Williams and Burger demolish UAE
Namibia 267 for 3 (Williams 116, S Burger 73*) lead UAE 79 (K Burger 7-38) by 188 runs
Namibia took complete control of the Intercontinental Shield final as Kola Burger's 7 for 38 was followed by Craig Williams' aggressive century to leave UAE with a mountain to climb. Despite home advantage, UAE crumbled to 79 shortly after lunch and by the close Namibia were 267 for 3 with a commanding lead of 188 on an opening day of complete one-way traffic.
Williams dominated a third-wicket stand of 161 with Sarel Burger (73 not out) as he cracked 15 fours and four sixes against a demolished bowling attack. He was run out in the penultimate over of the day, but that provided scant consolation for UAE who had been blown away during the opening session.
"The key was to remain positive at all times. I told the guys that in a final we cannot be tentative," said Williams. "So I took the initiative and batted positively. Sarel's our banker who hangs around, while the others score briskly. It was important to get a big lead and put them under pressure as we want to bat just once."
UAE's problems started in the second over when Amjad Ali was bowled by Kola Burger and from there it was a procession. Captain Khurram Khan fell for a first-ball duck and Burger had the first three wickets when Arshad Ali was lbw. He bowled unchanged through the innings which ended shortly after lunch, collecting the final four wickets to complete his haul.
In the circumstances Naeemuddin Aslam did well to provide half the total with 38 before giving Louis Klazinga his second wicket. Despite the early loss of Raymond van Schoor, Namibia were already in the lead by tea as they scored at four-an-over.
Ewald Steenkamp (66) played an positive hand and looked on track for a hundred until he was caught behind, then Williams took over the innings in emphatic style. Seren Burger was content to play second fiddle to his free-flowing team-mate and he'll the opportunity to register his own hundred when Namibia attempt to turn the screw further on Friday.
"It was quite nice to have the ball swinging around," said Burger. "I bowled full and they were playing shots so it made it easy for us. I enjoyed myself completely today."