Namibia v Canada, Intercontinental Cup, Windhoek, 1st day October 25, 2007

Captain Kotze boosts Namibia

Cricinfo staff

Namibia 314 for 6 (B Kotze 87*, Scholtz 64, Verwey 49*, Soraine 3-54) v Canada

Bjorn Kotze played a captain's innings as Namibia fought back to edge the opening day of their Intercontinental Cup match against Canada at Windhoek. Most of Namibia's batsmen made starts, but it was Kotze and Nicholaas Scholtz, adding 94 for the fifth wicket, who made life tougher for the visitors.

For once Umar Bhatti, Canada's opening bowler, failed to make early inroads and instead that role went to Henry Osinde as he had Jan-Berrie Burger caught behind. Seventeen-year-old debutant Raymond van Schoor made an impressive start with nine boundaries in his 46, adding 59 with fellow new-boy Michael Durant, but Namibia stumbled against the medium pace of Durand Soraine.

van Schoor edged to the keeper and Durant was trapped lbw, then with a recovery in operation Soraine struck again to remove Gerrie Snyman (35). When Deon Kotze was caught for a duck off Sunil Dhaniram the innings was threatening to unravel.

Kotze, though, put his head to begin a lengthy battle while Scholtz was equally determined in a partnership spanning nearly 40 overs. It wasn't thrilling cricket, but suited Namibia's needs down to the ground. When the bad balls came along both players dispatched them as Dhaniram tried eight bowlers.

The breakthrough came from the offspin of Jason Patraj when he ended Scholtz's stubborn 123-ball innings. But the day closed in a flurry of runs as Tobias Verwey moved to 49 off 48 balls, adding 85 in 19 overs with Kotze who ended 13 short of his century.