21 July 2015
All-round Netherlands seals World T20 berth
Scholtz scalps three for Namibia, but can't stop four-wicket win; team will play Oman for last shot at going to India
Opting to bat first, Namibia rode on Craig Williams’s 32-ball 43 to post 135 for 6 at The Village in Dublin. And although Bernard Scholtz, the offspinner, took three wickets to dent Netherlands’ charge, it reached 137 for 6 in 19.2 overs.
Chasing the modest total, Netherlands lost Wesley Barresi off the first ball of the innings. But Stephan Myburgh hit six boundaries in the power play to get the side off to a flier. When Jason Davidson had him caught in the fifth over, Myburgh had already scored 31 off 18.
Peter Borren (16), Michael Swart (28) and Ben Cooper (18) steadied the ship in the middle overs. Scholtz impressed with his accurate line and length, taking 3 for 15 in his four overs.
With 32 required from the last five overs, Max O’Dowd and Roelof van der Merwe steered Netherlands closer to victory with a 31-run sixth-wicket stand.
It got tight, didn't it?," said Chris Adams, Netherlands' assistant coach. “It's purely down to the pressure and prize – the plane to India. It was a very close game, with both teams doing well. It means everything for Dutch cricket – not just survival, but way more than that. This can only help build the game at grass-root levels."
But, in a reminder that Netherlands' journey in this tournament wasn't finished, he added: “Qualification is a big prize, but there is also a tournament here to be won.”
Earlier, Namibia got off to a disappointing start, losing its openers inside two overs. While Stephen Baard fell to Timm van der Gugten in the first over, Gerrie Snyman, the other opener, was run out soon after.
Raymond van Schoor (16) and Williams then consolidated the innings with a 57-run third wicket stand. Borren and van der Merwe dismissed both the set batsmen to leave Namibia reeling at 69 for 4 in 11.4 overs.
That Namibia could get to 135 was due to handy contributions from the lower order comprising Sarel Burger (27 not out) and Nicolaas Scholtz (37). The duo added 52 runs for the sixth wicket before Scholtz, the captain, became van der Gugten’s second victim in the penultimate ball of the innings.
All is not lost for Namibia though, it has another chance to get to India. Its clash against Oman at the same venue on Thursday in Qualifier 4 will be a knockout with the winner booking its ticket for the ICC World Twenty20 2016.