BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CMC) – Barbados Pride confirmed their spot in next week’s Super50 Cup semi-finals in Trinidad with a comfortable seven-wicket win over minnows Canada here yesterday.There was no massive effort required on the part of the multiple-time champions as they bundled Canada out for 154 off 44 overs before romping to their target in the 23rd over, to finish with six wins from their eight preliminary round matches and top Group A with 24 points.The second semi-finalists will be confirmed today when second-placed Leeward Islands Hurricanes take on third-placed Jamaica Scorpions.Choosing to bat first, Canada slumped to 24 for four in the eighth over as discarded Test seamer Miguel Cummins (3-19) scythed through the top order with a devastating new-ball spell.He trapped left-hander Jeet Metha lbw on the drive without scoring, in the second over and returned in his next two overs to bowl in-form Harsh Thaker without scoring and have Nitish Kumar caught-and-bowled for seven.In-between, seamer Kyle Mayers accounted for opener Rayyan Pathan for 10, to a catch at the wicket.Kanwar Mann led a rally, top-scoring with 44 from 65 balls and helping to post 52 for the fifth wicket with Kanwarpal Tathgur who made 13.Off-spinner Ashley Nurse (2-46), who captained the side even though regular skipper Jonathan Carter was included, struck twice in the 22nd over to remove Tathgur and Shreyas Movva (4) to leave the North American side on 80 for six.Mann then combined with Shahid Ahmadzai, whose unbeaten 39 included five fours and a six from 53 balls, to post 28 for the seventh wicket and push Canada past 100.When Mann, who counted four fours, was run-out at the non-striker’s end, backing up too far in the 27th over, Ahmadzai managed to add precious runs in an eighth-wicket stand with Harmandeep Singh (11) worth 37.In reply, Pride made light work of the paltry target as opener Kjorn Ottley top-scored with 50 off 38 deliveries. Zachary McCaskie stroked an unbeaten 38 off 36 balls while Carter chipped in with 32 off 28 deliveries.Ottley, who struck half-dozen fours and two sixes, posted 54 off 40 balls for the first wicket with Leniko Boucher (22) to give the innings a rousing start.Boucher faced 19 balls before lofting off-spinner Kumar (2-31) to long-on in the seventh over and his dismissal paved the way for McCaskie to anchor two key partnerships and see his side home.McCaskie, a 23-year-old right-hander in his first game at this level, punched six fours as he added 30 for the second wicket with Ottley and 60 off 50 balls for the third wicket with Carter.Ottley fell in the 11th over, brilliantly caught low down at slip pushing at Kumar and Carter perished in the 19th, edging a booming drive at pacer Harmandeep, to be caught behind after belting four fours and two sixes. However, McCaskie remained until the end.
Clonmel’s Dean Gardiner says he’ll be aiming to use his experience to win gold at the inaugural European Games in June. The Tipp man has been included in the Irish Team to travel to Baku next month alongside a total of 63 athletes who will take part in the competition across 14 different sports.Dean Gardiner will compete in the super-heavyweight division and he says his hard training is paying off. The games will get underway on the 12th June.