Scotland top World Cup cricket group with impressive win in Barbados


Richie Berrington and Chris Greaves celebrate Scotland’s World Cup win over Namibia at the ICC T20 Men’s World Cup 2024
Credit: Ian Jacobs


Scotland win by 5 wickets
Namibia 155-9
Scotland 157-5

Scotland moved to the top of their group with a pulsating five wicket win over Namibia. They displayed a maturity and game awareness on a level that surpirsed many neutrals at the Kensington Oval but few of their own players.

At the start of the game, there was general agreement in the Press Box that 155 was the benchmark of a “bang average” total for Namibia batting first.

Higher than that, their tight and disciplined bowling machine could defend it, but any lower and Scotland’s hyper competent openers would dig a big enough hole in it, and allow their big hitting lower order to finsish the job.

155. The wisdom.

When Namibia finished exacctly on that total, nobody in the stadium was any the wiser as to the outcome. It had been scripted perfectly. In fact some Namibians even thought they might be drawn into a second consecutive Super Over finish.

George Munsey and Michael Jones who had put on an unbeaten 90 for the first wicket in ten overs against England started slowly and looked less confident at the crease than they had against England.

Luckily for them Namibian star paceman Ruben Trumpelmann was nowhere near the form he showed against Oman where we took two wickets in the first two deliveries.

Instead those Ws were replaced by wides as he exercised the umpire’s arms on several occasions in his first two overs, one of those heading all the way to the boundary for four wides.

These gifted runs removed any urgency from Jones and Munsey to make the most of the power play. Yet Scotland remained solidly behind the equivalent score Namibia had made till the very end.

By the time Scotland had won with a comfortable nine balls to spare, many still did not know if this had indeed been a superbly executed comfortable win or a nail biter.

Scotland hadn’t taken the field in their washed out game with England so decided to bowl first. It took just three deliveries before opening bowler Brad Wheal made his mark. Jean-Pierre Kotze mistimed his effort to extra cover and Brandon McMullen pocketed the catch

Wickets then fell regularly but runs flowed too. At the half way point of ten overs, Namibia were 78-4, a very high score for that stage with plenty batting to come.

Brad Currie, Michael Leask and Mark Watt then made runs far more difficult to come by in the next three overs, which cost just 19 runs and hauled Namibia back to an average reward of 97-4 in 13 overs.

Captiain Gerhard Erasmus has held the innings together and passed his half century with a massive 6. His continued presence at the crease looked to be a key component of a big Namibian total.

The match changed next ball however when he was superbly stumped by Matt Cross off Leask. At that point Namibia were 106-5 of 13.4 overs. From that place 170 still looked plausible even without their talisman skipper.

However, Scotland’s bowlers rose to the challenge and bowled so well that the South West African side struggled to gather apace.

Chris Sole surrendered just 6 in his over before two costlier overs from others. At 135-5 (17), Namibia looked ready for at least 30-35 more and a tough total to set

Then Brad Wheal returned to the attack and removed the dangerous David Wiese (14) and the inform Zane Green who had made 28 in the same over, that ceded just 4 runs.

Even better Brad Currie gave away just three  and took a further wicket in the 19th over. Wheal catching Trumpelmann at mid off.

Thirteen off the last over saved Namibia a little and at a total of 155-9, the game now looked prerfectly balanced.

In reply, Scotland had dibbled on to 23 mostly fueled by Trumplemann’s wides when they lost their first wicket of the tournament, Munsey lofting Lungameni to Wiese at mid off but his next over cost 18 and that kept Scotland there or thereabouts on the run rate before more wickets tumbled.

First spnners Bernard Scholtz and Erasmus put the brakes on with some accurate spin bowling before the skipper snagged Jones for 26, caught behing by Green. McMullen was lazily stumped, not quite getting his back foot down, and Scotland were 69-3 at halfway, still needing 87 runs.

It was Namibia who then gained an upperhand with the excellent Scholtz getting a desrved wicket when Cross missed and was trapped leg before. Michael Leask entered and that was the trigger of Scotland’s path to glory.

From 78-4 off 12, needing 78 at 7.25 an over, he and captain Richie Berrington first ended a run of 22 balls without a boundary then produced an array of them.

Runs came off the next four overs by Lungameni 16, Erasmus 10, Scholtz 5 and Trumpelmann 11  with only Scholtz showing the ability to stem the flow.

Scotland needed 40 off the last four overs but had two batsmen, Leask and Berrington, well in and had seen off Scholtz.

Over 17 was bowled by Wiese and the Scots hamered 19 off it to swing the match unstoppably their way. Leask and Berrington had put on 50.

Trumpelmann bowled over 18 but his die was cast when Leask hit a massive 6 over mid wicket off his second ball. By the time he was caught for 35, Scotland needed just nine off 13 balls.

They surpassed that with nine balls unused for a maginificent, historic and unforgettable victory that placed them at the top of their group for two days until England and Australia meet.

They face Oman next in Antigua.


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