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October 30, 2008
Namibia 241 for 9 (LJ Burger 72*, KB Burger 22*) v Ireland
Ireland's bowlers impressed with a disciplined display on the first day of their Intercontinental Cup final against Namibia, reducing them to 241 for 9 at stumps in Port Elizabeth. However, this represented an impressive comeback by Namibia who at one point were 119 for 6, and their captain, Louis Berger, guided them to stumps in a much healthier position.
Under cloudless skies, Namibia decided to bat but were soon in trouble at 37 for 2 before Craig Williams and Sarel Burger then steadied them to lunch with the game nicely poised on 73 for 2. Peter Connell provided Ireland with the breakthrough, removing them both after lunch. And when Andre Botha dismissed Gerrie Snyman - Namibia's dangerman - Ireland soon had Namibia faltering at 119 for 6.
As they have shown throughout this year, the sticky situation in which Namibia found themselves did not spell disaster. Quite the contrary. Their captain, Louis Berger, refused to be dominated and cracked 10 momentum-siezing fours and a crisp straight six off Kyle McCallan. Bjorn Kotze (43) gave him excellent support in a crucial 91-run partnership before he was joined by Kola Burger who cracked 22 from just 11 balls.
The momentum hadn't totally shifted, but by stumps Ireland were lacking venom against a spirited response from Namibia.
"I think 240 looks a lot better now than it did earlier today. I feel a lot of the guys didn't value their wickets enough," Louis Berger, the Namibia captain, said. "At least three of the wickets that went down were due to loose shots. But overall, I am happy enough with 241 and hopefully we can go out in the morning and score a few more runs.
"If the ball is there I can certainly score a few more. I am with Kola and he can hit the ball further than me so I might leave the hitting to him and try to rotate the strike. If we can bat another 10 or 20 overs that would be ideal."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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