Namibia 166 for 4 (Wiese 66*, Erasmus 32) beat Netherlands 164 for 4 (O’Dowd 70, Ackermann 35, Frylinck 2-36) by six wickets
Namibia completed their highest-successful chase in a T20I to keep their Super 12 hopes alive and put Netherlands on the brink of an early exit. The Dutch have now lost two group stage matches, have to beat Sri Lanka and hope Ireland win both their remaining games. Namibia, on the other hand, have their fate in their own hands after completing their maiden World Cup win in senior men’s cricket.
After conceding 164 runs, a total which could have been lower after a fielding effort filled with fumbles, Namibia stumbled to 52 for 3 in the ninth over and were facing an uphill battle. But a 93-run fourth wicket stand between Namibian captain Gerhard Erasmus and David Wiese, which came in 8.3 overs, put Namibia on the brink of victory before Wiese and JJ Smit saw them home.
South African of the match
There were several candidates to choose from in this fixture but this unique award has to go to Wiese. He turned Namibia’s innings around with a vintage performance that involved clearing the rope five times, all in the ‘V.’ Wiese’s first shot in anger came when he charged Roelof van der Merwe and hit the ball over his head for six, which put Namibia on 68 for 3 at the halfway stage, needing 97 runs off the last 10 overs. Namibia scored 52 runs off the next four overs, and Wiese was responsible for 37 of those. He brought up his first fifty for Namibia off 29 balls with a six over cover point and brought their required run-rate down to just over six runs an over in the last three overs, when they needed 19 runs. Wiese only faced one ball in the final over, and Smit hit the winning runs, but he set the victory up and finished on an unbeaten 66 off 40 balls. Wiese also took the Player of the Match award.
Bounced out, slowly
Pace off the ball is likely to become the phrase of the tournament, and if you need a visual, look no further than the first two wickets of the Dutch innings. Jan Frylinck delivered a slow-motion bouncer to Stephan Myburgh, who tried to upper-cut him over point, but was earlier on the stroke than he would have liked and lobbed it to Stephan Baard at point. Two overs later, Wiese bowled a short, wide, and slow delivery that van der Merwe tried to cut but ended up slashing high to Bernard Scholtz at third man.
Max(imum) number of lives
Max O’Dowd brought up a second successive half-century at this tournament, this one laced with leg-side boundaries, but it was not without its fair share of luck. He survived four times against some sloppy Namibian fielding, which could have seen his innings end much earlier. O’Dowd could have been run out in the 11th, when he was on 38, and he pushed a Ruben Trumpelmann delivery to cover and set off for a single, but almost immediately realised it was the wrong decision. He gave up about three-quarters of the way down but the throw missed the stumps. Then, when he was on 46, he hit the ball to extra cover, took off and again realised he was too hasty. O’Dowd was ready to run back to the dug-out but the throw was inaccurate. He brought up his fifty six balls later with an inside-out drive over the covers.
O’Dowd entered the last five overs on 65 and sent an aerial shot in the direction of long-off, but the chance fell short. He added two more runs before he got a leading edge off JJ Smit. Baard ran in from the covers and got hands to it but could not hold on. O’Dowd had reached 70 by the last ball of the penultimate over and snuck two byes off a ball that struck him on the leg. He should have been run out at the wicket-keeper’s end but the throw went to the bowler. Eventually O’Dowd was run-out in the last over, chasing a second run but flagging in the heat. He became the first Dutch player to score back-to-back half-centuries at a World Cup.
More missed chances, but it doesn’t matter as much
The fielding remained messy when Netherlands began their defence. In the third over, Baard punched a ball into the covers and took a single which appeared completely out of the question. van der Merwe rushed his throw that would have run Baard out at the striker’s end and he escaped an early exit. Two overs later, Namibia’s mini-collapse began, when Zane Green dragged an attempted pull onto his stumps off Frank Klaasen. They went on to lose 3 for 18, with Baard the third of those wickets when he missed a flick and was bowled by the Dutch captain Pieter Seelar. But then came the 93-run stand between Erasmus and Wiese to seize the advantage for Namibia once more, and that was that.