Netherlands beat Namibia to edge closer to T20 World Cup main phase

All-rounder Bas de Leede picked up two wickets, and later hit the winning runs as they claimed a five-wicket win in another last-over finish

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Bas de Leede gave the Netherlands a shot at qualification for the main phase of the T20 World Cup as they beat Namibia in Geelong.

The all-rounder picked up two wickets, and later hit the winning runs as they claimed a five-wicket win in another last-over finish.

The Dutch will have to face Sri Lanka in their final game. With two wins so far, even a narrow defeat in that game might be enough to see them through – while rain is also forecast for that day.

Namibia had dominated their opening game of the competition two days earlier, as they shocked Asia Cup champions Sri Lanka.

Immediately after that, Gerhard Erasmus, their captain, said it had been “a massive event in our lives”, but that celebrations would have to be moderated as they still had a job to do to qualify.

And yet when they returned to Kardinia Park two days later they looked like they had spent the intervening time overindulging, given their sluggish performance against the Dutch.

Namibia had been the only team to score freely at this ground on Day 1. Each of UAE, Netherlands and mighty Sri Lanka had found runs difficult to come by.

The Namibians caught the bug this time around. They managed just six boundaries, plus a lone six by Jan Frylinck, who top score with 43 from 48 balls, in their innings.

The fact Netherlands did not rip through Namibia’s batting line up, either, appeared to work in their favour. JJ Smit and David Wiese – known as Namibia’s “Bomb Squad” because of their power hitting – faced just nine balls between them at the end of the innings.

Just as they had been in the win two days earlier against UAE, Bas de Leede, Tim Pringle and Paul van Meekeren were thrifty with the ball for the Dutch. They helped limit Namibia to 121 for six.

Vikramjit Singh might have felt he owed the Dutch a few runs, given he let slip two poor misfields during their fielding effort (having dropped a catch against UAE in the first game).

He certainly set about his batting as if he had a point to prove. The left-handed opener got the reply off to a flyer.

His 39 included back to back sixes that ended up in the second tier of the stand running square of the wicket.

The Netherlands were well ahead of the game with Vikramjit at the wicket. They had reached 59 for no loss in less than nine overs before he whacked a short ball from Bernard Scholtz to Nicol Loftie-Eaton on the boundary.

From that point on, scoring was tricky again, and Namibia applied pressure adeptly.

Frylinck returned fine figures of one for 16 from his four overs, which included a maiden. Smit had two for 24 from his.

De Leede, though, made a perfectly timed 30 not out, and guided his side to the win with a four and then a two in the last over.

Updated: October 18, 2022, 11:47 AM
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