UAE v Namibia, Intercontinental Cup, Sharjah, 2nd day January 24, 2008

Botha leads Namibia fightback

Cricinfo staff

Namibia 164 and 164 for 3 (Botha 96*) lead UAE 224 (Saqib 104, Klazinga 3-43) by 104 runs

Namibia fought back strongly on the second day of their Intercontinental Cup clash against UAE in Sharjah, dismissing the hosts for 224 and gaining a lead of 104 by stumps. Dawid Botha, the opening batsman, was unbeaten on 96 at the close.

At the start of the day, UAE were nicely positioned to launch a late-innings onslaught to extend their lead but Ahmed Raza fell early on to dampen their hopes. Saqib Ali - who resumed on 72 - found stodgy support in Zahid Shah, with whom he put on 56 for the eighth wicket and, in turn, brought up his hundred.

Saqib's dismissal, to a Michael Durant offbreak, for 104 prompted a predictable tailend crash as UAE slipped from 220 for 7 to 224 all out, taking a first-innings lead of just 60.

Buoyed by the performance of their bowlers, Namibia's batsmen then began knocking off the deficit, Botha and Jan-Berrie Burger - Namibia's top-scorer in the first innings - putting on 81 for the opening stand. Burger fell to Khurram Khan, and Durant soon followed, but Botha remained firm and cracked 12 fours and a six to take Namibia into the lead.

Gerrie Snyman was bowled by Zahid Shah shortly before the close but, with Botha ready to resume tomorrow morning in sight of his hundred, Namibia are reasonably placed to set UAE a big target to chase with two days remaining.