Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - New Zealand ease past Namibia to boost semifinal chances. Glenn Phillips and James Neesham took the game away from Namibia in the last four overs.
Glenn Phillips and James Neesham took the game away from Namibia in the last four overs.
New Zealand registered a comfortable 52-run win over Namibia to knock Gerhard Erasmus's team out of contention from the semifinal race, on Friday (November 5). However, the margin of the win also means that New Zealand will have to beat Afghanistan in their next match to have a chance of qualifying for the last four of the 2021 T20 WC.
Did New Zealand have it easy all along?
Martin Guptill, despite hitting Bernard Scholtz for a six in the first over, didn't really tee off along with his opening partner Daryl Mitchell. The duo took a now-popular approach in the tournament – of biding their time in the middle, getting used to the pace of the wicket and then going on the aggressive. However, just when they looked settled, Namibia bowlers struck in quick succession. Guptill, looking to go over the infield on the offside, failed to pick up David Wiese's slower ball and was caught at midd off. Mitchell, on the other hand, was dismissed by Scholtz.
That's it? Did they fight back from there?
Again, not really.
Namibian spinners kept a leash on New Zealand's scoring. Gerhard Erasmus, in particular, was extremely tight with his lines and didn't allow them to break free. When Kane Williamson tried, he inside-edged the ball onto his stumps. Erasmus also contributed with his fielding, effecting a direct run out against the run of play to dismiss Devon Conway. With two of New Zealand's best players of spin struggling, a big total seemed out of bounds – around the 16th over mark when they had barely crawled to 96 for 4.
How did they post such a big total then?
James Neesham and Glenn Phillips broke free in the death overs.
It helped that the Namibia bowlers, who had made good use of the slow surface, started pitching it fuller. Once Neesham hit Wiese for a couple of sixes and a four in the 18th over, the bowlers started erring in their lines as well. They couldn't protect the smaller part on the boundary and neither could avoid the wide deliveries. Quick running between the two batters helped New Zealand's case as they put on an unbeaten 36-ball 76 for the fifth wicket.
How did Namibia approach their innings?
In a slower but a similar manner as that of New Zealand.
The openers – Stephen Baard and Michael van Lingen – made a slow start and had found their rhythm when the latter's stumps were knocked over by Neesham with a straight delivery in the eighth over.
Once the spinners were brought into operation, they struck early as well – with Santner cleaning up Baard and Ish Sodhi having Erasmus caught behind. Namibia, despite a steady stand between Zane Green and David Wiese, for the fourth wicket, couldn't fully recover from there.
They too were controlled in the middle overs, and unlike New Zealand, couldn't find the late push. New Zealand pacers stuck to a more predictable plan of digging the ball short of length and reaping the benefits of the slow-paced pitch. Namibia were eventually restricted to 111.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 163/4 in 20 overs (Glenn Philips 39*, James Neesham 35*; Bernard Scholtz 1-15, Gerhard Erasmus 1-22) beat Namibia 111/7 in 20 overs (Michael van Lingen 25, Zane Green 23; Tim Southee 2-15, Trent Boult 2-20) by 52 runs