UAE’s Zahid Shah bowling to Canada’s centurion Zubin Sarkari
Final : Canada V Scotland
Two storming performances in the semi-finals which tested both teams to the full have led to Canada meeting Scotland in the Final from November 21-23.
Canada had the more difficult encounter against strongly fancied local favourites the UAE in last week’s semi-final and came through, in a drawn-match, on points. The pressure of local expectation may have told (yet again) on the UAE team but there can be no denying the sterling qualities of the Canadian performances in the absence of their star all-rounder John Davison. Every player made a contribution and most importantly, when things had to happen, they did. Partnerships were built at critical times, wickets were taken when they had to be.
The UAE didn’t play badly they were just beaten by a team who fought harder than anyone they’ve yet encountered at this level and who made the canny decisions at the most opportune times.
Scotland had a relatively easier ride against Kenya in the semi-final, opting for batting and bowling practice in the second half of the match after gaining a first-innings lead of 205, but they are not to be under-estimated. In a side studded with cricketers who play English county cricket, they are tremendously motivated by the prospect of winning this tournament and thus gaining further credence for their campaign to be awarded ODI status.
The climax of the Intercontinental Cup has been an excellent standard-bearer for the ICC associates and whatever the result, the competition has proven to be a winner. It’s really been first – class cricket.
Filed November 19th 2004