Bermuda 272 for 7 (Romaine 101, Codrington 3-31) beat Canada 261 (Billcliff 59, Davison 55, Durham 4-45, O'Brien 3-62) by 11 runs
Bermuda completed a 2-0 series win over Canada with an 11-run win at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club, inflicting the fourth defeat in four ODI matches played by the Canadians in the last month. Although they had the consolation of a victories in the Intercontinental Cup, the results are a major blow to Canada's World Cup preparations.
Irvine Romaine's 101 was the anchor of Bermuda's impressive 272 for 7, and although Canada batted much better than in other games, there were always slightly behind the clock and in the end the stiff target was just out of reach. Romaine, a powerful striker of the ball, slammed his hundred off 111 balls, hitting five sixes and 12 fours.
The controversial decision by the Canadian selectors to omit their regular opening bowling combination of Henry Osinde and Umar Bhatti from this match surely had a bearing on the outcome. Austin Codrington did take the first three wickets that fell, but there was not the same control and power in the opening bowling as usual.
The selection throughout the summer has been a mess, and although this was identified as a problem after last year's failure in the Intercontinental Cup, nothing seems to have changed.
One local observer noted: "There should have been a focus on preparing for the World Cup, realistically from the time Canada qualified in the 2005 ICC Trophy, but this has not been the case. Indeed since the 2001 ICC Trophy was played in the Greater Toronto area there has been a procession of coaches for the national side. Additionally, there have been three High Performance Managers in the past year; something which does not lend itself to a proper evaluation and selection process."
The section on Canada in the ICC Americas Annual Report for 2005-2006 indicated the new national coach was to have a say in the selection process. This does not appear to have been put in place.
At least this time Canada batted with conviction. John Davison looked good for his 55, and then Ian Billcliff played a good innings that gave his side hope for victory. If nothing else, this match saw Canada reach a respectable total for the first time this summer. But it will be Bermuda who emerge from this brief series with hope for the World Cup. For Canada, time is fast running out to get out of first gear.