Kiwis one win away from semis



New Zealand put on a thorough all-round performance to beat Namibia in the first Group 2 clash of the day in Sharjah in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

The52-run win helps New Zealand leapfrog Afghanistan to the second spot in the Group 2 standings. 

Chasing 164, Namibia were unable to take advantage of the fielding restrictions as the New Zealand pacers kept a leash on the scoring. They eventually reaped the rewards, scalping three wickets after the Powerplay as the pressure kept building. 

Namibia never managed to recover from there as the Black Caps kept pegging at the wickets. The Eagles could only get to 111/7 as they fell short by 52 runs. 

Earlier, late fireworks from Glenn Phillips and Jimmy Neesham propelled New Zealand to 163/4.

After Namibia pulled it back in the middle overs with quick wickets of Kane Williamson and Devon Conway, Neesham and Phillips’ unbeaten 76 run partnership helped them finish strong. Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus won the toss and put New Zealand in to bat first in Sharjah.

Martin Guptill picked up from where he left off in the game against Scotland, making his intent clear with a six off Bernard Scholtz in the first over.

Ruben Trumpelmann wasn’t spared either, as Guptill walked down the track and smashed him straight back.

It was Namibia’s go-to man, David Wiese, who dealt the Black Caps the first blow. Guptill, trying to go for another big one, was done by the lack of pace, skying the ball to the hands of Trumpelmann at mid-off.

Kane Williamson and Mitchell struck a boundary each in the last two overs of the Powerplay but the latter perished as soon as the fielding restrictions were lifted. Mitchell gave Scholtz the charge but managed to slice it to deep point, where Michael van Lingen had to cover a lot of ground to take a fantastic diving catch.

Williamson and Devon Conway ensured that Namibia don’t inflict any further damage with a solid 38-run partnership. Just as Kiwis were wrestling control back, Gerhard Erasmus got his opposite number as Williamson, in the bid to up the ante after the drinks break, dragged on to his stumps.

Devon Conway was the next to make the long walk back. Trying to steal a two after dabbing it to the mid-wicket region, Conway was caught short at the non-striker’s end, with Birkenstock knocking the stumps over after a brilliant throw from Erasmus in the deep.

The two wickets in two overs pegged New Zealand back further, with Glenn Phillips and Jimmy Neesham tasked with the job of steadying the ship. Namibia bowlers kept the lid on the scoring in the middle overs, but were punished in the death for staying in this line and length.

Erasmus was guilty of gifting a full toss to Phillips, who dispatched it over the ropes. Neesham and Phillips ruined David Wiese figures in his last over, smashing him for two sixes and a four.

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