Eagles go top in Nepal

Jan Frylinck scored 34 runs and took three wickets against the Netherlands on 23 February 2024. Photo: ICC

The Richelieu Namibian Eagles completed their ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 series in Nepal in style with a 24-run victory against The Netherlands on Friday. 

That completed a rich haul for Namibia of six points following three wins out of four on their Asian tour, putting them at the top of the log in the series, which also serves as a qualifier for the 2027 Cricket World Cup that Namibia will co-host. 

On Sunday, The Netherlands bounced back with an eight-wicket victory against Nepal to finish second on four points, while the hosts could only obtain two points from one victory against The Netherlands. 

In Friday’s match, Namibia made a great comeback to recover from 77/5 to 203 all out, with Nicol Loftie-Eaton scoring 49, while The Netherlands were all out for 179, with Jan Frylinck and Gerhard Erasmus taking three wickets each. 

After Namibia lost the toss and were sent in to bat, The Netherlands made an early breakthrough when Vivian Kingma dismissed Niko Davin for a duck off only the third ball of the match. 

Michael van Lingen (10) and Gerhard Erasmus (12) did not last long, but Malan Kruger, making his One Day International debut, steadied the ship with a solid knock. Dutch offspinner Aryan Dutt, however, struck with two wickets in two balls to put The Netherlands in charge. He bowled Kruger for 39 which came off 48 balls (5×4), and when he dismissed JJ Smit for a golden duck the next ball, Namibia had stumbled to 77/5. 

Loftie-Eaton and Jan Frylinck, however, launched a spectacular revival for Namibia with a 78-run sixth wicket partnership at more than five runs to the over to take the score to 155 before Frylinck was dismissed for 34. Loftie-Eaton followed four balls later, run out for 49 off 43 balls (6×4, 2×6), but there were solid contributions from Zane Green (22) and Ruben Trumpelmann (23) as Namibia reached a competitive 203 all out. 

For The Netherlands, Vivian Kingma took 3/19, while Dutt and Roelof van der Merwe took two wickets each. 

Trumpelmann gave Namibia a great start when he trapped Michael Levitt lbw for a duck off the fourth ball of The Netherlands’ innings and when Erasmus dismissed Sybrand Engelbrecht for 10 they were two down for 39 on the board. 

Max O’Dowd (41) and Bas de Leede (24) led a revival, but Namibia struck back with regular wickets and when Loftie-Eaton bowled Teja Nidamanuru for 14, Namibia were in charge with the score at 114/6. 

Noah Cross and Shariz Ahmad led a fine fightback for The Netherlands, putting on 54 runs for the seventh wicket, but Bernard Scholtz got the breakthrough, dismissing Ahmad for 19 with the total at 168/7.

Croes tried to steer The Netherlands to victory, but he ran out of partners to finish on 46 not out off 56 balls (3×4) as the whole team was dismissed for 179 runs. 

Erasmus took 3/33, while Frylinck completed a fine all-round performance, taking 3/22, to win the player of the match award. 

It was a great victory, made all the sweeter by the fact that it was the first time on the tour that the team that lost the toss, had won the match. 

Namibia, Nepal and The Netherlands will now be involved in a tri-nations T20 series over the next week with the teams playing each other twice before the final between the top two teams on 5 March. 

The ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 tournament, meanwhile, continues with a tri-nations series between the defending champions, Scotland, the United Arab Emirates and Canada in Dubai, with UAE taking on Canada in the first match tomorrow. 

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