Seven-wicket victory against Namibia sees Zimbabwe qualify for Plate semi-final.
Namibia 113 in 40.1 overs (van Wyk 24; Madhevere 2/11) lost to Zimbabwe 114/3 in 19.1 overs (Madhevere 47) by seven wickets.
Two years ago, Namibia made for one of the stories of the 2016 ICC U19 CWC when they beat South Africa and qualified for the Super League. They qualified for this year’s tournament automatically, having finished as the highest-ranked Associate side in 2016. This team, however, will not be able to match their predecessor’s heights.
That much was evident after their seven-wicket loss to Zimbabwe in the Plate quarter-final at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval on Monday (22 January). Namibia were bundled out for 113 in 40. 1 overs by a spirited Zimbabwe attack, for whom almost all of their seven bowlers contributed to the wickets column.
The pick of the lot was Wesley Madhevere, his 2/11 comprising the wickets of Petrus Burger and Gerhard Lottering who formed the only positive for Namibia with their 28-run stand for the seventh wicket. It was their biggest partnership. Madhevere then contributed with the bat as well, scoring a 38-ball 47 to propel the innings after Namibia managed a couple of early wickets. Alistair Frost and Tinashe Nenhunzi put on an unbroken 36-run stand to see the chase through.
The pitch was tricky – the ball wasn’t coming on to the bat, prompting the batsmen to prod at things – but despite that, Namibia disappointed with the bat. They needed partnership, but they never came. They were 1/2 after Jurgen Linde and Henry Brink were dismissed cheaply within the first two overs. Lohan Louwrens, their captain, looked to revive the innings, waiting for the poor deliveries and putting them away, but fell to spin when Liam Roche, the Zimbabwe captain, brought himself on, chipping one back to the bowler for 16.
At 27/3, Namibia needed a strong partnership, a pair of batsmen who would grind the opposition down. Instead, the likes of Eben van Wyk (24) and Erich van Mollendorf (17) got starts but couldn’t capitalise – the former was clean bowled by Dion Myers and the latter was run-out after he hesitated with a single.
It was a procession thereafter, with all but one batsman falling for a single-digit score, Zimbabwe didn’t take long to wrap up the innings. Lottering stuck around for a 36-ball 19, including a fine sweep for six. It helped take Namibia past the 100-mark. But that was never going to be enough against a Zimbabwe side that had the misfortune of being in the same group as heavyweights India and Australia.
Victory didn’t come without a wobble though. Namibia managed to dismiss Gregory Dollar in just the second ball of the innings – much like how Zimbabwe had in the morning – and they were buzzing in the next over when Dilon Myers was sent back as well after Lottering trapped him in front.
Zimbabwe dismiss Namibia for just 113 in the #U19CWC Plate quarter-final, the wickets shared between six bowlers, Madhevere the pick with 2/11. Eben van Wyk top scored for Namibia with 24.#ZIMvNAM LIVE ➡️ https://t.co/dskvA7yEzY pic.twitter.com/8mrbDsyQl1— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) January 22, 2018
That’s as good as it got for Namibia though. Madhevere took charge, and there were boundaries aplenty against Lottering, Burger and Jean de Villiers, and with every shot that reached the fence, Namibia’s resolve diminished. It looked as though he would see the chase through, but a mistimed chip to cover was caught on second attempt by Loftie-Eaton and Zimbabwe’s all-round star had to make way.
Despite that, Frost (30 off 57) and Nenhunzi (23 off 14) rotated strike and kept the scoreboard moving. A the target neared, they stepped on the pedal, and the winnings runs were brought up in 19.3 overs. Zimbabwe barely broke sweat all day.
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