Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - All-round Smit delivers as Namibia best Oman in tri-series opener. Smit struck a counter-attacking 56 off 60 at No.7 to drag Namibia to a competitive 228 before claiming 5-26.
Smit struck a counter-attacking 56 off 60 at No.7 to drag Namibia to a competitive 228 before claiming 5-26.
A stand-out all-round performance from stand-in Namibia captain JJ Smit secured an opening win for the hosts against Oman in the first match of the extended 8th CWC League 2 trilateral series at Windhoek. He struck a rearguard half-century and claimed five wickets to see his side to a 40-run victoryin his first game in charge.
Deputising for the injured Gerhard Erasmus, a broken finger carried through the T20 WC, Smit struck a counter-attacking 56 off 60 from No.7 to drag the hosts to a competitive 228 all out on the final ball. He then claimed 5-26 in the second innings, breaking the Oman chase and bagging two crucial League 2 points for the Namibia.
Namibia had got off to a steady enough start after losing the toss and being inserted by Oman captain Zeeshan Maqsood. No.3 Michael van Lingen compiled a fine half-century on ODI debut to take Namibia to 125 for 2 with support from the rest of the top order. The absence of Erasmus and David Wiese in the middle order would tell as Maqsood turned to spin in the middle overs, however, as van Lingen, Karl Birkenstock and Michau du Preez all fell in quick succession as Namibia stuttered to 137 for 5 in the 28th over.
Wickets continued to fall through the back end of the innings, with Maqsood himself finishing as the pick of the attack claiming 3-30 with his left-arm spin. Smit, however, kept his head and ensured the innings went deep. Ruben Trumpelmann would keep him company long enough to push the total to 200 before being bowled by Mohammand Nadeem for 20. With just last man Bernhard Scholtz for company, Smit began to hit out, launching Nadeem for two sixes in the penultimate over and Bilal Khan for consecutive boundaries before being bowled on the final ball of the innings.
Oman looked to be well-set in the reply, reaching 68 for 2 before Smit's first intervention with the ball, pinning league lead-scorer Aaqib Ilyas LBW with the first ball of the 18th. He then struck again a drinks break and two balls later as Nadeem played forward down the wrong line and was struck on the pad.
Maqsood and Sandeep Goud dug in for the fifth wicket, however, compiling a century stand to drag Oman back into contention at 176 for 6 with six overs remaining. It was Smit again that turned the game decisively in the hosts' favour, bowling Goud for fifty behind his legs in the 44th over to expose the Oman tail. He then took Nadeem Kushi's top edge two balls later, and then removed Khawar Ali with the first ball of his next over courtesy and miscued lap-shot into the hands of Trumpelmann at short fine leg to complete his five-wicket haul. Trumpelmann wrapped up the innings in the following over, as Maqsood holed out got a fine but futile 58 before Bilal Khan was clean bowled next ball.
The win over the table-leaders takes Namibia to fourth position on the League 2 table with 10 points from eight matches, well-placed to challenge for a podium finish with games in hand over Oman as well as the USA and Scotland, who currently occupy the next two spots. Oman themselves remain reasonably secure at the top of the table, 11 points clear of their nearest rivals albeit having played by a distance the most matches.
The two teams meet again tomorrow, in one of two extra matches added to make up for the fixtures cancelled due to the death of Oman Sultan Qaboos bin Said during the fourth round of the league at Muscat.