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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Scholtz four-for backs up Baard, Erasmus fifties as Namibia win big

Bernard Scholtz gets congratulated after taking another wicket Peter Della Penna

Namibia 181 for 5 (Erasmus 52*, Baard 51) beat Kenya 94 (Patel 30, Scholtz 4-12, Smit 3-19) by 87 runs

After starting off the tournament with two lopsided loss to Netherlands and Papua New Guinea, Namibia are now red-hot after steamrolling Kenya by 87 runs for their third straight win to control their own destiny for one of Group A's four playoff spots. Stephan Baard and Gerhard Erasmus scored half-centuries at the front and back of the first innings before left-arm spinner Bernard Scholtz produced the tournament's best haul of 4 for 12 to decimate Kenya in their chase. A win over Singapore in their final group match will guarantee Namibia a spot in the playoffs.

Namibia chose to bat first after winning the toss and were kept to a reasonably modest total in the first 10 overs, reaching 75 for 1. Niko Davin fell in the second over, slicing a thick edge to short third man off Shem Ngoche's left-arm spin. But Baard and JP Kotze rebuilt with a 63-run stand to steady course after the early loss. Baard scored five boundaries in an eight-ball stretch from the fourth to the sixth overs, punishing the width routinely on offer.

Kotze was sluggish at the other end, doing what he could to rotate the strike and give Baard support. He finally fell for 24 in the 11th trying to slog Sachin Bhudia's medium pace with the keeper up to the stumps. The wicket sparked a brief collapse for Namibia with poor running accounting for two of the next three wickets in the sequence. Zane Green ran himself out after freezing amidst an lbw shout from Rakep Patel as Aman Gandhi underhanded into the striker's stumps from short third man. Baard fell for 51 in the next over, flicking Collins Obuya to short fine leg. JJ Smit was then run out in the 16th from short third man again as he hesitated on a call from Gerhard Erasmus at the non-striker's end to make it 108 for 5 with 32 balls left.

But Erasmus and Craig Williams scored 73 through the rest of the innings, including 57 off the last three overs. Erasmus was brutal over the leg side, particularly in the final over bowled by Elijah Otieno. The medium pacer had already overstepped twice in his opening over but paid the price for a third no ball in the 20th, over waist height this time, as Erasmus clobbered him over the largest boundary on the east side for six in a 25-run frame to move to 49. A three off the final ball took him to a 25-ball half-century and left Kenya deflated heading into the break.

Kenya's chase started poorly when Irfan Karim took on Gerhard Erasmus at midwicket and was sent back by Aman Gandhi as the relay to the keeper beat him by three yards to make it 7 for 1 in two. Christi Viljoen bounced out Dhiren Gondaria, claiming a top-edge charging in his follow-through to make it 28 for 2.

Scholtz then entered in the 7th and struck once each in his four overs bowled unbroken. Jasraj Kundi was defeated charging down the wicket and bowled leg stump for 2. Gandhi fell in carbon copy fashion to Kundi for 22. Obuya drove to long-on in the 11th before Ngoche fell in the 13th leg before to a missed sweep. By the time

his spell was done, it was 53 for 6 and the rest of the innings petered out. Smit came back to clean up the tail with three late wickets as Kenya failed to last their 20 overs. At 2-3 after five matches, they need to beat group leaders Papua New Guinea in their final match to have any hope of advancing to the playoffs.

Kenya 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
7IA KarimAR Gandhi
21DM GondariaAR Gandhi
8AR GandhiJS Kundi
8CO ObuyaAR Gandhi
5CO ObuyaRR Patel
4RR PatelSO Ngoche
26RR PatelNM Odhiambo
12RR PatelSR Bhudia
2LN OluochSR Bhudia
1E OtienoLN Oluoch