Smit (32*, 1/20), Trumpelmann (3/17), Frylinck help Namibia beat Scotland
Namibia 115 for 6 in 19.1 overs (JJ Smit 32*, Craig Williams 23; Michael Leask 2/12) defeat Scotland 109 for 8 in 20 overs (Michael Leask 44, Chris Greaves 25; Ruben Trumpelmann 3/17) by 4 wickets
The 21st match of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup saw two of the debutant entrants to the main course event of the tournament, Scotland and Namibia, at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, October 27. While it was a campaign-opening game for Namibia, Scotland was entering the game intending to bag their first victory in the tournament. Down on their luck, Scotland lost the toss and were sent in to bat first on a chase-friendly pitch. Winning the toss ensured Namibia gained early momentum in the game, competing with an evenly-matched side and getting an opportunity to showcase their skills which had come in handy in qualifying for the Super 12 stage.
Ruben Trumpelmann strikes in first over
Scotland’s innings was off to a disappointing start after losing the toss. They lost three wickets in quick succession in the first over of their innings, courtesy of Namibia pacer Rubel Trumpelmann. The 23-year-old South Africa-born speedster struck in the first ball of the over with a beautiful cutter, rattling George Munsey’s stumps for a golden duck.
With a bagful of variations and pace, he took another two wickets in the last two deliveries of the first over dismissing Calum MacLeod and skipper Richie Berrington for ducks.
Ruben’s first over had already caused enough dent to Scotland with all their top three batters back to the pavilion. Scotland suffered the fourth blow shortly within the powerplay overs as David Wiese trapped Craig Wallace leg before with overwhelming pace and accuracy for just 4 runs.
However, wicketkeeper batter Matthew Cross stayed firm on the crease, not giving his wicket away unlike his teammates, and kept the scorecard crawling. He weaved a 39-run partnership with Michael Leask, the highest one for Scotland in the game.
Namibia bowlers keep Scotland at bay
Just as Scotland looked to gain some momentum, Namibia again jumped into the game as medium-pacer Jan Frylinck clean bowled Cross for just 19 runs. After Cross’ dismissal, Scotland was reeling at 57/5 after 11.1 overs.
Leask, along with the new batter Chris Greaves stitched another 36 runs for the 6th wicket. But as Scotland entered their 90s, JJ Smit dismissed Leask as the ball crashed into the stumps, marking an end to a fine innings that saw him score 44 runs, the highest for his side in the game. Scotland lost their 6th wicket at the score of 93 in 16.2 overs.
The side lost another wicket of Mark Watt on the first ball of the 19th over with Frylinck getting his second wicket of the game. Scotland also lost another wicket on the final ball of their innings, that of Chris Greaves who scored 25 runs before getting run out.
With Greaves’ dismissal on the last ball, Scotland managed a total of 109 runs for 8 wickets with Cross (44) finishing as the highest scorer of the side. While Rubel Trumpelmann (3/17) and Jan Frylinck (2/10) finished as leading wicket-takers for Namibia.
Openers give Namibia the desired start
Chasing a modest total of 110 runs, Namibia’s openers Craig Williams and Michael van Lingen gave a desired start to their side in the chase. The duo aggregated 28 runs for the opening wicket before Scotland’s best bowler Safyaan Sharif, the right-arm medium pacer, came in and trapped Lingen with a slower one in the 6th over. In his opening spell, Safyaan kept it all tight and restricted Namibia’s run-flow by conceding just 5 runs in two overs.
Namibia’s batters looked uninterrupted in their chase and touched 50 runs after nine overs. They needed 60 more runs off 11 overs, with 9 wickets still in hand.
However, Chris Greaves came in the next over only to trap Namibia’s number 3 batter Zane Green for 9 runs. Namibia lost another wicket, that of their skipper, Gerhard Erasmus, in Michael Leask’s first over for a paltry 4 runs. The side lost another wicket of the well-set opener Williams who was stumped by Michael Cross on 23 runs. Post his dismissal, Namibia was reeling at 67/4 in 12.3 overs.
But David Wiese (16) and JJ Smit (32*) stitched a 35-run partnership for the fifth wicket and took their side closer to the victory. JJ Smit scored the winning runs by carting a lovely six over point and taking his side home for their first win of the Super 12 stage.
Scotland’s quest of winning their first Super 12 match remained shattered while the Namibian fans rejoiced after their side’s first win in the ICC tournament.
Player of the match
Ruben Trumpelmann was adjudged the player of the match for his fiery spell and beautiful display of swing bowling. He took 3/17 in his spell and helped his side gain early momentum in the match that led to a low-scoring affair.
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