Namibia and Hong Kong shared honours in the opening round of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket Championship fixture
Namibia and Hong Kong shared honours in the opening round of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket Championship fixture when their two-match series ended in a 1-all draw in Windhoek on Sunday.
Namibia drew the first blood on Friday, 15 May, when it won the first match by one-wicket, before the visitors came back strongly to draw level with a thumping eight-wicket victory in the second 50-over match on Sunday, 17 May.
In the opening match, Namibia’s Nicolaas Scholtz produced an excellent all-round performance which was the cornerstone of his side’s narrow one-wicket victory. Scholtz first produced figures of 8-1-42-4 to restrict Hong Kong to 194 for nine and then contributed 40 as the home side achieved victory with four balls to spare.
In chase of a small target, Namibia was all at sea when it slipped to 13 for four before Raymond van Schoor (31) and Sarel Burger (52) added 57 runs for the fifth wicket. Burger and Scholtz then put on 51 runs for the sixth wicket. The departure of the two batsmen within a space of 28 runs, followed by the wicket of JJ Smit (two) meant Namibia slipped to 153 for eight, requiring 42 runs in just under eight overs.
JP Kotze (31 not out) and Bernard Scholtz (16) got together in a rescue act when they took the score to 194 in 49 overs. With scores level, Scholtz was run-out on the first ball of the final over but Kotze scored the winning run off the very next delivery to end a thrilling contest.
For Hong Kong, left-arm spinner Nadeem Ahmed, who made his ODI debut against Pakistan in 2004, stole the limelight with figures of 10-2-27-4. Nizakat Khan claimed two for 39.
In the second fixture, Hong Kong dominated the match from the very outset when it reduced Namibia to 15 for seven before skittling out the hosts for 109 in 36.1 overs. Raymond van Schoor (36) and last-man Bernard Scholtz (27) saved Namibia’s blushes when they put on 42 runs for the last-wicket after the home side had slipped to 67 nine.
26-year-old Tanwir Afzal, who made his first-class debut last week against Namibia in the ICC Intercontinental Cup 2015-17 and finished with match figures of four for 114, was the star of the match.
The lanky fast bowler dismantled Namibia’s top and middle-order when he finished with impressive figures of 10-3-17-5. He was later adjudged man of the match.
Tanwir was well assisted by Haseeb Ajmad who took two for 17.
Hong Kong opener Irfan Ahmed provided his side a cracking start when he clubbed seven fours and a six in a 38-ball 36 in a 40-run opening partnership with Roy Lamsam (41 not out). Lamsam then added 53 runs for the second wicket with Skhawat Ali (23) as the visitors romped to victory with 82 balls to spare to end the tour on a winning note.
Scores in brief:
First match – Namibia beat Hong Kong by one wicket
Hong Kong 194-9, 50 overs (Irfan Ahmed 40; Nicolaas Scholtz 4-42)
Namibia 195-9, 49.2 overs (Sarel Burger 52, Nicolaas Scholtz 40; Nadeem Ahmed 4-27)
Man of the match - Nicolaas Scholtz (Namibia)
Second match – Hong Kong beat Namibia by eight wickets
Namibia 109, 36.1 overs (Raymond van Schoor 36 not out; Tanwir Afzal 5-17)
Hong Kong 110-2, 36.2 overs (Roy Lamsam 41 not out, Irfan Ahmed 36)
Man of the match - Tanwir Afzal (Hong Kong)
Series result - 1-all
Points - Namibia 2 Hong Kong 2
22 June - Netherlands v Papua New Guinea, Amsterdam
24 June - Netherlands v Papua New Guinea, Amsterdam
25 June – Kenya v UAE, tbc
27 June – Kenya v UAE, tbc
29 July – Scotland v Nepal, Ayr, Scotland
31 July - Scotland v Nepal, Ayr, Scotland