Namibia Brace for Wounded Dutch

Namibia’s pedigree in the Pepsi ICC WCL Division 2 will be tested to the utmost when they take on pre-tournament favourites the Netherlands at Affies Park on Tuesday.

With the Netherlands suffering a shock two-wicket defeat to Nepal on Sunday, the tournament has been thrown wide open and unbeaten Namibia can expect a tough onslaught from the Dutch in today’s match which starts at 09h30.

After two rounds of matches Namibia lead the log on four points, while four other teams – Netherlands, Nepal, Canada and Uganda – are on two points each. Kenya is the only team that is yet to record a victory.

Namibian coach Doug Watson said he expects a tough onslaught from the Netherlands.

“Holland are a great team and they will want to bounce back from the Nepal defeat. For us it’s about focussing on our processes and making sure we stick to our game plan and improve on our performances so far. I think we have a lot of areas to improve upon, but there are also a lot of positives to take as well, so it’s going to be a good, hard game and one that we are certainly looking forward to,” he said.

Watson said the fact that they topped the log did not mean much at this stage of the competition.

“It’s nice to be on top of the log, but it’s important for us to know that the tournament starts again on Tuesday – it’s a new day and a new game and we are focussed on that.

“We are approaching it basically as our first game of the tournament. We’ve still got three games to go and we’ve got to focus on our team, our matches and our game plans and if we execute them well, which we haven’t as yet, it will put us in a good position,” he said.

The competition for places in the team’s starting line-up is g as most of the players have delivered solid performances. Bjorn Kotze replaced Louis Klazinga against Uganda and made full use of his opportunity, taking three wickets.

The 18-year-old bowler Tiaan Snyman and middle order batsman Pikky Ya France are the only players yet to feature in the tournament, but with the incumbent number three batsman Gerhard Erasmus giving a man of the match performance against Uganda, Ya France will not easily take his place.

In Tuesday’s other matches, Nepal take on Canada at the Wanderers field, while Kenya take on Uganda at Affies Park.

Two wins in a row

On Sunday, Namibia recorded a comfortable win against Uganda, reaching the victory target of 189 runs for the loss of six wickets and with four overs to spare.

Namibia got an early breakthrough when JJ Smit dismissed opening batsman Abram Mutyagaba for two runs, and further wickets by Craig Williams (Arthur Kobe for 15) and Bjorn Kotze (Roger Mukasa for 22) reduced Uganda to 45 for three wickets.

Phillemon Mukobe and Brian Masaba rebuilt the innings with a 64-run partnership, but Gerrie Snyman got the breakthrough, bowling Mukobe for a top score of 46.

Namibia kept up the pressure with tight bowling and regular wickets as Uganda reached 188 for nine wickets off their 50 overs.

Bjorn Kotze was Namibia’s top bowler, taking three wickets for 34 runs off nine overs, while JJ Smit and Gerrie Snyman each took two wickets.

In reply, Namibia lost two early wickets when Stephan Baard was dismissed for 10 and Gerrie Snyman for three, but Gerhard Erasmus and Craig Williams steadied the innings with a 50-run partnership.

Williams was out for 23, but Erasmus went on to top score with 62 to put Namibia on top.

There were also fine contributions by Sarel Burger (37 not out) and Nicolaas Scholtz (22) as Namibia reached 189 for six wickets with 22 balls remaining.

The result put Namibia at the top of the log on four points from two matches. The Netherlands, Canada, Nepal and Uganda all have two points while Kenya are yet to open their account.

Source : The Namibian