20 July 2015
PREVIEW: Namibia batsmen stand in way of Netherlands
Winner of the second qualifying play-off will qualify for the ICC World T20, the loser will play Oman
Both the Netherlands and Namibia have had similar runs in the tournament so far and there is little separating them at the moment.
The Netherlands will take on Namibia in the second qualifying play-off of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015 in Dublin on Tuesday (July 21), the winner of which will qualify for the ICC World Twenty20 2016 in India.
A loss, though, will not be the end of the world – the loser will qualify for the ICC World T20 2016 if it beats Oman in the fourth qualifying play-off on Thursday.
The Netherlands finished second in Group B with four wins from six matches, while Namibia won three of its six games, with one match washed out by rain.
The Netherlands nearly gained direct qualification for the ICC World T20 2016 but missed out by the smallest of margins. In its final league match against Kenya, the Netherlands needed to chase down the target of 98 in under eight overs, but its four-wicket victory took 8.3 overs, thus ending below Scotland in net run-rate.
The Netherlands started its tournament with a loss to Afghanistan but quickly made a turnaround, winnings its next two games against Scotland and United Arab Emirates. A loss to Oman hampered its momentum slightly, but it finished the league stages strongly, defeating Canada and Kenya.
Wesley Barresi, the opener, has been the star with the bat, topping his side's batting charts with 193 runs from six matches, including a 40-ball 75 against Scotland. Ben Cooper, the No. 3, is not far behind, having made 180 runs in the league stages, including two half-centuries. Roelof van der Merwe has been the pick of the bowlers, picking up nine wickets at an incredible economy rate of 5.83.
Namibia too started its tournament in Group A with a loss to Ireland and a washout against Nepal, but turned the tables quickly with three consecutive wins against United States of America, Jersey and Papua New Guinea. It headed into its last league match with a chance of directly qualifying for the ICC World T20, but a big loss to Hong Kong meant it finished third in its group.
A large part of Namibia's success is due to the form of its openers, both of whom are among the top four run-getters. Stephan Baard is the highest scorer of the tournament so far with 243 runs, including two half-centuries while his partner Gerrie Snyman is fourth with 192 runs at a mammoth strike-rate of 164.10.
The bowling has revolved around left-arm spinner Bernard Scholtz, who has taken ten wickets from five innings so far at an economy of 5.78, the lowest for anyone who has bowled more than 15 overs. It includes a spell of 4 for 11 against PNG which helped Namibia to a 49-run win defending its total of 181 for 5.
Both the Netherlands and Namibia have had similar runs in the tournament so far and there is little separating them at the moment. It sets up perfectly for a fascinating clash on Tuesday.
Netherlands: Peter Borren(captain), Rahil Ahmed, Ben Cooper, Vivian Kingma, Max O'Dowd, Pieter Seelaar, Timm van der Gugten, Wesley Barresi, Mudassar Bukhari, Ahsan Malik, Stephan Myburgh, Michael Rippon, Michael Swart, Paul van Meekeren, Thijs van Schelven, Roelof van der Merwe.
Namibia: Nicholas Scholtz (captain), Stephen Baard, Sarel Burger, Christopher Coombe, Jason Davidson, Michiel du Preez, Gerhard Erasmus, Louis Klazinga, JP Kotze, Bernard Scholtz, JJ Smit, Christiaan Snyman, Gerrie Snyman, Raymond van Schoor, Craig Williams.