31 January 2013

Namibia Aim for First Win

NAMIBIA'S cricket team will be looking for their first win in the CSA Three-Day competition when they take on Kwazulu Natal Inland at the Wanderers field as from today.

Namibia have not won any of their seven matches to date, having drawn three and lost four, and are currently second last on the 14-team log with 43,78 points.

But their opponents, Kwazulu Natal Inland, have also been struggling and are just two places above Namibia on 46,30 points, having won one, drawn three and lost three games.

As such, Namibia has a great chance to record their first win of the season to try and improve their log position.

National coach Doug Watson said if they remain disciplined and play to their strengths they can win the match.

"If we play to our strengths and win key battles of the game we can win the match," he said.

The Namibian team has been a bit unlucky in the past, having played themselves into winning positions only to lose concentration and lose the match.

Last weekend was a good example when they took on the log leaders Boland in Paarl and reduced them to 42 runs for five wickets at a stage.

Namibia however failed to press home the advantage and Boland recovered to score 208 in their first innings before going on to win the match by 82 runs.

"We were very disappointed to lose the three-day match. Our batsmen did not do as well as they should have and we have been working hard to improve their technique," he said.

Namibia did however record their first win in the T20 limited over series when they beat Boland by six runs - a result that puts them fifth on the log with a game in hand on the leaders.

On that occasion Namibia's former U19 captain Stephan Baard gave a match winning performance, hitting 53 runs off 42 balls, which drew praise from Watson.

"It was a very good performance by Stephan with the bat, while all our bowlers also chipped in for a fine all round team effort," he said.

Watson has recalled experienced all rounders Sarel Burger and Craig Williams for the three-day match, in place of Nicolaas Scholtz and Gerrie Snyman.

Shalako Groenewald is also out due to a knee injury and has been replaced by the young wicket keeper batsman Wayne Raw, who represented Namibia U19 at the Coca-Cola Week in South Africa in December.

Watson has also called up explosive batsman LP van der Westhuizen and bowler Hendrik Geldenhuys for the T20 limited overs match.

The CSA Three-Day Challenge starts at 10h00 at the Wanderers Field this morning and continues through to Saturday.

The T20 match takes place at the same venue, starting at 11h00 on Sunday.

The Namibian squad is as follows:

Pikki Ya France, Pieter Grové, Stephan Baard, Craig Williams, Sarel Burger, Raymond van Schoor, Christi Viljoen, Wayne Raw, Bernard Scholtz, Brandon Viret, Louis Klazinga and Mika Mutumbe.

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