Namibia's senior cricket side, the Eagles, inspirational captain Gerhard Erasmus on Saturday delivered an awe-inspiring performance on the opening day of the Castle Lite Series to surpass a record 1 000 T20 career runs as he steers to a seven-wicket win over the visiting Cranes of Uganda.
The Castle Lite Series, which is underway in Windhoek at the Wanderers field, saw the Eagles taking on the touring Cranes of Uganda on Saturday, which officially marked the opening day of the cricket series and the Namibians were on fire as they marched to a seven-wicket comfortable win.
Skipper Erasmus, who also scooped the Man of the Match, played a captain's innings to propel Namibia to victory in their first T20 international against the lively Ugandans.
Erasmus and Michau du Preez had an unbroken partnership of 82 runs as Namibia easily reached the winning target of 135 with five overs to spare Uganda who won the toss opted to bat and got off to a quick start with Roger Mukasa and Arnold Otwani putting on 37 for the first wicket.
Namibian pace bowler Ben Shikongo got the breakthrough, bowling Mukasa for 26, and when spinner Bernard Scholtz dismissed Otwani for seven, Uganda were two down with 40 runs on the board.
Uganda's innings was revived by Hamu Kayondo and Ronak Patel with a 48-run partnership before Nicol Loftie-Eaton dismissed Kayondo for 28 while Shikongo bowled Dinesh Nakrani for one, and Uganda were four down for 92 runs.
Riazat Shah added a rapid 23 off 14 balls as Uganda reached a total of 134 for five wickets off their 20 overs. In reply, Namibia lost their openers early on, with JP Kotze going for two and Craig Williams for four, but Erasmus and Loftie-Eaton put them back on track with a 41-run partnership.
Namibia reached the target with five overs to spare and Shikongo with two wickets for 24 runs was the pick of the Namibian bowlers.
In a post-match interview with New Era Sport on Saturday, Uganda cricket media officer Innocent Ndawula said they were unlucky on the opening day but assured that they will bounce back as the series progresses.
"We are happy to be here competing in the series, we feel welcomed as we are getting good hospitality and the love can be felt all over. Today (Saturday) was a good start for both teams but Namibia was too quick for us and they took the win. But there is a good sign that it will be an interesting competition in the next coming days," he said
The two teams continued with action yesterday at the Wanderers field, which marked Day 2 of the series. At the time of going to print, action was still underway.
- additional info by Nampa