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News

Michael Leask: 'Why can't we top the group at the end?'

Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus felt his team had enough runs but lacked intent in the field

Scotland's Michael Leask is confident the team can maintain their push for a Super Eights berth at the T20 World Cup 2024 despite still having Australia to play as they sit top after half of their group campaign.
Leask was part of the match-winning stand with Richie Berrington which took Scotland over the line against Namibia from a position where it appeared they might struggle. It meant they had three points from their opening two matches following the washout against England where they had been well placed at 90 for 0.
"We've got a hell of a squad. It's no surprise to us [that we top the table]. It might be a surprise to some," he said. "England will probably say it was a surprise to them the other day that we're 90 off 10 overs. It doesn't surprise me. This team's got great depth. We've played together for a number of years, a number of us. We've got some new fresh blood so it doesn't really surprise us that we're in this position. We've got two more huge games and why can't we top the group at the end of it then?"
To maintain hopes of progression they will likely have to beat Oman before facing Australia in their final group match in what could yet be a clash with huge significance over who progresses to the next stage. Leask was well aware that Oman, who lost a Super Over contest against Namibia and had Australia 50 for 3, could cause them problems.
"Those two games could put us bottom of the table," he said. "There's still 80 overs of cricket to play and there's still a lot of other teams to do a lot of other things as well. We've got Oman on Sunday which is a huge fixture for us and then we go again.
"George [Munsey] and Michael [Jones] showed up top that they've got the skill and ability to face the best in the world [against England]," he added. "And the rest of us didn't get that opportunity on the day to show how good we are.
"I'm not going to sit here and say Australia is not going to be a difficult game. I'm not going to sit here and say Oman is not going to be a difficult game. Because I know how tough the associate game is, Oman is yet to fire, it could be against us."
Meanwhile, Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus was left to rue a defeat where he felt his team had not been at their best in the field having fought to a total he believed should have been defendable.
"I thought we had enough runs," he said. "It sort of followed that formula that we wanted to win this game by winning the toss and batting [in] a day game. [We] felt it [the pitch] slowed down towards the latter end of our innings. Throughout the innings there was a little bit of turn and a little bit of inconsistency of bounce when you put some energy on the ball, but unfortunately [it was] a bit of an off-colour display with the ball and perhaps an almost lack of intent in the field."
Namibia's draw means they now face England and Australia in their final two group matches. "We've come to play all four games evenly hard," Erasmus said. "There's four more points [available], and we're going to play our best game against the English and the Australians. Two very good white-ball teams...so what a great honour for us to share a field with that and compete with that."