THE Namibian senior cricket team narrowly edged past Hong Kong in the ICC World Cricket League Championship ODI encounter in Windhoek on Friday.
The hosts, who had convincingly triumphed over their Asian counterparts in the ICC’s Intercontinental Cup four-day match earlier in the week, managed to hold on to a one-wicket victory with only four balls remaining in a highly entertaining and nail-biting match at the Wanderers field.
Thanks to a solid 40 off 52, the visitors got off a good start and eventually reached 194/9 in their allotted 50 overs.
On a pitch that appeared to have a lot of assistance for the spinners, Namibian captain Nikolaas Scholtz took charge of the proceedings taking 4/42 in eight overs.
However, Hong Kong were not to be outdone and had the Namibians in a huge hole at 13/4 thanks to an inspirational spell by Nadeem Ahmed who ended with figures of 4/27 in his 10 overs.
Keeping their cool, the pair of Raymond van Schoor and Sarel Burger was able to steady the ship for the hosts with Van Schoor scoring an excellent 31 before being caught behind.
This brought inspirational skipper Scholtz to the crease where he put on a perfect batting performance alongside former captain Sarel Burger. The latter made his 50 before being dismissed on 52 while Scholtz was dismissed for 40 runs.
JP Kotze then came in and in the attempt to guide the team home wickets continued to tumble around him.
But things looked quite secure for the hosts who needed just one run to win off the last over with two wickets in hand before Bernhard Scholtz was run out.
This left Namibia with one run to wrap up the result off the last five balls with only one wicket in hand. Much to the delight of the home supporters, Kotze held his nerve and was able to steer the team home!