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Gerhard Erasmus expects 'nice momentum' to keep Namibia's dream run alive

"I don't think we've quite fired as a team as a whole, so it's great that there's some potential sitting in the dugout still"

Himanshu Agrawal
Gerhard Erasmus and David Wiese shared a 93-run fourth-wicket partnership, Namibia vs Netherlands, T20 World Cup, Abu Dhabi, October 20, 2021

Gerhard Erasmus and David Wiese - Namibia's engine room, and more  •  ICC via Getty

Namibia open their Super 12s campaign with a game against Scotland in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, and with the team coming off back-to-back wins over Netherlands and Ireland, captain Gerhard Erasmus is confident of his side's chances.
"[I] think all of the players know each other," Erasmus said of the familiarity with Scotland, who they have played twice, in the UAE, recently, winning one and losing one. "We are going in [with] some nice momentum into this clash tomorrow night. We've played well in the Abu Dhabi stadium as well, and if we can rock up with that energy and positive momentum going into a clash, I believe we can get the better of them." Scotland face Namibia after a poor performance against Afghanistan where they folded for 60 after conceding 190 for 4. But Erasmus doesn't want to think about that result much, saying that he expected Scotland to be "hungry".
"We all know cricket is quite a rough game, and you can have days like that when another side is really on song and you find the going hard," he said. "So we wouldn't particularly be looking at their performance, we'll firstly focus on ourselves."
Although batting has been their stronger suit, Namibia haven't had the great returns from their top order yet. The openers combined to score only 15 against Sri Lanka, who rolled them over for 96 in their first qualifying match, before chipping in with 34 against Netherlands. It took a David Wiese special - he cracked an unbeaten 66 off 40 balls - for Namibia to hunt down 165 against Netherlands, after which Erasmus decided to promote himself to No. 3 against Ireland.
Over-dependence on Wiese and Erasmus then? The captain doesn't think so.
"David has had an excellent tournament for us. I don't think we've quite fired as a team as a whole, so it's great to know that there's some potential sitting in the dugout still that has to come right sometime in the tournament," he said. "We'll be looking to tap into the resources of each and every individual in the tournament, and not only a few of the guys… These guys have been playing quality cricket for two years against good opposition - back home, in South Africa, and [in] different conditions. So there's definitely a performance or two around the corner from some of the other guys."
For Namibia, the tournament has already been a success, though they don't want to stop just yet. "We have a very proud fan base - a very close one. I think all our supporters around are personally familiar with squad members. Everyone's quite excited when your athletes do well, and sport has the power to change the mood in a country.
"This along with our Olympians doing well over the last couple of months is a great sporting achievement too, which has really uplifted the spirit of the nation back home, and we'll be a proud team to have done that."

Himanshu Agrawal is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo