Bermuda hold edge ahead of intriguing final day
Canada 228 and 32 for 4 need 226 runs to beat Bermuda 237 and 248 (Romaine 84, Edness 46, Dhaniram 4-36, Saad Bin Zafar 4-58)
Bermuda have been marginally behind Canada over the first two days in terms of holding the advantage in their ICC Intercontinental Cup match in King City. Today, however, their lower-order shored up a second-innings collapse to post a competitive target after which their bowlers rattled Canada's top order. Irving Romaine scored 84 to lead Bermuda to 248, the highest total of the match, and then Stefan Kelly and Dwayne Leverock took two wickets each to reduce Canada to 32 for 4, needing 226 runs on the final day with only six wickets in hand.
Bermuda began the day on 78 for 5 and their perilous position reflected in the patient approach adopted by Romaine, who was on 14 overnight, and Jekon Edness. They took no chances and steadily accumulated their runs. At one stage, left-arm spinner Sunil Dhaniram had bowled 46 consecutive dot balls and when Romaine finally took a run off him, he did a mock celebration. The cautious method, however, reaped results and Bermuda added 74 for no loss in the first session, extending their lead to 161.
The partnership was broken shortly after the break, when Edness, on 46, popped a catch to cover off Saad Bin Zafar. Canada had a shot at Bermuda's tail but Leverock proved difficult to dismiss. He stuck around for 93 balls, providing Romaine, who brought up his 50 off 211 balls, with valuable support. The pair added 65 runs for the seventh wicket before Romaine edged an attempted cover drive off Zafar. His innings of 84 spanned nearly five hours.
Bermuda's innings ended shortly after tea with Dhaniram taking the final two wickets to make it eight for the match. Canada's spinners - Dhaniram, Zafar and Karun Jethi - had taken all ten second-innings wickets.
To win, Canada would have to score the highest score of the match - 258 - never an easy task in the final innings. There were 12 overs remaining in the day and although Bermuda were missing George O'Brien, their new-ball bowler who injured his ankle during warm-ups, they caused considerable damage during this period. Kelly trapped Abdool Samad lbw for a first-ball duck with an offcutter and then had Trevin Bastiampillai caught on the deep backward square-leg boundary to reduce Canada to 10 for 2. The introduction of Leverock's left-arm spin brought Bermuda two more wickets: Geoff Barnett caught at leg slip and Zafar at bat pad.
Bermuda ended the day with the advantage and are six wickets away from securing a victory. Canada, however, bat deep and they will need all their resources to score the remaining 226 runs.