Losing toss, batting first, Namibia breaks stereotype defeating Netherlands at TU


Kathmandu, Feb. 24: At the end of the first phase of the first tri-series of ICC CWC League 2 (2024-27), after Nepal, Namibia and the Netherlands played one match each, a stereotype emerged: the team that fields first at the TU International Cricket Ground wins.

The stereotype was also influenced by the earlier series between Nepal and Canada as Nepal won the second and third ODIs on February 10 and 12 after bowling first respectively. 

In the first three matches of the series, Namibia, Nepal and the Netherlands won respectively after winning the toss and electing to field first. 

Moreover, Nepal lost to Namibia in the second match of the tri-series on Wednesday after Namibia won the toss and Nepal was asked to bat first. In the post-match conference after the second loss against Namibia in a similar fashion to the first, captain Rohit Kumar Paudel and coach Monty Desai were busy convincing journalists that losing the toss did not matter much.

Desai replied that the team would win even if it batted first if the players perform their roles well and play good cricket. And, on Friday, Namibia practically broke that stereotype and proved that losing the toss and batting first at TU did not ensure that the team would lose the match at the end of the day. 

Meanwhile, in 18 matches of the PM Men’s Cup 2024 that took place at the TU Cricket Ground in January 2024, teams won the toss and elected to field first in 10 matches and bat first in the remaining eight. Teams electing to field first only won five of the 10 matches while those electing to bat first won six and lost two.

Namibia wins batting first

In the first face-off between the Eagles and the Dutch side in the tri-series on February 19, the Netherlands won the toss and elected to field first. Restricting Namibia to 123 runs in the morning, the Dutch chased the target with ease during the afternoon.

Recalling the first face-off, the Netherlands won the toss and complied with the trend where the team bowling first was winning at Kirtipur during the second face-off on Friday as well.

The Netherlands was able to bundle out the Namibia side in the 42nd over, but the Richelieu Eagles were able to post the highest target of the tri-series by then. While Namibia lost its first wicket in the third delivery of the very first over, some good batting in the middle order took the team to 203 runs at the end. No team batting first was able to reach the 200-run mark in the first four matches of the tri-series.

Falling a run short of his half-century after getting run out, Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton (49 off 43) was Namibia’s highest scorer followed by opener Malan Kruger (39 off 48), Jan Frylinck (34 off 57), Ruben Trumpelmann (23 off 26) and Zane Green (22 off 20).

With three wickets, Pacer Vivian Kingma was the highest wicket-taker for the Netherlands while Aryan Dutt and Roelof van der Merwe bagged two each. Shariz Ahmad and Bas de Leede also claimed one wicket each.

Namibia started its defence of the chase well as Trumpelmann sent opener Michael Levitt back to the dugout for a duck in the fourth ball of the first over.  

Namibia continued taking more wickets as the overs passed by, but Max O’Dowd, who was not able to score enough in the previous two matches, keeping his cool and playing well was increasing the pressure on the Eagles.

But after Max departed in the 23rd over adding 41 off 64, Namibia breathed a sigh of relief as the Dutch were at 91/4. Until then, Sybrand Engelbrecht (10 off 13) and Bas de Leede (24 off 44) returned to the pavilion.

Captain Scott Edwards could not reach the double figures. Teja Nidamanuru (14 off 27) and Shariz Ahmad (19 off 29) were able to keep their stand for some time alongside a dangerous inning by Noah Croes. 

Staying not out, Noah scored 46 off 56 while the team lost all 10 wickets for 179 runs in the 44th over. 

Skipper Gerhard Erasmus and Frylinck bagged three wickets each for Namibia followed by Bernard Scholtz’s two wickets. Trumpelmann and Loftie-Eaton also took one each. 

The Netherlands will face Nepal in the final match of the League 2 tri-series on February 25.

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