ICC Tri-Series 2006-07 November 29, 2006

Canada pleased with early showings

Eddie Norfolk

Sunil Dhaniram drives during his match-winning 63 off 42 balls against Bermuda © ICC
Allrounder George Codrington is captaining Canada for the first time on the current tour to South Africa. Speaking on Wednesday, as the side traveled back to Pretoria, he said "The trip is going pretty well The guys have worked really hard in the last couple of days and have shown great commitment to get acclimatised in about four days and play two pretty solid games."

The journey from Toronto via London was a long one, with many hours spent at Heathrow Airport. After arriving on Wednesday the team were soon undergoing fitness workouts around the University of Pretoria's High Performance Centre grounds. Indeed, the squad was soon in the nets on Wednesday after the trip from Potchefstroom, about two-and-a-half hours south of Pretoria.

Codrington was clearly disappointed that the hard work had not paid off with a win over Netherlands. "Extras could be seen as a source of defeat. If we could have cut the number of extras in half that would have made the [winning] total lower." He also mentioned a couple of dropped catches, one that allowed young Alexei Kervezee to keep the Dutch innings going in the final seven or eight overs."However, our commitment and thought processes were good."

He was "pretty happy" that the win over Bermuda meant the side had given "solid back-to-back performances. If we keep doing this we will have more success." He certainly was optimistic. "I think once we put the next two-three games together with the same effort, we will go into the World Cricket League with a bit of confidence. As long as we stay consistent, we'll be OK."

The Canadian squad went into this series without their overseas-based batting strength and Codrington held the individual highest ODI score of the squad with 45 not out. After two ODI's there are now a number of players who have passed the 50 mark. Others came close and probably should have broken that mark, but there is a positive feel around the squad. Some, but not all, of the runs came from Canadian participants in the recent ICC Winter Training Camp. Ashish Bagai hit 50 in consecutive matches, and Sunil Dhaniram put in a stellar performance to push his side towards victory over Bermuda. Don Maxwell and Desmond Chumney did well with the bat, showing the shot selection against the Netherlands that coach Andy Pick has sought since his first match in May against Zimbabwe.

"It is always encouraging to see personal bests," said Codrington. "If we keep going that route, we can only improve as a team and our performances will be a lot more consistent."