Namibia skipper Jack Brassel believes they did not get the rub of the green on Sunday when losing by eight wickets to Zimbabwe in their ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2024 clash in Kimberley, South Africa.
A sub-par batting display cost Namibia dearly as Newman Nyamhuri’s four-wicket haul led Zimbabwe to an easy win in the Super Six decider.
“It’s a bit disappointing. I feel like we did work hard, we just didn’t pull it through and get over the line today. We just have to carry on working harder and then come back stronger,” Brassel said.
Zimbabwe’s victory was a result of a good all-round performance to ensure their place ahead of Namibia in the Super Six stage of the U19 Men’s CWC. They will head to the Super Six stage with Australia and Sri Lanka from Group C.
“We were definitely aiming to get through to the super six. So, falling short of that is a little bit disappointing. I felt like we played well against Australia, as well as Sri Lanka. But today, it was the other way around. Our bowling let us down today instead of our batting in the last two games. Not enough of us put our hand up when it came to the batting which left us with a below par score for this wicket,” said Brassel.
Namibia will have a chance to end their campaign on a high, with a play-off clash with Scotland on Thursday. The USA and Afghanistan will face-off tomorrow outside of the Super Six bracket, having also failed to qualify for the next phase.
Zimbabwe captain Panashe Taruvinga was elated with his side’s effort and progression to the next stage.
“These are the moments you work hard for and we’re really happy for the result that we got. This game was not going to be about skills, it was gonna come down to who wants it the most. The boys went out there and put up a good fight. I want to give credit to the Namibians, they never gave up and didn’t make it easy for us,” Taruvinga said. “We did our homework. We knew what we were up against and what we had to do in order for us to win this game.” Nyamhuri, whose four-wicket haul won him the Player of the Match award, was chuffed about his bowling. “I think the surface was really soft and I was using that to my advantage. I was hitting the deck hard and trying to impart more pace to my bowling. The coach asked me to use my pace to my advantage and I did it.”
Zimbabwe’s bowlers stepped up in the big game after they opted to bowl. Kohl Eksteen struck early on with the wicket of Johannes de Villiers, but Namibia made a cautious start to deny further wickets in the Powerplay. Left-arm quick Nyamhuri dented Namibia with two strikes in quick succession as they slipped to 49/3 with the run-rate under three runs per over.
Skipper Alexander Volschenk tried to up the ante, but Nyamhuri struck at the other end with the big wicket of Zacheo van Vuuren.
Left-arm spinner Ryan Simbi’s second spell proved to be too hot for the Namibian batters. Simbi trapped Ben Brassell in front and then cleaned up Volschenk to put Zimbabwe right on top.
He added a third in his ninth over as Namibia lost their seventh with the score still in double digits. Hanro Badenhorst played a watchful hand from No.10, making a 76-ball unbeaten 39 with support from the tailenders as Namibia ground their way to 146 in 50 overs.
Zimbabwe needed a win to qualify, and Taruvinga did not take any risks on a surface that had thrown up some low-scoring games in the tournament.
Despite losing his opening partner Ryan Kamwemba early, Taruvinga’s cautious approach ensured that there was no slip-up.
Brendon Sunguro offered solid company from the other end and the duo made a century stand to all but win the game for Zimbabwe. Sunguro fell soon after for 29 but Taruvinga remained unbeaten on 49 as Zimbabwe completed the win with 17 overs and eight wickets to spare.
The Super Six fixtures will take place from today to Saturday, 3 February across four venues.
India and Pakistan topped Groups A and D, respectively, and they will be joined by fellow qualifiers Bangladesh, Ireland, Nepal and New Zealand to form the first group.
The second group will feature the top teams in Groups B and C – South Africa and Australia – joined by England, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe.
-Additional reporting from icc-cricket.com
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