Netherlands 297 and 49 for 3 (Szwarczynski 21*, Borren 0*) lead Canada 337 for 9 dec (Dhaniram 73, Osinde 60*, Sandhar 57, Shahzad Khan 55) by nine runs
Canada was well placed at the end of the second day of the ICC Intercontinental Cup match with the Netherlands in Toronto, having secured the points for a first innings win and having put the Dutch under pressure second time around.
Four Canadian batsmen scored half-centuries as the home team took a 30-run first innings lead and followed that up with three early wickets to leave the Netherlands 49-3 at the close, just ten runs in front. The Canadians will be hoping for early morning breakthroughs on Saturday to force home their advantage and clinch an overall win.
The Dutch will be ruing a number of missed opportunities, having let a couple of catches go down and they also had their share of poor fortune, not least when Canada captain Ashish Bagai was out caught off a no-ball.
Debutant Shahzad Khan scored 55 runs in a fine knock that included five fours. Middle-order batsman Sunil Dhaniram then sculpted an accomplished 73 runs with support from tail-end batsmen Kevin Sandher, who made 57 and Henry Osinde, who ended unbeaten on 60. Having taken four wickets in the first innings, Osinde is already staking his claim for the man of the match award.
Earlier, Umar Bhatti was hit on the thumb by a ball and retired hurt. He was ready to bat in an attempt to take the lead, but when Sandher was out at 337-9, Canada opted to declare as it already had the first innings points in the bag at that stage.
Osinde then roared in to take the first Dutch wicket, that of in-form opener Alexei Kervezee who had scored 98 runs in the first innings. Two more wickets made it a good day for Canada.
Play resumes at 10.30 am at Maple Leaf Cricket Club, King City, on Saturday.
Canada interim coach Pubudu Dassanayake paid tribute to his players for what he felt was a great comeback.
"The tail batted very well. I'm happy with the way it went, we played as a team today," he said. "However, the game is still open and there is still a lot of work to do but I am really happy with three (second innings) wickets under our belt."
The ICC Intercontinental Cup has quickly grown in stature and profile since its inception three years ago and now the ICC's premier first-class tournament is an integral part of the Associate Members' cricket schedule.
Having previously been designed around a two-group, three-day format, the event has evolved into an eight-team, round-robin and truly global tournament featuring four-day cricket which gives those teams who do not play Test cricket the chance to experience the longer form of the game.
Scotland won the first ICC Intercontinental Cup in 2004, beating Canada in the final, while Ireland has been victorious in both events since then, beating Kenya in the 2005 decider and Canada earlier this year in the 2006-07event.
The final of the ICC Intercontinental Cup 2007-08 will take place in November 2008 at a venue yet to be decided.
James Fitzgerald is ICC Communications Officer