Former South Africa international played a scintillating knock of 66* off 40 balls as Namibia defeated the Netherlands by six wickets at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
October 20 will mark the historic day in Namibia cricket as they registered their first-ever victory at the T20 showpiece at Abu Dhabi. Namibia came out triumphant against the Netherlands as they chased down 165 with six wickets and an over to spare.
Namibia stayed alive in the T20 World Cup 2021 with this victory, while the Netherlands were knocked out with two losses. Sri Lanka’s victory in the evening fixture on Wednesday meant that Ireland and Namibia, who have two points each, will play in a virtual knock-out on Friday.
David Wiese was the show stealer with his special innings that took Namibia home after being 52/3 at one stage. Wiese’s 66* off 40, and Gerhard Erasmus’ 32 off 22 landed a knock-out punch to the Dutch.
As it happened, the flip of the coin went in Namibia’s favour, with Erasmus deciding to bowl first. Netherlands openers got the team off to a good start, putting 42 runs on the board in 5.4 overs. Max O’Dowd scored a brilliant 70 off 56 balls before he was run out in the 20th over.
Colin Ackermann 35 off 32 gave him good support and added 82 runs in 62 balls for the third wicket. Scott Edwards‘ quickfire 21* off 11 at the backend took the Dutch to a very good total of 164/4 in 20 overs. Left-arm pacer Jan Frylinck took 2 for 36 while Wiese picked 1 for 32 in his four.
Chasing the target, Namibia had a decent start with 34 runs on the board in 4.2 overs before Fred Klaassen cleaned up Zane Green on 15 off 12. Klaassen bowled a terrific spell, returning with 1 for 14 in his four overs. Stephan Baard (19 off 20) and Craig Williams (11 off 13) could score at quick rate, and were dismissed in quick succession as Namibia were reduced to 52/3 in 9 overs.
Captain Erasmus and Wiese joined hands and put on a counter-attacking masterclass. The duo took a full toll on anything loose and smashed boundaries for fun. Netherlands bowlers had disastrous tactics and kept bowling in the slot to a power-hitter like Wiese.
He punished them for that and brought down the required rate from 10.27 to 7.50 in a matter of five overs. Erasmus was caught behind in the 17th over for 32 off 22, but Wiese and JJ Smit saw them through to their historic win with two consecutive boundaries off Smit’s bat.
Netherlands – 164/4 in 20 overs (O’Dowd 70, Ackermann 35; Frylinck 2/36, Wiese 1/32)
Namibia – 166/4 in 19 overs (Wiese 60*, Erasmus 32; Klaassen 1/14, Seelaar 1/8) won by six wickets.