31 January 2016
Namibia knocks South Africa out, reaches Super League
Defending champion goes down by two wickets after Fritz Coetzee and Michael van Lingen star with the ball for the winner
Namibia first restricted South Africa to 136 for 9 and then went past the target in 39.4 overs to qualify for the Super League, while the defending champion has now been knocked out.
South Africa, which won the toss and chose to bat, got off to the worst possible start when Liam Smith, the centurion from their previous match, was dismissed in the first over by Fritz Coetzee. Rivaldo Moonsamy, Smith’s opening partner, didn’t last long either, and South Africa found itself struggling at 2 for 2 in the third over.
Kyle Verraynne and Dean Foxcroft attempted to get the innings back on track, but neither was able to break the shackles in their 33-run stand. When Foxcroft fell for 12 with South Africa at 35 for 3, the Namibian bowlers began to tighten the screws.
Michael van Lingen, who picked up three wickets in Namibia’s victory over Scotland, scalped four in quick succession to leave South Africa reeling at 57 for 7, which soon became 60 for 8.
That South Africa recovered from there was thanks to Willarn Ludick, who came in at No. 8. Ludick, mainly known for his bowling, scored a 98-ball 42, and was ably supported by Lutho Sipamla, who scored an unbeaten 63-ball 17.
The two stitched together a 55-run partnership for the ninth wicket before Ludick fell with the total on 115. The last pair added 21 more runs in 23 balls to give the South African score some respectability, though only just.
South Africa needed to strike early if it was to have any chance of defending the small total. It made its intent clear when Dayyaan Galiem bowled SJ Loftie-Eaton off the first ball of the innings. Niko Davin, Loftie-Eaton’s partner, was sent back soon after, and it seemed that South Africa was matching Namibia blow for blow, with the scoreboard reading 10 for 2, which became 29 for 3 when Zadie Green, the Namibia captain, fell to Ziyaad Abrahams.
Van Lingen was unable to do any damage with the bat in hand, but Louwrens, who came in at No. 4, found an able ally in Jurgen Linde, and the two put together an important 24-run partnership before Ludick made his presence felt with the ball, leaving Namibia at 74 for 5.
With Namibia needing 63 runs with five wickets in hand, South Africa may have thought it was back in the match. Louwrens and Charl Brits, however, forged a partnership that took the game away.
While Louwrens, only 16, played the anchor throughout the innings, Brits chose to mix caution with aggression. They put on 52 runs for the sixth wicket, taking their team to the brink of victory before, with 11 to win, Brits became Abrahams’s second victim after a crucial knock of 27, which included four boundaries.
Namibia inched closer and closer to victory, Louwrens doing most of the scoring. With two runs to win, the result seemed a foregone conclusion, but South Africa refused to give up. Sipamla dismissed first Chrischen Olivier and, one run later, Francois Rautenbach was run out.
The scores were tied and Coetzee, Namibia’s No. 10, was on strike. But Coetzee, who had started the day well, held his nerves and made sure he closed out the match for Namibia.
Please click here to review the match in full in the ICC Match Centre
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