Namibia blown away by Australia 

Jan Frylinck in action for Namibia against Australia. Photo: ICC

Namibia’s hopes of reaching the Super 8 round of the T20 World Cup received the death knell yesterday when they suffered a comprehensive nine-wicket defeat to Australia in Antigua.

Australia were always the heavy favourites, but there was hope, especially after the USA’s stunning victory against Pakistan that another Associate nation could shock the cricketing world.

It was not to be, however, as Australia ruthlessly dismantled Namibia to cruise to the second biggest margin of victory in terms of balls-in-hand in T20 internationals. 

After being sent in to bat, Michael van Lingen and Niko Davin put on 14 for the first wicket before Josh Hazlewood struck, dismissing Davin for two. 

From then on it became a procession as Australia’s pace bowlers cut through Namibia’s top order before leg spinner Adam Zampa cleaned up the tail. 

Namibian captain Gerhard Erasmus fought a lone battle with a courageous innings, that started very slowly as he only got off the mark after 17 balls.

Erasmus, however, took the fight to Australia, hitting some exquisite boundaries, including a huge six off Pat Cummins, before being caught for 36 off 43 balls (4×4,1×6). The only other batter to reach double figures was Michael van Lingen (10) as Namibia were all out for 72.

Zampa led the way with four wickets for 12 runs, becoming the first Australian bowler to reach 100 T20 international wickets in the process. 

Australia’s opening batters wasted no time in chasing the target down as they raced to 74/1 off only 5,4 overs, with Travis Head not out on 34 and captain Mitchell Marsh not out on 18. 

Namibia’s only wicket taker was David Wiese who had Dave Warner caught in the deep for 20. 

The win put Australia at the top of the log in Group B on six points and through to the Super 8 stage, but Namibia are now third on two points and out of the running for the Super 8s. 

It was a heavy and sobering defeat and Namibia coach Pierre de Bruyn yesterday said it was difficult to contemplate. 

“It’s probably one of our biggest defeats in history and it’s a game that we want to forget very quickly. However, on the flip side, it’s more important to remember this game for other reasons, and that is we had the opportunity and privilege to play against the best in the world, meaning that you can measure yourself against the best and really get a true reflection of where you are,” he said. 

“We were completely outskilled and out-thought by world-class cricketers and finding the answers and information is tough. It’s really tough for everyone, for the players, and everyone part of the team.

De Bruyn, however, only had praise for his team. 

“It was not for a lack of trying and I’ve got a lot of empathy for the group of players, but they were just blown away tonight. They don’t deserve that because I know that these players are really trying their best, day in and day out. So I’ve got a lot of empathy for them of what they had to endure tonight.”

De Bruyn said Namibia had a lot of work to do.

“It was a rude awakening of where we are compared to the best in the world, and are we moving at the right tempo as an Associate team. I’m not saying that you need to be the best in the world, but if you look at Associate teams like Scotland and the USA, these guys are moving fast, and if teams like us are just jogging and not sprinting, we are going to be found out,” he said. 

“We need to take this information and see what we can doto move at the right pace, when it comes to our skill sets, the level of competition that we have year in and year out, and the amount of players that are pushing through in our system to create relentless competition within the squad. So that’s what I’m holding on to, I’m holding on to that information of what we need to do to develop and learn quicker,” he added.

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