David Wiese (66 no) stars as Namibia claim their first win in World Cup history at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium; Max O'Dowd (70 off 56) registers a second straight half-century for Netherlands, who are now on the brink of an early World Cup exit
Wednesday 20 October 2021 15:23, UK
David Wiese produced a blistering innings to inspire Namibia to a historic first victory at a World Cup, as they preserved their Super 12 qualification hopes with a stunning six-wicket success against Netherlands in Abu Dhabi.
Having been inserted by Namibia, Netherlands appeared in control after posting a formidable total of 164-4 from their 20 overs, with Max O'Dowd (70 off 56) registering a second consecutive half-century to spearhead the Dutch innings.
O'Dowd and Colin Ackermann (35 off 32) compiled a third-wicket stand worth 82, while Scott Edwards (21 no off 11) provided the innings with late impetus, to set Namibia a record run-chase of 165.
Namibia's reply began in positive fashion, before a flurry of wickets left them floundering at 52-3 in the 10th over. Nevertheless, a remarkable innings from Wiese (66 no off 40) completely shifted the pendulum.
Wiese and Gerhard Erasmus (32 off 22) smashed 93 in 51 balls to move Namibia to the brink of history, and despite Eramus departing in the latter stages, JJ Smit (14 off 8) kept his cool as they wrapped up victory with an over to spare.
Netherlands had made a positive start to proceedings, until the experienced Stephan Myburgh (17) - recalled to the side to partner O'Dowd - was deceived by a slower delivery from Jan Frylinck (2-36) in the final over of the powerplay.
The decision to promote Roelof van der Merwe (6) up the order failed to pay dividends as he was beaten for pace by Wiese (1-32) moments later, and two wickets in quick succession threatened to stifle Netherlands' momentum.
O'Dowd was unperturbed however, becoming the first Dutch player to register successive fifties at a World Cup; bringing up the milestone with a glorious lofted drive over extra cover.
Ackermann struggled for fluency early in his innings, but having broken the shackles, he succumbed to Frylinck in the 18th over, yet Edwards picked up the mantle in the closing stages, delivering a series of punishing blows as Netherlands finished with a flourish.
Namibia also raced out of the blocks, but Fred Klaassen (1-14 off 4) made the crucial breakthrough to dismiss the dangerous Zane Green (15 off 12).
Craig Williams (11) and Stephan Baard (19) then fell to the spin duo of Ackermann (1-32 off 3) and captain Pieter Seelaar (1-8 off 2) to leave Namibia precariously placed at 52-3, but Wiese and Erasmus ignited the innings with sixes off Van der Merwe in the 10th over.
Wiese dispatched Ackermann and Bas de Leede with ominous ease, and his 29-ball half-century saw Namibia move to 120-3 inside 14 overs, as Netherlands failed to stem the flow of boundaries.
Eramus' dismissal did little to halt Namibia's momentum, and back-to-back boundaries from Smit sealed the deal with an over to spare, to leave Netherlands' World Cup hopes hanging by a thread.
David Wiese - Namibia were in turmoil at 52-3 after nine overs, but a blistering counter-attack from their talisman completely changed the complexion of the contest, and after finishing with figures of 1-32 with the ball, his unbeaten 66 helped guide Namibia to a historic victory.
Gerhard Erasmus - Wiese inevitably received the plaudits for his match-winning knock, yet Erasmus provided an effective foil for the destructive all-rounder. The Namibia captain showed tremendous poise in his 22-ball knock, to preserve his side's hopes of Super 12 qualification.
Max O'Dowd - The flamboyant Dutchman continued his prolific form to register back-to-back fifties at this year's World Cup. O'Dowd set the tone with his aggression in the powerplay, and anchored the innings throughout to post his second-highest score in his T20I cricket.
Fred Klaassen - Netherlands' beleaguered bowling attack were put to the sword by Namibia's middle order, but Klaassen was virtually flawless - registering figures of 1-14 from his four overs, which included 15 dot balls.
In Group B, Scotland can wrap up qualification for the Super 12s with victory against Oman on Thursday afternoon, while The Tigers of Bangladesh take on Papua New Guinea in the morning.
Scotland are back in action against Oman on Thursday on Sky Sports Cricket and Main Event from 2.30pm, with Bangladesh facing Papua New Guinea on Sky Sports Cricket and Main Event from 10.30am earlier that day.