Erasmus back for NamibiaBy: HELGE SCHUTZ
THE Namibian cricket selectors have made one change to the team to take on Eastern Province tomorrow, with Gerhard Erasmus coming in for the injured Pieter Grové.
According to coach Doug Watson, Grové has to undergo a hernia operation but he had full faith in the abilities of 17-year-old Erasmus, who has represented the senior team before.
“Gerhard is back in the team and has had a very good season so far at club level. He has done very well in the 40- and 50-over competitions, as well as at T20 level,” he said.
Erasmus will bat at number three, while Stephan Baard will open in place of Grové.
Besides Erasmus’s return there is another positional change with Wayne Raw to open the batting in place of Pikky Ya France, who drops down to number seven in the batting order.
Raw made a fine debut for Namibia last weekend when he scored 31 in his first innings and then opened the batting in the second innings, when he scored 24 runs.
Ya France has not done too well as an opener in recent matches, but Watson said he had been under pressure and could hopefully regain his confidence further down the order.
The rest of the team shows a lot of experience and strength in batting right down to number eight.
The team includes experienced batsmen like Raymond van Schoor and Craig Williams as well as all rounders like Sarel Burger and Christi Viljoen. According to Watson, Williams can also be relied upon to bowl again if the need arises.
“We are quite fortunate that Sarel Burger and Craig Williams can also bowl, because that allows us to select an extra batsman at number seven, while Christi Viljoen has had a very good season with the bat and ball,” he said.
Namibia will face a tough task against Eastern Province, who are currently third on the Cricket South Africa Three-Day log. The team will also include some franchise players and Watson is expecting a tough battle.
“They are a top quality side and they will include some franchise players like the Smuts brothers. But our players are eager to take them on and if they do well, it could open up more opportunities for them,” he said.
The three-day match starts at the Wanderers field at 10h00 today and continues to Saturday. The T20 limited-overs match takes place at the same venue on Sunday, starting at 11h00.
The Namibian team is as follows:
Wayne Raw, Stephan Baard, Gerhard Erasmus, Craig Williams, Raymond van Schoor, Sarel Burger, Pikky Ya France, Christi Viljoen, Brandon Viret, Bernard Scholtz, Louis Klazinga. Twelfth man: Mika Mutumbe.