The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: Nation in Superb Comeback

NAMIBIA produced a great comeback to beat North West by 83 runs in their 50-over CSA match at the Wanderers field yesterday.

Namibia's total of 176 appeared insufficient, especially after North West's openers put on 46 runs in the first 10 overs.

But a brilliant run out by Craig Williams inspired a great comeback by the home side and a massive collapse by North West as they lost their remaining nine wickets for only 47 runs, to be all out for 93 runs.

Namibia won the toss and elected to bat but were soon in trouble when Pikki Ya France was bowled for a duck by Cliffe Deacon.

Wian van Vuuren followed for 26 with the total on 45 before Namibia suffered a triple blow, losing three wickets within six balls.

Sarel Burger was bowled by Dale Deeb for 26 runs, and when Johannes Diseko dismissed Raymond van Schoor (1) and Nicolaas Scholtz (0) in quick succession, Namibia were struggling at 79 for five wickets.

Christi Viljoen however joined Craig Williams and the two revived Namibia's fortunes with a fine partnership of 75 runs.

Craig Williams went on to top score with 59 runs, which came off 78 balls and included three fours and two sixes, while Viljoen scored 29 off 56 balls.

Bernard Scholtz added 12, but Namibia's tail enders provided little resistance as the whole team was out for 176 off 43,2 overs.

Deeb, who took three wickets for 27 runs, and Diseko with three for 34, were North West's top bowlers.

The target did not seem much and North West seemed to be heading for an easy victory when their openers put on 46 inside 10 overs.

But when Rassie van der Dussen was out for 19 to a great diving run out by Craig Williams, the match turned on its head as Namibia produced a remarkable comeback.

Wimpie Viljoen was out the very next ball, LBW to Hendrik Geldenhuys for a duck, and when Louis Klazinga dismissed Kagiso Rapulana and Kyllin Vardhan off successive balls, North West crashed to 49 for four wickets.

Namibia kept up the pressure with regular wickets, with captain Sarel Burger leading the way.

He cut through North West's middle order, as they crashed to 57 for seven wickets, and although Dwaine Pretorius (14 not out) and Dale Deeb (12) offered brief resistance, it was not enough as North West were bundled out for 93 runs.

Burger was Namibia's top bowler, taking four wickets for 19 runs off seven overs, while Louis Klazinga took three for 31 off seven overs.

On Saturday, Namibia and North West's three-day CSA Challenge match petered out into a draw, with neither team in sight of victory.

North West declared their second innings at 243 for 7, leaving Namibia an improbable victory target of 313 runs. When the opposing captains finally called it a day, Namibia had reached 98 for two wickets, still 215 runs short of victory. Namibia had the visitors in trouble early on as they reached 163 for 6 in their first innings, but Namibia let North West off the hook, as the visitors' lower order batsmen led a remarkable comeback.

Cliffe Deacon, who top scored with 113 runs, put on a century stand with Dale Deeb (57) and 78 runs with Aaron Phangiso (37 not out) as they declared at 345 for 7.

Christi Viljoen, who took two wickets for 42 runs off 19 overs, and Jason Davidson who took two for 52 off 13 overs were Namibia's best bowlers.

Namibia's batsmen failed to apply themselves in their first innings, and of the top order batsmen, only Wian van Vuuren with 38 made an impression as Namibia stumbled to 113 for 5 wickets.

Christi Viljoen added 49 and Raymond van Schoor top scored with 57, while there were useful contributions from Louis Klazinga (32) and Shalako Groenewald (25 not out) as Namibia were all out for 276.

Namibia struck back with a great bowling display to reduce North West to 58 for 6 in their second innings, but they once again failed to press home the initiative as Cliffe Deacon and Dwaine Pretorius led a fine comeback.

They put on 148 runs for the seventh wicket before Deacon was out for 72. When Pretorius reached his century, North West declared at 243 for 7, leaving Namibia a victory target of 313 runs.

The target was way out of reach and at the close, Namibia had reached 98 for two wickets, with Pikki Ya France top scoring with 40, while Wian van Vuuren added 19 and Sarel Burger 25 not out.

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