December 5, 2010

ICC Intercontinental Shield

Williams takes Namibia to title

Andrew McGlashan
Craig Williams collects his Man-of-the-Match award from Dayle Hadlee, UAE v Namibia, ICC Intercontinental Shield final, Dubai, December 5, 2010
Craig Williams gets his Man-of-the-Match award from Dayle Hadlee  © International Cricket Council


Namibia captain Craig Williams hit his second century of the match to claim the Intercontinental Shield with a six-wicket victory against UAE. Williams ended unbeaten on 113 as Namibia knocked off the 187 needed despite a few early alarms and a determined hundred from Saqib Ali who ended undefeated on 160.

Ali began the day on 109 and the last two wicket added a further 24 runs before Louis Klazinga ended the innings to finish with 3 for 98. It left Namibia plenty of time to hunt down the runs, but they didn't make an easy start as Amjad Javed gave them some scares with the new ball.

He bowled both Raymond van Schoor and Sarel Burger to leave Namibia 27 for 2. However, a brisk stand of 52 between Williams and Ewald Steenkamp (35) settled their nerves before Javed struck again to have Steenkamp lbw. That, though, was the last time UAE were in the contest as Williams took charge with a commanding display as he scored at more than a run-a-ball and collected 15 fours alongside two sixes.

It was an easy decision to award him the Man of the Match after Williams struck 116 in the first innings and contributed 2 for 88 in 41 overs. "It has gone off really well. I am a bit emotional; I don't know what to say really," he said. "I am just happy for the team. We have worked really hard it's just a bonus that I happened to pull it off for the side in this game. It feels nice to score for a team like this."

Despite UAE's fightback on the third day, Williams was always confident in securing victory. "I don't think we were worried because we had a game plan," he said. "I thought they needed to get a lot more runs to get ahead of us. The pitch was playing really well.

"If we had to chase 300-350 then it would have been very difficult with their spin attack. But we just backed our game plan. You saw this morning we had ten guys on the boundary because we knew the game was in our hands. They had to come out and score runs. It's nice that it all went our way."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Andrew McGlashan
Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.

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