Punjab off to winning start 

Kaul Siddarth took three wickets for Punjab against the Namibian Eagles yesterday. Photo: Helge Schütz

Punjab Cricket Association got off to a winning start on their Namibian tour when they beat the Namibian Eagles by three wickets at the Wanderers ground yesterday. 

After being sent in to bat the Eagles were dismissed for a mediocre 173, a target which was never a problem for the visitors, who reached it with 17 overs to spare. 

Namibia got off to a poor start as Malan Kruger was trapped lbw for a duck by Kaul Siddharth and Lohan Louwrens bowled by Gurnoor Brar for 2, to reduce them to 5/2 after two overs. 

Gerhard Erasmus did not last long, before being dismissed by Sanvir Singh for seven, but Jan Frylinck with 27 and new cap Alexander Volschenk with 39, launched a comeback to take the score to 119/5 by the 30th over. 

JP Kotze continued the revival with a solid knock in the middle order, reaching his half century before being dismissed shortly after by Siddharth for 51 which came off 74 balls (3×4, 1×6). 

Further down the order Shaun Fouche scored 11 before Siddharth and Naman Dhir cleaned up the tail to dismiss Namibia for 173 off 41,3 overs. 

Siddharth with 3/28 off seven overs and Dhir with 3/14 off 2,3 overs were Punjab’s best bowlers. 

In reply, Nambia’s opening bowlers Junior Kariata and Ben Shikongo both got an early wicket with Kariata dismissing Pukhraj Mann for a duck, while Ben Shikongo dismissed Simran Singh for 8, but Naman Dhir and Sanvir Singh put Punjab on the road to victory with a 131-run partnership. 

Tangeni Lungameni finally broke the partnership when he dismissed Singh for 70 which came off 79 balls (10×4), and when PD Blignaut dismissed Dhir for 61 off 64 balls (6×4,1×6), Punjab were cruising at 159/4.

Kariata, however, struck with a few wickets towards the end but the outcome was never in doubt as they reached the target with 17 overs to spare. 

Kariata was Namibia’s best bowler taking 3/28 off six overs, while Lungameni took 2/31 off eight. 

The second 50-over match in the Castle Lite Series takes place at the Wanderers tomorrow, starting at 09h30.

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