Namibia 191-8 (Erasmus 72, Kotze 36, Amjad Mahboob 3-29) defeated Singapore 104 (Param 28, Rangarajan 16, Frylinck 4-21) by 87 runs
Namibia ran away with their fourth consecutive victory at the T20 World Cup Qualifier, comfortably overcoming Singapore under lights in Dubai.
Singapore won the toss and elected to field with captain Amjad Mahboob believing that chasing a target was the team’s best chance of progressing to the next stage. The tactic wasn’t followed through with the best execution however, as Namibia raced to 40 without loss in the first 4 overs.
Both Stephen Baard and Niko Davin contributed in the blistering start, though Baard met his end in the fifth over, top-edging a Sidhant Singh delivery for a caught and bowled. Davin followed next over after finding Tim David in the deep, though not before contributing with three boundaries in a knock of 21 (15).
Craig Williams fell for Sidhant’s second scalp, though the Namibians continued their attack. JP Kotze showed glimpses of his quality, with a slog sweep for six off Vinoth Baskaran into the second tier, giving Namibian fans flashbacks to some of his electrifying 2019 knocks.
Kotze was almost a spectator in the next passage of play, as Gerhard Erasmus took a liking to Sidhant. Shuffling across to expose the leg-side, the skipper plundered four consecutive sixes, forcing the Singaporean fielders to play more of a ball-fetching role. Erasmus added a four and a single in the over, to take the team total from 95 to 124.
Kotze fell for 36 (25) in the next over though the wicket did little in stopping the bleeding for Singapore, as JJ Smit continued the charge. He and Erasmus combined in a 53-run partnership in just 30 balls, with half of his runs coming in boundaries.
Singapore’s fielding under the Dubai lights left a lot to be desired in the back end of the innings, with several dropped catches and misfields allowing the Namibians to squeeze extra runs. Singapore held on to two chances in the final over, including the wicket of Erasmus who finished with 72 off 46 balls. Erasmus showed his multi-dimensional game again in the second straight innings, backing up his 52 not out against Kenya with a combination of power and touch.
With 192 to win, Singapore’s body language walking off looked of a side who had almost conceded defeat. Their reply got off to the worst possible start, with Surendran Chandramohan completely beaten by Jan Frylinck in the first over. Finding prodigious swing through the night sky, Frylinck also beat the opener for pace to make a mess of his stumps.
Sent in at three to make the most of the Power Play, Aryaman Uchil showed good early signs with a muscled drive over long-off. The success was short-lived however, falling next ball. Coming down the track, Aryaman top-edged his shot, and found JP Kotze who took a good catch under the high ball at third man.
Rohan Rangarajan showed promise with consecutive boundaries with a paddled scoop and an outside edge, though he met a similar fate to those before him. His flick off the inside half of his bat fell into the hands of Stephen Baard, and his team were well and truly reeling at 34-4.
Facing just eight balls in the first five overs Tim David watched his teammates fall away, though also couldn’t capitalise on a free hit opportunity given by Ben Shikongo. The young Walvis Bay product made an error of bowling a second short ball in the over, though made amends with a yorker that David couldn’t get under.
The miserly Bernard Scholtz tightened the screws for Namibia claiming a frustrated David win his third ball. Running down too early, the Perth Scorcher was outfoxed and became the left-armer’s 11th scalp of the tournament after Zane Green completed the stumping chance. Manpreet Singh fell in the next over to Craig Williams, top-edging to Shikongo on the rope at fine leg.
Frylinck’s reintroduction brought the wicket of Prakash who sliced to Kotze at third man on the circle, and he claimed a 4th as Sidhant Singh knicked off to extend his lead as the tournament’s highest wicket-taker. Christi Viljoen finished the job, finishing with 3-14 off 3.1 overs, as Singapore tumbled to 104 all out in the 18th over.
Having played their final group game and securing their progress into the playoff stage, Namibia will have their final position determined by the final two matches in Group A, with PNG taking on Kenya and the Netherlands taking on Scotland.
A scorecard of the match can be found here.
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