Ashish Bagai missed a maiden first-class century as Canada piled on the runs against Afghanistan on the first day of the four-day first-class ICC Intercontinental Cup match at Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah on Saturday.
Bagai was dismissed for 93 as Canada finished at 350-6 after electing to bat first. The 28-year-old, playing in his 12th first-class match, hit 15 fours in a 144-ball knock.
Bagai featured in a 155-run third wicket partnership with Nitish Kumar who chipped in with 74 that included seven fours. Opener Trevin Bastiampillai also showed good form when he scored 55 with nine fours and was involved in two half-century stands.
For the first wicket, Bastiampillai put on 61 runs with Sandeep Jyoti (32) while for the second wicket with Kumar, he added 50 runs.
When the stumps were drawn for the day, Sunil Dhaniram and Umar Bhatti were at the crease. Dhaniram was batting on 38 while Bhatti was on one.
For Afghanistan, Samiullah Shenwari was the pick of the bowlers with 3-66 while Shapoor Zadran, Mirwais Ashraf and Mohammad Nabi bagged one wicket each.
Scores in brief:
At Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah (day one):
Canada 350-6 (Ashish Bagai 93, Nitish Kumar 74, Trevin Bastiampillai 55; Samiullah Shenwari 3-66) v Afghanistan
Scorecard and points table available at http://www.icc-cricket.com/events_and_awards/intercontinental_cup/index.php
There will be a total of US$250,000 in prize money for the Associate and Affiliate teams taking part in the ICC Intercontinental Cup with US$100,000 for the winners and US$40,000 for the runners-up.
Having previously been designed around a two-group, three-day format, the event then evolved into an eight-team, round-robin and truly global tournament featuring four-day cricket which gives those teams who do not play Test cricket the chance to experience the longer form of the game.
This year's format include seven teams (Afghanistan, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands, Scotland and Zimbabwe XI), while the new competition, the ICC Intercontinental Shield, involves the four teams below that, namely Bermuda, Namibia, Uganda and the United Arab Emirates.
Scotland won the first ICC Intercontinental Cup in 2004, beating Canada in the final, while Ireland has been victorious in all three events since then, beating Kenya in the 2005 decider, Canada in the 2006-07 event and Namibia in 2007-08.
Go to http://www.icc-cricket.com/events_and_awards/intercontinental_cup/index.php
to find out more.