Namibia’s senior cricket side showed glimpses of what they are capable of during this year’s Africa T20 Cup, although the team could not achieve their targeted goal of topping the table.
The Africa T20 Cup is a Twenty20 cricket tourney organised by Cricket South Africa (CSA) featuring a combination of South African provincial teams, including representatives from African countries, such as Namibia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.
The Namibian team coached by Dayanand Thakur used the event in Pietermaritzburg to prepare for their crucial away matches in the ICC’s Intercontinental Cup and World Cricket League, slated for next month in Papua New Guinea. The Namibian visitors got off to a flying start when they beat Western Province with 2 runs on Friday, thanks in big part to Pikkie Ya France’s 40 runs, as the visitors accumulated 137 for 9 wickets off their 20 overs.
In their innings, Western Province got off to a slow start, but gradually built up the pressure, obliging Namibia to throw everything they have at the South Africans, as JJ Smit got three wickets to keep the opponents at bay.
With only a single over left to play for Western Province, the result could go either way, but the Namibians held on to claim a well-deserved victory.
The following day would saw an equally closely contested encounter against North West, but this time, the Eagles found themselves on the losing end. With Stephen Baard, 43, and the in-form Ya France, 24, looking to score almost at will, another win appeared to be on the cards.
However, both cricketers were bowled out in quick succession and the rest of the batting order couldn’t utilise their full potential, finishing their innings at 132-8. In reply, North West racked up 135 runs in 19 overs to win the game by 4 wickets.
In their last match, the Namibians suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of a strong KwaZulu Natal Inland side. The latter reached 146-9 in their 20 overs – bowling out their opponents for 84.