Canada overcome sluggish start to down Suriname
Rizwan Cheema started his newest reign as Canada captain in winning fashion with a 62-run victory over Suriname in the first match ever played at Indianapolis World Sports Park on Sunday morning.
Suriname won the toss and wisely sent Canada in to bat on a wicket never before used on a slightly overcast and cool morning but were unable to capitalize on a series of chances offered in a sloppy batting display. Cheema was the chief beneficiary, top-scoring with 34 off 31 balls in Canada's total of 121 for 8 after being dropped on 0 at extra cover in the second over by star allrounder Sauid Drepaul.
Cheema was the only player in Canada's top six who scored at better than a run a ball as the middle order struggled to come to terms with the slightly sluggish nature of the pitch. Drepaul was on a hat-trick in the 18th over after Jimmy Hansra was caught at long-off for 15 and Hamza Tariq bowled for 16 mistiming a cut to make it 96 for 6 with 15 balls to go in the innings.
Nikhil Dutta and Satsimranjit Dhindsa provided a late burst for Canada and though the output with the bat was average at best, it could have been much worse. By the end of the first innings, Suriname had dropped four chances and missed a stumping but still held hopes of an upset.
However, Junaid Siddiqui sparked Canada in the field as he opened the bowling with back-to-back maidens, including the wicket of Shazam Ramjohn pinned on the crease for a duck to end the first over. He eventually finished with 2 for 7 from his four overs.
Medium-pacer Khurram Chohan opened at the opposite end and struck three balls later to keep up the momentum for Canada, getting Muneshwar Patandin edging to Srimantha Wijeratne at slip for 1 to make it 2 for 2 nine balls into the chase. After 10 overs, Suriname were 30 for 4 with captain Mohindra Boodram lofting Hansra's offspin to Cecil Pervez at long-on for 1 to end the 10th.
Dutta arrived to start the 12th and struck with his first ball, getting Troy Dudnath stumped for 3 after the batsman overbalanced groping at a full and wide delivery out of reach. Dutta proceeded to rip through the rest of Suriname's middle order and finished with 4 for 8 in four overs to be named Man of the Match. Wasim Akram Haslim was the only Suriname batsman to reach double figures, scoring 19 off 35 before he fell to Dutta in the 14th. Suriname eventually finished on 59 for 9.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna