After suffering comprehensive defeats in their previous matches, both Namibia and Netherlands go into this encounter looking to get their T20 World Cup campaign back on track.
The Dutch looked listless and rusty in their clash with Ireland, wilting in the face of unrelenting Irish accuracy. Everyone apart from Max O’Dowd found it difficult to time the ball. The middle order had a particularly disastrous outing, with numbers 4-7 departing in the space of one incredible Curtis Campher over.
Namibia fared little better against Sri Lanka, dismissed for a paltry 96 runs. Their batters visibly looked visibly ill at ease against the speed merchant duo of Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Kumara, as well as the mystery spinner combo of Maheesh Theekshana and Wanindu Hasaranga. Namibia’s bowling showed more promise, with some tight early bowling reducing their opposition to 26/3. However, a target of 96 was too low to really challenge the Lankans who recovered to canter home with ease.
Both teams will look to put in far better batting performances in this do or die clash. The match is due to be played in Abu Dhabi; which has proven difficult for batting so far, with its two paced nature and assistance for both pacers and spinners. Therefore, a target of 140-150 runs could well turn out to be a winning one.
Head to Head
To date, Netherlands and Namibia have only played three T20Is (including two unofficial ones pre-2019) against each other with the Dutch holding a slight 2-1 advantage. The most recent game was during the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in 2019, where the Dutch pace attack ran through the Namibians en route to a 44 run victory.
Netherlands Predicted XI:
1. Max O’Dowd 2. Ben Cooper 3. Bas de Leede/Stephan Myburgh 4. Colin Ackermann 5. Ryan ten Doeschate 6. Scott Edwards † 7. Roelof van der Merwe 8. Pieter Seelaar (c) 9. Logan van Beek 10. Fred Klaassen 11. Brandon Glover/Paul van Meekeren/Phillipe Boissevain/Timm van der Gugten
Veteran batter Stephan Myburgh, (who was re-selected based on imperious Topklasse form) might get a game against Namibia at the expense of young Bas de Leede, if coach Ryan Campbell chooses to go with experience.
Promising 20 year old leg-spinner Phillipe Boissevain could feature if there is turn on offer. Campbell also has the option of shuffling his pace attack by replacing Brandon Glover with Paul van Meekeren (who had a fantastic CPL); or even consider Timm van der Gugten for additional batting depth.
Namibia Predicted XI:
1. Stephen Baard 2. Zane Green † 3. Craig Williams 4. Gerhard Erasmus (c) 5. David Wiese 6. JJ Smit 7. Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton 8. Pikky ya France 9. Jan Frylinck 10. Ruben Trumpelmann 11. Bernard Scholtz
Zane Green has opened for Namibia in the last four games, but his T20I batting stats after 15 innings make for grim reading (batting average of 9.50 with a strike rate of 95). A batting re-shuffle may be required for Namibia to get a better start, as Green hasn’t translated his domestic numbers into the international arena. Against Sri Lanka, he visibly struggled against the pace of Chameera and Kumara, getting hit on the helmet twice.
A lot has been made of David Wiese’s inclusion in the Namibian T20I squad. He’s a seasoned franchise cricket globetrotter who has played in all the big T20 leagues such as IPL, CPL, Natwest Blast, PSL and BPL. While he had a quiet game against Sri Lanka, the Dutch clash would be the perfect time for him to live upto the hype.
Prediction: Netherlands to edge this one to keep their hopes of Round 2 qualification alive.
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