An aggressive fast-bowling performance spearheaded by Chris Sole triggered Namibia's top-order collapse of 4 for 9, ensuring Scotland comfortably defended a target of 269 in a 51-run win (DLS method) at The Grange on Monday. Richie Berrington's century on Sunday had helped set the base before Sole produced a sharp five-over spell to begin play on the reserve day, claiming the wickets of Stephan Baard and Jan Frylinck. Namibia were bowled out for 217 in 39.4 overs.
Sole was well-supported by Safyaan Sharif, who finished with 3 for 40, the best returns in the match. Sharif struck the first blow of the day, pinning Louis van der Westhuizen on the crease with a fuller delivery for 33 to leave the score at 47 for 1 after eight overs. Sole claimed fellow opener Stephan Baard four balls later for 12 with a short ball pulled straight to Preston Mommsen crouching to the left of the square-leg umpire.
On a good batting pitch, Namibia's solid start had given them a decent chance of chasing the target but the double-blow dented them and they were further undermined by some poor shot selection from the following batsmen. Craig Williams tried to hook Alasdair Evans into a 30mph wind and though there was no protection on the leg-side boundary, the ball hung up in the wind long enough for Con de Lange to run 30 yards from square leg before pulling off a brilliant diving catch to further galvanise Scotland in the field.
Jan Frylinck floated a drive off Sole to Evans at mid-off to cap the slide at 56 for 4 in the 13th but Scotland kept the intensity high. Sole greeted Christi Viljoen with a first-ball bouncer that clanged off the badge of Viljoen's helmet and caused a delay as medical staff brought out an ice pack for the slightly dazed batsman. When play resumed, Viljoen edged another short ball from Sole over slip for four.
Viljoen did well to outlast Sole's spell but threw his wicket away against Mark Watt by sending a firm drive back to the left-arm spinner for a simple return catch. Coming in at No. 3, Gerhard Erasmus spent most of his initial overs blocking out the medium-pacers as wickets fell around him and later provided a wise counterattack, hitting with the strong wind against de Lange. He swept the left-arm spinner's third ball over deep midwicket for six in the 19th before repeating it in the 21st to bring up Namibia's hundred.
However, impatience got the best of Erasmus when he tried to scoop Berrington through the wind and failed to clear Evans on the circle at short fine leg to fall for 35. De Lange worked towards the tail as captain Sarel Burger missed a sweep and was bowled for 12 while Zane Green missed a reverse sweep and was given leg before for 12 to make it 168 for 8. JJ Smit and Zhivago Groenewald provided some clean striking, scoring 30 off 26 and 42 off 20 respectively, before Sharif returned to have both caught on the boundary at long-off to end the match.
The win puts Scotland in sole possession of third place on the WCL Championship table with 13 points, one behind Papua New Guinea in second and three behind first-place Netherlands. Namibia remain in last place on two points and another loss on Tuesday would guarantee relegation to WCL Division Two, providing another hurdle to reach the 2018 World Cup Qualifier.