Canada downs Jersey to open play at ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Nitish Kumar scored 83 runs to help Canada defeat Jersey by 53 runs Sunday in its opening match at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier.

The 14-country event, which runs through Nov. 2, offers six spots in the main tournament set for Australia in 2020.

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Put to bat first, Canadian openers Rodrigo Thomas and Navneet Dhaliwal managed 13 and 36 runs, respectively. Then Kumar steadied the ship with a 36-ball innings that featured four fours and six sixes.

"Today was my day. Tomorrow might be someone else's," said Kumar. "So I was happy with the way I was hitting it. But I was just happy to get the win, I think."

Canada finished at 176 for five in its 20 innings at Tolerance Oval.

Only Jonty Jenner, with 56 runs, offered resistance as Jersey finished at 123 all out in 17 overs. Jeremy Gordon and Dilon Heyliger each took three wickets for Canada.

The teams are divided into two groups of seven with Canada drawn in Group B alongside the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jersey, Nigeria and Oman.

Canada plays Nigeria on Monday. The Nigerians lost Saturday to Jersey.

Canadian wicketkeeper Hamza Tariq received an official warning and one demerit point after being found guilty of a Level 1 breach of the ICC code of conduct during the match.

Tariq was found to have violated Article 2.5 of the code, which relates to "using language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batter upon his/her dismissal during an international match."

The incident happened in the seventh over of Jersey's innings, when Tariq said something to dismissed batsman Nick Greenwood.

The two group winners qualify directly for the T20 World Cup. Teams finishing second and third meet in playoffs with the winners moving on. The losers from the two playoffs face the fourth-placed teams in the group with the winners also advancing.

The six qualifiers will join Australia, Pakistan, India, England, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup, which takes place next October.

Canada failed to qualify for the six previous tournaments.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2019.

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