Namibia 111 for 2 ( Baard 37 retired hurt, Davin 22) beat Kenya 110 ( Gondaria 60, Scholtz 4-15, Burger 3-17) by eight wickets
Kenya’s fiery start was put on ice by the spin duo of Bernard Scholtz and Petrus Burger as Namibia secured an eight-wicket win before lunch. It was Namibia’s third victory in as many days, and a fourth on Wednesday over UAE would put them in the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.
Kenya had been eliminated from contention for the Qualifier a day earlier, but they were now looking to avoid relegation to WCL Division Three. After Irfan Karim fell on the second ball of the match to Sarel Burger, Dhiren Gondaria torched the medium-pace trio of Burger, JJ Smit and Craig Williams. Gondaria smashed five sixes on his way to 60 off 46 balls as Kenya motored to 77 for 1 in 12 overs.
But after an early crest, the trough came just as quickly for Kenya when Petrus and Scholtz entered the attack. Gondaria’s innings came to an end when he holed out to Jan Frylinck at long-on off the first ball of the 13th over. Two balls later, Collins Obuya attempted a paddle sweep only to pop a catch to wicketkeeper Zane Green. The downward spiral continued to twist through Kenya’s scorecard.
Scholtz struck with his first balls in the 16th and 18th and over the next eight overs Kenya managed to add just 10 runs. The pressure created panic and resulted in the run out of Rakep Patel. The left-arm spinner struck two more times to bowl Kenya out 90 minutes before lunch.
Stephan Baard got Namibia’s chase rolling to make sure the match would not suffer the same fate as the first replay, washed away after five overs in the second innings with no result after Kenya had been bowled out for 83. The opener spanked 37 off 39 balls before retiring hurt with a muscle strain in his left shoulder. He is expected to be available for Wednesday’s match against UAE.
After Lohan Louwrens and Zane Green fell off successive balls, Williams came out and settled the nerves with an unbeaten 28 off 18 balls. All but two of those runs came in the last over of the match in which Williams slugged Nehemiah Odhiambo for two fours and two sixes, including the match-winning boundary off a free hit.
On the final day of the group stage, Namibia and UAE will play a de facto semi-final at Affies Park while Canada and Nepal will do likewise next door at Wanderers. Both Canada and Nepal have three wins and one loss in four matches, and the winner of this match will clinch a spot in the Qualifier. Namibia also have three wins in four matches and will face UAE who have two wins and two losses. A win for Namibia will also clinch a promotion berth. A win for UAE, on the other hand, will create a three-way tie for second with Namibia and the loser of the Canada v Nepal match. However, UAE’s net run-rate – the tournament tiebreaker – is superior to the three other teams, none of whom can improve their net run-rate through a loss, meaning a UAE victory would clinch their spot in the top two.