Preview: Battle for top spot as giant-killers Namibia face the Dutch
Namibia sent shockwaves around the cricketing world with their stunning win over Sri Lanka on Sunday, and Gerhard Erasmus’ side would move close to sealing a spot in the Super 12 stage for the second successive Men’s T20 World Cup should they beat fellow opening-day winners Netherlands.
Opponents Netherlands could barely have asked for a better start to their campaign and showed cool heads to get over the line against UAE in their opener.
Max O’Dowd’s quick-fire knock during the powerplay allowed the rest of his teammates to keep up with the required run rate without taking too many risks – something that came in extremely handy when wickets fell in cluster during the chase.
The Dutch could do with the highly rated Bas de Leede, along with senior pros Colin Ackermann and Tom Cooper, adding more runs at the top of the order to take the pressure off O’Dowd.
Namibia’s Jan Frylinck was a revelation with his hitting at the back end of the innings and will be someone Netherlands have to watch out for. But Namibia’s top order flattered to deceive on the opening day and, if the Dutch can use spin to good effect, they could well be in the running for causing an upset of their own.
Left-armer Fred Klaassen was outstanding with the ball against UAE and set the tone for restricting his opponents to a sub-par score. Scott Edwards will once again turn to him to stem the flow of runs and make early inroads.
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Jan Frylinck was the star of the show as Namibia caused a major upset by beating recently crowned Asia Cup champions Sri Lanka in the first game. He led the rescue act for Namibia with the bat, scoring 44 off only 28 to lead them to a strong total. Frylinck then wreaked havoc with the ball, taking two wickets in four overs to derail the opposition’s run-chase.
The Namibian all-rounder failed to make a statement with the bat in the last match, but his power-hitting prowess can hardly be doubted. He did make up for it with the ball by taking two wickets at an economy of 4.00 to put pressure on the Lankans. Wiese is a big-game player with plenty of experience for Namibia.
Logan van Beek
Dutch cricketer Logan van Beek didn’t have a successful outing against UAE in their first match. He failed to pick up a single wicket in his two-over spell and also conceded 19 runs. However, the 32-year-old is immensely experienced and will be looking to get the breakthroughs for his side here.
Namibia: Michael van Lingen, Divan la Cock, Stephan Baard, Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Gerhard Erasmus (c), Jan Frylinck, JJ Smit, David Wiese, Zane Green (wk), Bernard Scholtz, Ben Shikongo
Netherlands: Vikramjit Singh, Max ODowd, Bas de Leede, Colin Ackermann, Tom Cooper, Scott Edwards (c &wk), Roelof van der Merwe, Tim Pringle, Logan van Beek, Fred Klassen, Paul van Meekeren
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