Ruben Trumpelmann described Namibia’s four-wicket win over Scotland as “massive” on Wednesday, after his figures of 3/17 assisted them in extending their dream Twenty20 World Cup run.
In Abu Dhabi, chasing a tricky 110, JJ Smit hit an undefeated 32 to inspire Namibia to victory with five balls to spare in their first Super 12 encounter after qualifying for the competition.
In the low-scoring encounter, Smit and David Wiese, who both made 16, put up a crucial 35-run partnership to hand Scotland their second loss of the group stage.
With his left-arm pace, Trumpelmann opened the show with three wickets in the opening over, limiting Scotland to 109/8.
“I was nervous out there, but I thought, it’s the World Cup, so why not enjoy it,” said man of the match Trumpelmann. “I use swing as a weapon up front, so luckily it went my way today. We hope to win a few more, but this is massive for us.”
The left-arm fast backed up his team’s decision to bat first by striking with the first delivery and then getting two in a row, including Richie Berrington for nought.
Berrington, who was filling in for regular captain Kyle Coetzer, who was sidelined with a finger injury, reviewed the decision, but replays revealed the ball had hit the leg stump.
The opening over was a fantastic start for a team ranked 19th in the world that stormed into the Super 12s after qualifying with victories over the Netherlands and Ireland.
“Credit to Namibia for bowling so well early on,” said a disappointed Berrington after seeing his team reduced to 18/4 at one stage. “At that stage (after the collapse) we just needed a partnership. Matthew Cross played well but unfortunately we didn’t get it going for long.”
In his sixth international in the shortest format, Trumpelmann produced his best T20 numbers.
Scotland, who were defeated by Afghanistan by 130 runs in their Super 12 opening, were rattled when David Wiese trapped Craig Wallace lbw for four.
With Michael Leask, opener and wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Cross sought to stop the bleeding, but he was bowled for 19 by another left-arm quick medium Jan Frylinck. For the effort, Cross took 33 balls.
Before being bowled by Smit, Leask played a lone hand, scoring 44 off 27 deliveries.
In the final few overs, the bowlers kept up the pressure, with Frylinck recording figures of 2-10 from his four overs.
Chris Greaves scored 25 runs before being caught on the final delivery of the innings.
In response, Craig Williams and Michael van Lingen got the team off to a good start with a 28-run opening stand, but Namibia was checked by Saafyan Sharif.
Greaves struck again with his leg spin, dismissing Van Lingen for 18 and wicketkeeper batsman Zane Green for nine.
To make the chase difficult for the T20 World Cup debutants, spinners Leask and Mark Watt each took a wicket, but Smit remained solid at one end to keep his team’s hope alive.
When asked about his team’s chances of making the semis, Smit smiled and said, “If we qualify for the semi-finals of the World Cup, it will be massive uproar in the cricket world. We know we can, we are in the Super 12. We are enjoying it.”
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