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Klazinga, Williams shine for Namibia on Day One

Namibia gained total control of the ICC Intercontinental Shield Final against hosts United Arab Emirates on Thursday at the ICC Global Cricket Academy Ground.

Klazinga, Williams shine for Namibia on Day One - Cricket News
Kola Burger in his final stride.
Namibia gained total control of the ICC Intercontinental Shield Final against hosts United Arab Emirates on Thursday at the ICC Global Cricket Academy Ground.

The hosts were bowled out for a paltry 79 in just over a session thanks to an aggressive spell of swing bowling by Kola Burger (7-38) and then Namibia captain Craig Williams slammed a century off 85 balls.

Namibia ended the first day at 267 for three and is ahead by 188 runs with three full days of play left in the match.

Namibia's man of the day was obviously the big swing bowler Burger who scythed through the hosts in the opening session as nine wickets fell on a hectic Thursday morning.

Only one man Naeemuddin Aslam stood tall for United Arab Emirates with a dogged 38 off 58 balls.

Burger is back playing cricket after a break and he was thrilled to have played a part on the opening day of the contest.

"It was quite nice to have the ball swinging. I bowled full and they were playing shots so it made it easy for us. I enjoyed myself completely today," commented Burger.

Of all the seven wickets, Burger enjoyed the first one when he clean bowled Amjad Ali in his very first over. "I tried to get it going the other way and it worked for a change," recalled Burger.

Despite his heroics, Burger credited the support provided by Louis Klazinga at the other end which he believes made his job a lot easier. "I think it is always nice to have someone like Klazzy at the other end who kept pushing the batsmen on to the backfoot. It gave me an opportunity to bowl nice and full. I just hope we build on this momentum," said Burger.

After Burger's rich haul it was down to the Namibia batting which did not disappoint. Things seemed to be moving along steadily till Williams came on the scene and injected energy with his brisk effort.

He hammered the UAE bowlers into submission with 15 boundaries and four sixes as Williams scored 116 off 102 balls. Along the way Williams shared a 161-run stand with Sarel Burger.

"The key was to remain positive at all times. I told the guys that in a final we cannot be tentative. So I took the initiative and batted positively. Sarel's our banker who hangs around, while the others score briskly. It was important to get a big lead and put them under pressure as we want to bat just once," said Williams.

For now, Williams wants his team to bat out the entire second day of the contest and gain further control. "We have a long batting line-up with a lot of senior batters yet to come. I am confident that we can bat out the entire day tomorrow," added Williams.

UAE coach Kabir Khan conceded that his side had its backs to the wall and it would take a gigantic effort to claw its way into the contest.

"It was a bad toss to lose. There was a bit of moisture in the pitch and they got all the advantage. The kind of bowling they have, it became easier for an experienced bowler to come and deliver on the spot. It was a bad day. They totally outplayed us. It was totally their day," praised Kabir.

But Kabir remained hopeful of a fight from his team.

"It (Game) is in their favour. But you cannot say anything about cricket. Our batting can always come back. It is only the first day of the game and you can't say the game is finished. If we get them below 300 and then put up a nice total, then who knows what will happen because it will be them who bat on the fourth day," hoped Kabir.

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