Given that they hadn't played an international match since the World Cup Qualifier in January last year, one could perhaps forgive the Canadian national side for being a little rusty. But little can excuse their performance in the first of four matches against Zimbabwe A today in Harare as they prepare for Division Two of the World Cricket League later this month.
Less than half of their squad from that World Cup Qualifier is in their squad for this African sojourn, with the team going through something of a rebuilding phase that they've been in desperate need of for a number of years now. Captain Jimmy Hansra sat out this opening contest, with wicketkeeper Hamza Tariq standing in.
Tariq won the toss and elected to put the hosts into bat. Their innings was dominated by Chamu Chibhabha, who scored 155 as he almost batted out the Zimbabwe A innings. He was finally dismissed two balls from the end of the Zimbabwe A innings, becoming the fourth wicket for Satsimranjit Dhindsa, playing his first game for Canada since 2011.
Only two other Zimbabwean batsmen were able to get a significant score though. Stuart Matsikenyeri, who hasn't played for the full Zimbabwean side since the 2012 World Twenty20, scored 50, whilst Timycen Maruma, who played on their tour of Bangladesh late last year, chipped in with 35. Zimbabwe A's total was 287-8.
Canada soon found themselves on the back foot as they were reduced to 34-4 within the first 12 overs. They were unable to recover from there. Navneet Dhaliwal, making his debut for Canada, batted well to score an unbeaten 86, but Canada were never in with a sniff of victory.
Tawanda Mupariwa, who last played for Zimbabwe over five years ago, was the pick of the home side's bowlers, taking 4-31 as Canada were kept to 176-6 from their 50 overs, losing by 111 runs. The two sides will meet at the same venue on Thursday.
Zimbabwe A beat Canada by 111 runs
Harare Sports Club, 6 January
Zimbabwe A 287-8 (50 overs, C Chibhabha 155, S Matsikenyeri 50, S Dhindsa 4-61, C Pervez 3-38)
Canada 176-6 (50 overs, N Dhaliwal 86*, T Mupariwa 4-31)