New Zealand 163 for 4 (Phillips 39*, Neesham 35*, Scholtz 1-15) beat Namibia 111 for 7 (van Lingen 25, Southee 2-15, Boult 2-20) by 52 runs

The stranglehold was on. Namibia's unheralded attack saw off one threat after another. Martin Guptill: no elevation, caught at mid-off. Daryl Mitchell: deceived in flight, caught in the deep. Kane Williamson: bowled. Devon Conway: run-out. New Zealand were plodding along nervously at 96 for 4 after 16 overs. Another wicket there and the Namibians would have leapt out of their chairs, along with many, many Indians.

Then the choke by spin ended, and the bowlers got a real shellacking as Glenn Phillips and Jimmy Neesham got stuck into the fast bowlers. The last four overs went for 67 runs, the most by a team in the death overs this tournament, New Zealand posted 163 and Namibia never quite challenged them after that.

Namibia are now officially out, while New Zealand need another big push to see off Afghanistan if they are to make the semi-finals.

Namibia take the pace off
Namibia's faster bowlers took the pace off early on. They bowled a succession of cross-seam cutters into the pitch, and slower deliveries. Anything but seam-up the traditional way. Without any swing, both Guptill and Mitchell trusted the even bounce to hit through the line without a worry. And then the first ball of the fifth yielded Guptill's wicket when he picked out mid-off as David Wiese struck.

Overs six to ten brought just one boundary as it became increasingly evident this was no easy pitch for a new batter to set up shop in straightaway. But New Zealand possibly had their two best players of spin in Williamson and Conway to do the running. Williamson had begun to shift gears when he hit Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton for a six and a four off consecutive deliveries but fell soon after for 28 when he got a thick inside edge onto the stumps off an attempted slog sweep.

The Erasmus impact
Prior to this game, Gerhard Erasmus had bowled 30.3 overs across 28 T20Is, averaging one-and-a-bit overs per game. On Friday, he sent down four overs, three of which went for just eight with Williamson's wicket to boot. He did so with a broken ring finger on his right hand. The run rate fell to below six at the start of the death overs as the batters struggled to force the pace. Between overs ten and 16, there were just 34 runs for the loss of Williamson and Conway. At 96 for 4, New Zealand needed a big finish.

Borren: Namibia were ahead for 80% of NZ innings, they will feel deflated
Borren: Namibia were ahead for 80% of NZ innings, they will feel deflated

The Phillips-Neesham show
Less than 24 hours after earning a Test call-up after nearly two years, Phillips batted the way he normally does: see-ball-hit-ball. And it needed some improvisation and brute force to take the surface out of the equation. Of course, it helped that Namibia's seamers either went length or too full in search of the yorker, completely deviating from the very formula that brought them success earlier in the day. Neesham too came out swinging and connected with pretty much every single strike.

Wiese came in for some tap in his final over. When he went for an offcutter, Phillips backed away and carved it over deep extra-cover for six. When he went away from the batter's arc, Neesham clattered him over long-on. When he went wide yorker, Neesham dug it out to bisect point and short third. The floodgates had well and truly opened. Then Ruben Trumpelmann followed two length balls that disappeared for boundaries. From looking good to get 135, New Zealand finished with 28 more. Wiese went from 3-0-19-1 to 4-0-40-1.

Namibia's conservatism
In trying to preserve wickets, there was a sense Namibia were being way too conservative. But Stephan Baard and Michael van Lingen picked up the pace in the last two overs of the powerplay. From no boundaries in the first four, they hit three fours and a six to end the powerplay at 36 for 0.

Could they have gone harder? Possibly, with Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner having eight overs of quality spin still in reserve. And it didn't take long for them to perhaps understand why. Baard was bowled neck and crop by Santner's drift and sharp turn, while Erasmus was out caught behind to a sharp-turning legbreak. At 55 for 3 in the tenth over, they had left themselves with too much to do, and Trent Boult and Tim Southee closed out the game in style.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo