Eagles finish on a high – The Namibian

THE Namibian Richelieu Eagles finally registered a victory in the final match of a two-week tour to Nepal and UAE when they beat the latter by seven wickets in Dubai on Saturday.

After winning the toss, Namibia sent UAE in to bat and restricted them to 166/9, before comfortably reaching 167/3 off 28,2 overs, with Michael van Lingen scoring 71 not out and Lohan Louwrens 47.

It was Namibia’s first win in six matches, but it might have come too late as they are now well within reach of the UAE and even Nepal, who can both still overtake them.

Namibia completed their 36-match campaign in third place on 39 points, but UAE, who are fifth on 29 points with eight matches in hand, and even Nepal, who are sixth on 26 points with eight matches in hand, can still overtake Namibia to the coveted third place on the log.

The top three teams in the Cricket World Cup League 2 tournament will progress to the final World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe in June, with first-placed Scotland, who finished their campaign on 50 points, and second-placed Oman on 44 points, already having booked their tickets to Zimbabwe.

The bottom four teams in League 2 will still have a second chance of qualifying for the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe, at the World Cup Qualifier playoff that Namibia will host towards the end of March, where the top two nations from the Challenge League, Jersey and Canada, will join them, with the top two teams progressing to the Zimbabwe qualifier.

On Saturday, Namibia’s decision to field first was soon vindicated as Ben Shikongo dismissed Muhammad Waseem for 3, and when Vriitya Aravind (18) and Chirag Suri (0) were dismissed in quick succession, UAE were struggling at 47/3.

CP Rizwan led a revival for UAE, putting on 48 runs for the fourth wicket with Rohan Mustafa, before Shikongo dismissed the latter for 25.

Rizwan persevered but had little support and Namibia’s bowlers maintained the pressure with some tight bowling and regular wickets, as they restricted UAE to 166/9 off their 50 overs.

Rizwan remained not out on 60 which was quite slow-going, coming off 140 balls and included only two fours.

For Namibia, Tangeni Lungameni took 2/25, Shikongo 2/27 and Gerhard Erasmus 2/23.

Namibia’s batsmen chased the target from the start and soon gained the upper hand.

Shaun Fouche was dismissed for 14, but Lohan Louwrens and Michael van Lingen put them in charge with a 76-run partnership, before Louwrens was dismissed for 47 off 59 balls (6×4).

Erasmus added 18 off 23, but Van Lingen was Namibia’s star batter, scoring 71 not out off 53 balls (10×4, 1×6) to seal a convincing victory for Namibia as they reached 167/3 with more than 22 overs in hand.

Namibian coach Pierre de Bruyn said it was a clinical performance.

“A long tour comes to an end – losing five out of the six games is not ideal, but I think we finished very well today with a clinical performance against the UAE,” he said.

“It was a very convincing win and I suppose we have learnt some really tough lessons on this tour in different conditions with a lot of travelling, while we also had a lot of injuries and players getting sick,” he added.

De Bruyn said it had been a tough tour.

“It’s been one of my toughest tours as a coach, to try and manage the group and keep everyone motivated, but this was such an important win for the guys and for the tour. We technically only had three seamers – Ruben Trumpelmann, Tangeni Lungameni and Ben Shikongo and these guys six out of six games had to run in for the team and they did very well,” he said.

“From a batting perspective, Zane Green and Michael van Lingen really stand out – they’ve had a really good tour, and especially Zane at that role at number seven, averaging 47 on this tour has been excellent,” he added.

“It’s always nice to finish with a win and I suppose we’ll take that and learn from our mistakes, but also take the positives,” he concluded.

Source link

Accessibility Toolbar