Canadian cricketers open ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier with a win over the Philippines

MUSCAT, Oman – Matthew Spoors scored a record 108 not out on his senior debut Friday as Canada defeated the Philippines by 118 runs at the ICC 2022 T20 World Cup Qualifier.

The eight-team event is one of two final global qualifiers for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.

The Philippines won the toss and elected to field first at Al Amarat Cricket Ground.

Spoors hit 14 fours and three sixes in his 66-ball inning. The former Australian under-19 player, who qualifies for Canada via his parents, shared a 149-run opening-wicket stand with Rayyan Pathan, who hit a 44-ball 73.

“We know that (Spoors) bats well so I am extremely happy for him,” said Canada captain Navneet Dhaliwal. “He is a guy who is going to make lot of runs for Canada ahead like how he did today.”

Canada collected 216 runs at the expense of one wicket in its 20 overs.

The Philippines managed just 98 runs at the expense of five wickets in its innings with Canadian bowlers Kaleem Sana and Saad Bin Zafar taking two wickets apiece. Daniel Smith was the best of the Filipino batsman with 35 runs.

“We know we have a lot of work to do,” said Philippines captain Jonathan Hill. “We are not really disappointed as this is our debut at this level and that we are playing together as a team for the first time in nearly three years. Obviously, lot of improvements have to be made but it was good that we didn’t get bowled out.”

Spoors, who was named player of the match, registered a Canadian-record T20I score.

“Rayyan and me knew our roles well,” he said. “We had a few practice games here and we have bonded well and that has worked well.”

Also on Friday in Group A play, Nepal defeated Oman by 39 runs. Group B features Bahrain, Germany, Ireland, and the United Arab Emirates.

On Saturday, Canada faces Oman and the Philippines take on Nepal.

Each team plays the others in its group, followed by classification matches. The two finalists will qualify for the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia later this year. Ireland and Oman qualified for the tournament by virtue of being eliminated in the first round of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, while Nepal and the U.A.E. booked their slots via their rankings in the ICC MRF Tyres Men’s T20I Team rankings.

The other teams advanced through regional qualifying tournaments with the U.S. and Canada finishing 1-2 at the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier in November in Antigua.

Canada has yet to qualify for the T20 World Cup.

The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier B is scheduled for July 11-17 in Harare with Hong Kong, Jersey, the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Uganda, the U.S. and host Zimbabwe taking part.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 18, 2022