Americas Under-19 World Cup qualifiers, 3rd day August 16, 2007

Gunasekara and Fray hammer centuries

Cricinfo staff

Terryn Fray poses in front of the scoreboard © ICC
Openers Ruvindu Gunasekera and Terryn Fray stroked centuries of contrasting styles and offspinner Pratik Patel captured a remarkable 7 for 3 as Canada and Bermuda maintained their winning streak in the five-team round-robin Americas Under-19 World Cup qualifier in Toronto.

Gunasekera hit a 107-ball 155, punctuated with 25 boundaries, and Patel recorded figures of 5-2-3-7 to play pivotal roles in Canada's 343-run victory over the Bahamas. Fray scored a watchful 144-ball 119, which included six boundaries to inspire Bermuda to a 230-run win over Argentina.

It was Bermuda's third successive victory while for Canada it was their second from as many games. As things are shaping up in this event, it appears that the winner of the Bermuda and Canada match on Saturday will decide who joins the ICC's 10 Full Members, hosts Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Ireland at the 16-team U-19 World Cup in Malaysia next February.

In the Canada-Bahamas match, Gunasekara was in a punishing mood as he completely dominated an inexperienced Bahamas bowling attack by making the ball disappear to different parts of the ground at regular intervals. His stroke selection was immaculate as he successfully pierced the field to score most of his runs in boundaries.

Gunasekara was involved in a 182-run fourth-wicket partnership with Pratik Patel to lay the platform for a huge score of 423 in 49.4 overs after Canada, put into bat, were reduced to 92 for 3. Patel scored 75 from 68 balls with three fours and a six.

Ruvindu Gunasekera cracks one of his 25 boundaries © Eddie Norfolk

Kevin James provided further impetus to Canada's run riot as he struck nine boundaries in his 30-ball 57. Hasan Raza Zaidi (33) and Rustum Bhatti (28) also scored at more than a run-a-ball to make sure the Bahamas were batted out of the match.

Bahamas, in their chase, made a positive start when they reached 70 without loss but the introduction of offspinner Pratik Patel sent them crashing for 80. Patel returned his outstanding figures, but couldn't beat Gunasekara to the Man-of-the-Match award.

Elsewhere, Terryn Fray batted with concentration and application to propel Bermuda to 326 for 6 in 50 overs. He featured in two fruitful partnerships. For the third wicket, he added 76 runs with Malachi Jones who contributed a 24-ball 44 with six fours and two sixes then added 69 for the fourth with Marcio Bassett (26).

Argentina were bowled out for 96 with only Pedro Bruno (29) and Horacio Esperon (13) reaching double figures. For Bermuda, the seam-bowling duo of Stefan Kelly (4 for 26) and Greg Maybury (4 for 19) shared the honours. After Thursday's rest day, Canada meet Cayman Islands and Argentina face Bahamas on Friday.

Team Mat Won Lost Tied Aban Pts
Bermuda 3 3 0 0 0 6
Canada 2 2 0 0 0 4
Cayman Islands 2 1 1 0 0 2
Bahamas 2 0 2 0 0 0
Argentina 3 0 3 0 0 0