Namibia 180/2 (Louwrens 114) beat Kenya 176 (Ghandi 52; Burger 5/24) by eight wickets with 23 overs remaining
A disciplined bowling performance from Namibia restricted Kenya to 176 at Lincoln before a superb hundred from Lohan Louwrens saw them through to a comprehensive eight-wicket win.
Namibia won the toss and elected to field, but though they claimed an early wicket, the decision seemed at first a foolhardy one as Kenya progressed reasonably serenely to 85/1. Opener Aman Ghandi laid the platform, registering a solid half-century, but was dismissed along with five others by Petrus Burger who burst through the opening created by Shaun Fouche’s removal of Aveet Desai for 32 to claim 5/10 in the last five overs of his spell to rip the heart out of the Kenyan innings.
He, as Namibia did in general chose to maintain a stump-to-stump line, restrict scoring opportunities, and wait for the breakthrough which showed in the manner of the dismissals, all but two falling either bowled or LBW.
When Burger’s excellent spell finished – his 5/24 are the best figures by a Namibian in all U19 ODIs – Kenya were 132/7 and looking at a score of less than 150, but a small tail-wag and help from extras – which contributed nine out of the 26 runs added by the last wicket – allowed them to post a score which you thought may prove tricky, with Namibia yet to score more than 200 this tournament.
Even had they needed 300 however, Kenya may not have contained Namibia, and their captain Lohan Louwrens in particular, who smashed a marvellous hundred. His domination was total, striking 13 fours and three sixes in his 77-ball innings, scoring all around the ground. The sixes were struck traditionally, straight down the ground, but many of his runs came in decidedly more modern fashion, with the opener demonstrating his full repertoire of sweeps and laps.
He received good support from Jurgen Linde and Sean Fouche, and was helped by some generous Kenyan fielding, drops and misfields both, but it would be wrong to focus too much on anyone other than him. Today belonged to Louwrens and Burger, and through their efforts Namibia. After a difficult tournament, they finally have something to celebrate.