steady start before losing their way. Even at 65 for 3 in the 14th over, they were not irredeemably off course, but they lost three wickets for five runs in the next two overs to be shut out of the match.
The day's second match was also a low-scoring encounter, during which Barbados chased down 113 despite two brief rain interruptions. Leeward Islands had opted to bat, but a top-order failure meant they didn't make the most of winning the toss. They were 44 for 5 at one stage, and out of the top five only Devon Thomas made it to double digits. Thirties from Tonito Willett and Justin Athanaze pushed Leewards past 100, but their total still proved too small.
Barbados' top-order also failed, and they were stuttering at 23 for 4, with big-hitter Dwayne Smith dismissed for 13. Man of the Match Alcino Holder, though, made an unbeaten 44, the highest score in the match, to steer Barbados to victory in the final over.