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T20 World Cup: Ruben's knockout blows help Namibia trump Scots

Namibia's Ruben Trumpelmann celebrates a wicket. (AP)
Namibia's Ruben Trumpelmann celebrates a wicket. (AP)

Abu Dhabi - Namibia skipper Erasmus was delighted with the victory


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Wed 27 Oct 2021, 11:17 PM

Ruben Trumpelmann (3 for 17) delivered knockout blows to hand Namibia a four-wicket victory over Scotland in the T20 World Cup Group 2 match in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Making their Super 12 debut, the side from Africa chose to bowl first, and took just a few minutes to announce their arrival on the big stage.

Left-arm pacer Trumpelmann, in an exhibition of his prowess and intent, scalped three Scottish batsmen for nought — a rare instance in the T20 format. But for Michael Leask’s valiant 27-ball 44, Scotland wouldn’t have reached 109-8. Namibia, though, made heavy weather of the task, stuttering till the end to eventually reach the target with five balls to spare.

“It was a great result. Hopefully, we will get a few more. This is massive for us,” Trumpelmann, the player of the match, said.

The day belonged to Trumpelmann, who ensured a disastrous start for Scotland. In the opening over, he nailed George Munsey (0) with the first ball as the batsman played it onto the stumps. Three balls later, which included two wide deliveries, saw the left-arm pacer get Calum MacLeod (0) to nick and get caught behind by wicketkeeper Zane Green. With his next, the 23-year-old trapped Richie Berrington (0). After the Trumpelmann whirlwind show, Scotland scored 2-3 (two runs from extras).

“My prep has been good. Swing is something you use up front and luckily it went my way today,” Trumpelmann added.

While new batters Craig Wallace and Matthew Cross were finding their feet, pacer David Wiese dealt another setback. He got Wallace (4) out leg-before wicket.

At 18-4, Leask and Cross tried to pick up the pieces. But Namibia, after a sensational start, allowed easy singles. The pair grew in confidence and Leask smoked Michael van Lingen for a four and a six to help Scotland scamper to 57-4 from 11 overs.

Immediately, left-armer Jan Frylinck broke the 39-run fifth-wicket partnership by bowling Cross (19).

Leask continued to push, finding boundaries and sixes, and in the company of Chris Greaves, Scotland looked to shift gears. However, again, Namibia ended a partnership that was beginning to look threatening. Trying to innovate but missing completely, Leask (44) was bowled by Johannes Smit, thus ending a 36-run stand. Frylinck returned to pick Mark Watt (3) and Greaves (25) was run out in the last ball of the innings as Scotland folded for 109.

Scotland skipper Berrington noted the total was short by 20-30 runs.

“Disappointing day for us. Credit to Namibia for bowling well up front. We needed a partnership going. At one point, we were thinking 120 would have given us some chance.”

In response, Namibia started slowly but scored steadily. Michael van Lingen’s two boundaries gave the innings some momentum. But seamer Safyaan Sharif ended van Lingen’s (18) stay at the crease and the 28-run stand with Craig Williams. At the end of powerplay, Namibia made 29 runs. Williams, along with Zane Green, took the side to 50-1 by the end of nine overs. However, Namibia kept losing wickets regularly. Green (9) mistimed Greaves’ googly, while skipper Gerhard Erasmus (4) was bowled by Leask. Williams (23) was stumped while trying to whack Watt.

The match was evenly poised with Namibia at 71-4 after 13 overs, still needing 39 from 42 balls.

It was time for Wiese and Smit to leverage their experiences. Smit blasted Greaves for a maximum to ease nerves. Wiese (16) hammered a six but was soon sent packing by Leask, thus also ending a match-saving 35-run partnership. Namibia still needed eight from 14 balls and Smit walloped another four. With just a run needed to win, Frylinck (2) smashed Brad Wheal’s full toss and was caught. Finally, in the last over, Smit clobbered a six to get Namibia over the line.

Namibia skipper Erasmus was delighted. “This has been an emotional moment. We know from here on we need to raise our game. It is always about showing intent,” he added.

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