Scotland holds nerve against Namibia

Scotland holds nerve against Namibia to ignite giant-killing dreams in Group B

by Staff Writer 07-06-2024 | 7:21 AM

Scotland has applied more pressure on opposition teams in Group B, after chasing down 156 against Namibia in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Scotland have held their nerve to grind out a tough win as they moved to the top of Group B with an emphatic victory over Namibia.

It was Scotland's first T20I victory over Namibia and they’ll now move above the African nation in the ICC rankings.

The Scots were set a target of 156, but the chase was anything but comfortable – Richie Berrington sealed the deal with a maximum in the second-last over.

Scotland caught a bout of the jitters with the bat, falling to 73/4 after 11 overs, before Berrington and Michael Leask stepped up and steered them back on course.

The skipper punished an unbeaten 47 off 35 balls, while Leask smashed 35 off 17.

Scotland completed the chase with nine balls to spare, which doesn’t properly reflect how tense it got.

Namibia won the toss at an overcast but dry Bridgetown, with captain Gerhard Erasmus opting to bat first.

And it was the skipper who made the biggest contribution as he helped get his side up to a competitive total of 155/9 at the Kensington Oval, hitting a powerful 52 from 31 balls before being stumped off Leask.

Scotland started superbly with the ball, picking up the first wicket before a run had been scored, as Brad Wheal had JP Kotze caught for a duck.

And two further wickets fell in the Powerplay, with Jan Frylinck (12) dragging a Brad Currie delivery onto his stumps and Nikolaas Davin (20) holing out off Chris Sole.

Zane Green (28 off 27) and David Weise (14 off 13) kept an impressive Scottish attack from running through the Namibia batting line-up, but late runs were hard to come by, with only Erasmus showing fluency out in the middle, as Scotland held the total to 155/9.

George Munsey (7 off 15) was an early victim, as Scotland kicked off its chase, and the dismissal of Michael Jones (26 off 20) had the side at 49/2 in the eighth over.

Namibia keeper Zane Green came up with an intelligent piece of play behind the stumps to have Brandon McMullen caught out of his crease – a dramatic moment that saw a momentum shift.

When Matthew Cross was done plumb LBW (3 off 5) in the 11th over, Namibia were right in the match.

But Berrington struck consecutive boundaries to end the 13th over, which put the chase back on his side's terms.

Leask got in on the act – his six next over took the Scots over the 100 mark.

And a 19-run flurry in the 17th over had Scotland firmly within grasp of the team's first ever T20I win over Namibia, as the partnership jumped over the 50-run mark.

Leask was removed next over, leaving Berrington to finish the job.

Scotland now gives themself a chance to deny either Australia or England, the Group B heavyweights, a path into the second round.

Namibia's now one win, one loss, having claimed a dramatic Super Over win over Oman earlier in the tournament.

Group B action continues on June 8, with Australia taking on England in what's an eormous showdown.

Source : ICC