Canada v Bermuda, ICC Intercontinental Cup, King City, 2nd day July 6, 2008

Canada back on top after conceding lead

Cricinfo staff

Bermuda 237 and 78 for 5 lead Canada 228 (Billcliff 56, Kandappah 51*, Leverock 5-69) by 87 runs

Fifteen wickets fell on the second day of the Intercontinental Cup match between Canada and Bermuda at King City and, even though Canada collapsed to give the visitors a slender first-innings lead, their bowlers put them back on top by the end of the day. Canada were dismissed for 228, Dwayne Leverock taking 5 for 69 with his left-arm spin, in reply to Bermuda's first-innings score of 237 but their spin attack reduced the visitors to 78 for 5 in the second innings by stumps.

Canada began the second day on 14 for 0, trailing by 223 runs. Their openers Geoff Barnett and Abdool Samad started steadily, adding 21 runs in the first six overs. The partnership was broken on 35 when Samad, trying to play a delivery from Ryan Steede on the leg side, was caught by Chris Foggo at short square leg. The second-wicket stand began to consolidate Canada's position but Leverock struck two quick blows to dismiss Barnett, caught at cover, and Trevin Bastiampillai, held by Foggo at short square once again. Canada had slipped from 76 for 1 to 77 for 3.

The partnership between Canada's captain Ian Billcliff and Arvind Kandappah began to shift the momentum towards the hosts. Kandappah did not follow the cautious approach of the top order and attacked Leverock instead. He scored boundaries all round the ground and hit a straight six over the sight screen to go into lunch on 43 off 29 balls. Billcliff provided the stability at the other end and Canada were 121 for 3 at lunch.

Kandappah got to his half-century off 38 balls after the interval but a back injury forced the 37-year old to retire hurt shortly after. Canada's momentum was broken and a steady stream of wickets followed. Sunil Dhaniram was bowled by Stefan Kelly by one which moved in as he tried to play aggressively, while Leverock found a way through Saad bin Zafar's defences.

Billcliff alternated between caution and aggression, scoring his fifty of 111 balls, but as wickets fell around him he scored at a quicker pace, hitting sixes over long-on. When he got out for 56, lofting a catch to George O'Brien at deep cover, Canada were 10 runs short of Bermuda's total with one wicket in hand. Kandappah returned to resume his innings but didn't face a ball as Henry Osinde offered a return catch to Rodney Trott to give Bermuda first-innings points.

Bermuda's openers, Foggo and Oronde Bascome, had made ducks in the first innings but they provided a steady start against Canada's new-ball attack, Osinde and Eion Katchay, by extending the lead to 49.

The introduction of spin sparked the collapse. Bascome was caught and bowled by Karun Jethi and Foggo's attempted sweep against Dhaniram landed in Billcliff's hands at slip. Bermuda went from 40 for 0 to 48 for 3 when Barnett caught Outerbridge, Bermuda's top-scorer in the first innings, for a duck at cover. James Celestine batted aggressively, hitting two fours and two sixes in his 22 but eventually edged Jethi to the wicketkeeper.

Bermuda's captain Irving Romaine and Rodney Trott performed damage control, batted nine out of the remaining ten overs with caution. However, Saad bin Zafar ended Trott's resistance, 1 off 30 balls, in the final minutes of the day by bowling him with a quicker ball.