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March 26, 2008
Namibia will be looking to maintain their unbeaten run in the ICC Intercontinental Cup when they take on Netherlands in Windhoek on Thursday. The hosts, who are in third place - 18 points behind the leaders, Kenya - are 14 points ahead of Netherlands, who sit in fourth. Should Namibia win, they will leapfrog Ireland to earn a place in a final for the first time.
"One of our goals as a team is to get to the final of the ICC Intercontinental Cup, and this year, we have a great chance of doing just that," Louis Burger, the Namibia captain, said. "It is a great competition and we take it very seriously. I think we are ready.
"This is a big game for us. We are really looking forward to it becauset every time we play the Netherlands, it seems to be a good game. At this stage it is like a derby for us as we tend to play them a lot. They [the Netherlands] usually come very hard at us and I imagine they will do the same this time. We always go hard at them too so it should be fun. There is a good spirit in Namibian cricket at the moment. We play every game to win and right now it is working well for us."
Namibia will have to make do without their young batsman, Dawid Botha, who has opted to concentrate on academics ahead of cricket - for this match at least. And Burger, although philosophical, admitted his disappointment at Botha's absence.
"Losing Dawid is a blow for us because he is a fine player but he has committed himself to his studies so we have to plan without him," he said. "There are a few other young guys coming through though so the future is very bright."
Two of those players are Sean Silver and Raymond van Schoor, who, like Botha, took part in the recent Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia, and both are included in the squad for this match. Netherlands cannot be underestimated, however. In Ryan ten Doeschate and Alexei Kervezee, they possess two high-quality young cricketers, both of whom play county cricket, and are coached by Peter Drinnen, who was forced out of his Scotland post year . They also welcome back Daan van Bunge, the legspinner, to bolster their attack.
Namibia squad: Louis Burger (capt), JB Burger, Raymond van Schoor, Gerri Snyman, Deon Kotze, Bjorn Kotze, Kola Burger, Tobias Verwey (wk), Louis Klazinga, Ian van Zyl, Craig Williams, Sean Silver, Sarel Burger, Nicolaas Scholtz.
Netherlands squad: Peter Borren, Mudassar Bukhari, Daan van Bunge, Ryan ten Doeschate, Tom de Grooth, Maurits Jonkman, Muhammad Kashif, Alexei Kervezee, Geert Maarten Mol, Edgar Schiferli, Pieter Seelaar, Jeroen Smits (capt, wk), Eric Szwarczynski, Bas Zuiderent.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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