First defeat for the Eagles

JJ Smit in action for Namibia against The Netherlands. Photo: ICC

The Richelieu Namibian Eagles suffered their first defeat in their ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 tri-nations series when they went down by seven wickets to The Netherlands in Kirtipur, Nepal yesterday. 

Namibia had won their opening match in style when they beat the hosts, Nepal, by four wickets last Thursday, but yesterday they were no match for The Netherlands, who romped to a commanding victory with nearly half their overs in hand.

After being sent in to bat, Namibia were soon in trouble as The Netherlands’ off spinner Aryan Dutt cut through their top order. 

Kyle Klein dismissed Niko Davin for 13, before Dutt took centre stage, dismissing Michael van Lingen for 4, JP Kotze for 5, and Jan Frylinck for a duck as Namibia crashed to 30 for four wickets after 10,3 overs.

JJ Smit tried to revive the innings but he received little support and The Netherlands tightened their grip as the wickets continued to tumble, with Dutt the chief destroyer. 

Smit went on to score 26, while Ruben Trumpelmann added 20, Zane Green 19, Gerhard Erasmus 13 and Bernard Scholtz 12, before they were all out for a modest 123 runs. 

Dutt was The Netherlands’ top bowler, taking six wickets for 34 runs, while Klein took 2/21.

The Netherlands’ opening batters Michael Levitt and Max O’Dowd chased down the target from the outset and put them in control with a 78-run first wicket partnership at more than five runs to the over. 

Erasmus got the breakthrough, bowling O’Dowd for 28, while he revived Namibia’s hopes when he also dismissed Sybrand Engelbrecht for 6 and Levitt for 57 to reduce them to 101/3. 

Bas de Leede, however, took The Netherlands to victory, scoring 21 not out as they reached 124 for three wickets off 27,2 overs. 

Erasmus was Namibia’s top bowler, taking three wickets for 23 runs.

It was quite a reversal of fortune for Namibia after they comprehensively beat Nepal by four wickets on 15 February. 

Erasmus starred with the ball, taking five wickets for 28 runs as they dismissed Nepal for 132, while Namibia replied with 134/6 with just under 17 overs remaining. Jan Frylinck led the way with 34, while Nicol Loftie-Eaton scored 31. 

Two days later, however, Nepal bounced back with an emphatic nine-wicket victory against The Netherlands. Leg spinner Kushal Bhurtel took four wickets for 20 runs as The Netherlands were dismissed for 137, with Scott Edwards scoring 33.

Nepal’s top order comfortably chased down the target for the loss of only one wicket with close to 35 overs in hand, with Aasif Sheikh scoring 54, Anil Kumar Sah 57 not out, and Bhurtel 28. 

The series is now very evenly poised with all three teams on two points from two matches, although Nepal lead the log with the best nett run rate (+0,920), followed by Namibia (-0,220) and The Netherlands (-0,666). 

Namibia’s next match is against Nepal tomorrow.

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