Netherlands 268-9 (Barresi 60) beat
Namibia 237 (Williams 116) by 31 runs.
World Cricket League Championship, Windhoek
The Netherlands avenged their ICC Intercontinental Cup defeat to Namibia at the weekend by beating them in the first of two World Cricket League Championship matches in Windhoek.
A century from Namibia’s Craig Williams wasn’t enough to help them recover from a poor start to their run chase as they were finally bowled out for 237 in pursuit of the visitors’ 268 for nine. Timm van der Gugten transferred his form from the first-class fixture into limited-overs cricket and ended with three for 37.
The Netherlands had begun poorly after being asked to bat and lost openers Stephan Myburgh and Michael Swart to the ever-impressive Louis Klazinga (three for 48). However, wicket-keeper Wesley Barresi and Tom Cooper rebuilt the innings with a fine third-wicket stand of 97. Barresi was the aggressor and hit six boundaries during his 59-ball innings, with Cooper playing a responsible second-fiddle.
Unfortunately, both departed in successive overs as Cooper was bowled by Louis van der Westhuizen for 39 off 57 balls, and Barresi fell to the first ball of the 24th over delivered by Bernard Scholtz. There followed a series of contributions from the Dutch middle and lower-order, with Tom de Grooth (44) and Daan van Bunge (28) adding 58 to set up the late onslaught. That came from skipper Peter Borren (18 in 15 balls), hard-hitting all-rounder Mudassar Bukhari (27 not out off 22) and van der Gugten (23 off 16).
The Netherlands’ team effort with the bat saw them end on a competitive 268 for nine from their 50 overs. The home side’s run chase was then anything but a team effort as only three men made meaningful contributions. They lost three early wickets - including four-day centurion Raymond van Schoor run-out first ball - as Bukhari (two for 39) and van der Gugten each struck with the new ball.
Stephan Baard and Williams then combined for what would be the first of only two significant partnerships in the Namibian innings. Baard made 28 before being caught off Ahsan Malik (two for 60) to end a third-wicket partnership of 96, while Nicolaas Scholtz would add 58 with Williams for the seventh-wicket.
At the time of the Scholtz and Williams partnership Namibia were still just about in the game, needing 63 off six overs. However, Williams gave Bukhari his second wicket when on 116, while Scholtz was last man out in the penultimate over to van der Gugten from 37.
The defeat more or less ends Namibia’s hopes of earning automatic qualification for the 2015 World Cup, with only the two sides progressing from the eight-team league. Ireland have a five-point lead and are almost assured of a place, while the Netherlands lead a chasing pack of five teams - Scotland, Afghanistan, Kenya and the UAE being the others - that are separated by just two points. A win in the second match against Namibia on Thursday would put them three points clear of third-placed Scotland with eight points left to play for.
© Cricket World 2013
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