With a convincing victory against their closest rivals Singapore, the hosts Canada moved two points clear of the CWC Challenge League A standings. Skipper Navneet Dhaliwal scored an undefeated century to help his team cross the finish line with six wickets and more than eight overs to spare. Meanwhile, Vanuatu was easily defeated by Denmark. Hamid Shah, the Danish captain, similarly grabbed the initiative when batting. His 121-run opening stand with Nicolaj Laegsgaard laid the groundwork for a mammoth 295-run total before the same duo combined for seven wickets to bowl Vanuatu out for only 158.
Laegsgaard, a towering left-hander who bats almost entirely for fours and sixes and who scored all but 15 of his 69 runs in boundaries, got the scoring going quickly. Denmark had already gotten off to a fast start when he was caught off Willaimsing Nalisa in the 22nd over, with the score at 121-1. Shah eventually was captured on the sweep for a 128-ball 85 while trying to force the pace off Rival Samson. Subsequently, he had formed somewhat more reserved partnerships with the other middle order players. Oliver Hald, though, grabbed control of the scoring, slamming an undefeated 37 off 24 at the very end to lift Denmark to a commanding 285-8.
The goal was always going to be out of reach for Vanuatu, especially without their powerful captain Patrick Matuataava, who is still in opposing territory after being delayed in Denmark due to visa complications. In the reply, returning captain Andrew Mansale hit a commendable undefeated 68, but none of his players stuck with him for very long. Prior to Shah’s switch to spinning, Laegsgaard got four straight wickets with his left-arm spin. Hald then took two wickets in the top order. Vanuatu ultimately scored 158 runs with 11.3 overs remaining because to the Danish skipper’s offspin, which cleaned up the tail.
The captain’s undefeated century propelled him to second place in the League’s aggregate run rankings, only behind Singapore’s missing and much missed Tim David. The victory over Singapore was as emphatic for the hosts. Surendran Chandramohan, Singapore’s starting pitcher, is third on that list, so when he nicked off to Ammar Khalid six balls into Singapore’s innings, the home team may have thought their work was already half done. As Singapore reached three figures thanks to fellow opener Rohan Rangarajan’s 78-ball 49, things started to go south quickly after he was run out by Matt Spoors in the 24th.
As long as Dhaliwal remained in the middle, which showed out to be the whole innings, the outcome barely appeared to be in doubt. Despite losing Rayyan Pathan early, Dhaliwal put together a cool 64-run partnership with Matt Spoors for the second wicket. After a double-strike from Paraam in the 15th over threatened to stop the momentum, Dhaliwal and Varun Sehdev added another 73 runs to the partnership to bring his team within 50 runs of victory. On the 32nd delivery, Sehdev was bowled by Vinod Baskaran for 32, but at that point, the main concern was whether Dhaliwal would have enough room to reach his century.
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