Namibia, Scotland eye crucial win with plenty at stake - Cricket News | Cricket Updates | Match Report

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Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Namibia, Scotland eye crucial win with plenty at stake

 Namibia struggled in their opening game to put Oman away.

Namibia struggled in their opening game to put Oman away. © AFP

A tie and a wash-out so far in Group B doesn't seem like it ought to have changed the state of play all that much, but suddenly it feels as though there will be a fair sight more than just pride on the line when Namibia face off against Scotland at Bridgetown. The Scots may feel, with 90 on the board none-down after ten against England in their first match, that the rain that seems to follow them around has denied them a shot at a famous victory. But the point they take from that game could just put them on a path to a net run rate showdown with their southern neighbours for qualification to the Super 8s. First though, they have to get past Namibia, who have two points on the board courtesy a super-over win over Oman and may just be eyeing up a qualification spot themselves.

Despite holding the upper hand in the fifty-over format in recent years, Scotland have never beaten Namibia in 20-over competition, Namibia coming out on top in all three of their matches to-date - four if you count the pre-status encounter at the 2012 Global Qualifier, a match which only Safyaan Sharif and Richie Berrington will remember.

Both sides went unbeaten through their regional qualifiers to get here, seeing off a full member each on the way. Both are unbeaten still, and whichever takes two points back from the Kensington Oval will find themselves perhaps just one good win away from making the Super 8s, and with it direct qualification to the next edition of the tournament in 2026. In fact, given the state of the rankings, the road to 2026 for both sides almost certainly runs through either the Super 8s or through the ever-tougher regional qualification route.

Both the Scottish and Namibian camps are by now very clear on those calculations, and even though there's still plenty of permutations that could play out, both will be treating the game as if it were a knock-out.

When: Namibia vs Scotland, June 6, 11:30 PM GMT, 3 PM Local, 12:30 AM IST (June 7)

Where: Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados

What to expect:The Bridgetown surface looked tough going when Namibia were batting on it against Oman, and indeed when Ruben Trumpelmann was bowling. By contrast, Scotland openers Munsey and Jones looked remarkably comfortable against England's attack more recently, when it seemed as though their 9-an-over opening stand might not even be enough. What to expect by game time is thus an open question, though the deck certainly seems to have hardened up. In terms of weather, things looked much-improved as well, with clear skies and temperatures touching 30C predicted by the (admittedly mercurial) forecast at time of writing. If that holds true, expect a bat-first day.

Head to Head in T20Is: 3-0

Team Watch:Namibia

Neither Jan Frylinck not JJ Smit bowled a ball against Oman, suggesting both are indeed still playing primarily as bats, or bowlers of last resort.

Tactics & Matchups:Ruben Trumpelmann versus Scotland is arguably all the match-up the Namibians need, the imposing left-arm quick, in his own words, " broke the back" of the Scotland side in their last encounter with a similar opening spell to the one he just produced against Oman. Assuming he's fit, JP Kotze may come in for out-of-form opener Michael van Lingen.

Probable XI:JP Kotze, Nikolaas Davin, Jan Frylinck, Gerhard Erasmus(c), Malan Kruger, JJ Smit, David Wiese, Zane Green(w), Ruben Trumpelmann, Bernard Scholtz, Tangeni Lungameni

Team Watch:Scotland

With all but two of the Scotland side not making it out of the dugout against England, it's unsurprising they haven't picked up any reported injuries. An unchanged eleven seems the most likely set-up.

Tactics & Matchups:Though the Scots have an underwhelming record against Namibia, there's no clear case for a drastic shake-up of the side that faced England. Spinner Mark Watt and Michael Leask especially have done well against the Namibians across formats. On the Scottish bench, young Jack Jarvis may be a tempting pick however, having done well on a recent tour to the UAE in similarly low-scoring conditions.

Probable XI: George Munsey, Michael Jones, Brandon McMullen, Richie Berrington(c), Matthew Cross(w), Michael Leask, Chris Greaves, Mark Watt, Christopher Sole, Brad Wheal, Brad Currie

Did you know?

George Munsey's sole first class century and sole ODI ton both came against Namibia, but in T20Is he averages just 9.33 against them in three innings - his lowest amongst any of the 23 sides he has faced in the format.

What they said:

"I think all three associates in this group can give each other a go and yeah, they've got two match winners up front with the bat and with the ball as well - so we're licking our lips for a great contest and some bragging rights between the associate guys. The qualification to the Super 8 also means qualification to the next World Cup, which is also a big factor. And we are not taking this lightly. We as a team want to go forward, we want to be competitive, we've beaten members and we don't want to stop here." - Ruben Trumpelmann

"We're coming into this tournament looking to get into that Super 8, regardless of the rest of the teams in our group. Obviously, it's something that guys look towards, but we're just taking it one game at a time. I know it's cliche, but realistically our best chance of getting into that Super 8 stage and competing and turning some big teams over is looking at tomorrow's game and then the Oman game after that. So just one game at a time, we'll take the belief in what we've done yesterday into those games." - Brad Wheal

NamibiaSquad: Gerhard Erasmus (c), Zane Green, Michael Van Lingen, Dylan Leicher, Ruben Trumpelmann, Jack Brassell, Ben Shikongo, Tangeni Lungameni, Niko Davin, JJ Smit, Jan Frylinck, JP Kotze, David Wiese, Bernard Scholtz, Malan Kruger, PD Blignaut

ScotlandSquad: Richie Berrington (c), Matthew Cross, Brad Currie, Chris Greaves, Oli Hairs, Jack Jarvis, Michael Jones, Michael Leask, Brandon McMullen, George Munsey, Safyaan Sharif, Chris Sole, Charlie Tear, Mark Watt, Brad Wheal

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