Spirited Namibia post tricky 197-run target

Strong hands from Fouche, Loftie-Eaton and Burger boost Namibia despite Hollman’s 3/41

Namiba 196/9 (Fouche 44, Loftie-Eaton 39; Hollman 3/41)

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Namibia opted to bat against England in their Group C encounter at the 2018 ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup, hoping to post a tricky total and avoid the inevitable scoreboard pressure they would be under had they batted second. Despite struggling for large parts of the innings, solid knocks from Sam Fouche, Petrus Burger and Nicol Loftie-Eaton helped Namibia post 196/9, a target England will consider tricky, at the beautiful John Davies Oval in Queenstown on Monday (January 15).

Given the start Namibia had, they would be disappointed at not being able to further capitalise on that. Jurgen Linde and Lohan Louwrens added 42 runs for the opening wicket within ten overs, carefully picking their shots and putting away the short-pitched deliveries. England’s opening bowlers – Ethan Bamber and Dillon Pennington – couldn’t find a way past them, but a bowling change eventually did it for them as Linde (16) holed out off Luke Hollman.

The wicket triggered a slide. Lohan Louwrens (24), the captain, holed out off Will Jacks, and Eben van Wyk (17), Erich van Mollendorff (6) and Gerhard Lottering (0) could only make minor contributions before they were sent back.

All the while, however, Fouche sealed up one end, putting on partnerships of 24 with van Wyk, 27 with Mollendorff and 26 with Loftie-Eaton. By the time Fouche departed, chipping a catch to mid-on off Hollman, he had scored a 75-ball 44, taking Namibia past the 100-run mark.

Loftie-Eaton then took charge, ably supported by Burger. The two went about attacking England in what turned out to be Namibia’s best period of play. They put on 33 for the seventh wicket before Burger holed out off Hollman, having picked the bowler for consecutive fours earlier in the innings. Then, Loftie-Eaton dished out similar treatment to Brook before being trapped in front by Scriven.

Ramon Wilmot’s 18-ball 13, comprising some efficient, even desperate running, helped Namibia near the 200-mark – a commendable effort from Namibia, especially given England’s excellent over-rate. Hollman returned 3/41, and was the pick of England’s bowlers.

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