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Recent Match Report – Scotland vs Namibia 21st Match, Group 2 2021/22

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After losing three wickets in four balls to begin the match, Scotland could post only an under-par 109

Namibia 115 for 6 (Smit 32*, Williams 23, Leask 2-12) beat Scotland 109 for 8 (Leask 44, Greaves 25, Trumpelmann 3-17, Frylinck 2-10) by four wickets

After countless clashes played in relative obscurity, two Associates gunning to go one up on the other came head to head in low, slow Abu Dhabi on the world stage. The setting may have been slightly unfamiliar, but the same couldn’t have been said about the compelling nature of the contest.

After being blown away by Afghanistan spinners two nights ago, Scotland were snuffed out by a succession of left-arm swing and medium pace that Namibia threw up on Wednesday. But they made a terrific fist of it courtesy their spin trio, before JJ Smit and David Wiese put together a crucial partnership to eke out a tight win.

Namibia now have three wins on the bounce, having started the Super 12s in a thumping fashion. Scotland will need to regroup ahead of potentially three of their toughest clashes, against New Zealand, Pakistan and India.

Trumpelmann’s early magic
Late inswing: check. Ball holding its line across: check. Short ball into the ribcage: check. Hard length into the pitch: check. An assortment of these combined to deliver three wickets in the first four balls of the match. George Munsey was out chopping on, Calum MacLeod nicking one he poked at and Richie Berrington, standing in for the injured Kyle Coetzer, taken out by late inswing. It made Ruben Trumpelmann the first bowler to take three wickets in the opening over of a T20I game.

Cross, Leask revive Scotland
Over the past three weeks, Scotland have often spoken about playing an attacking brand of cricket. At 2 for 3, could they really take a chance though? Matthew Cross and Michael Leask weathered the early storm and saw off the eventful powerplay that Scotland finished on 22 for 4, the second-lowest this World Cup behind Papua New Guinea’s 17 for 4 against Bangladesh.

Cross was far from fluent but dug in to give Leask support and the two added 39 to move on from that seismic shocks early on. Much of the runs in the stand came from Leask, who used the long handle effectively to pepper the short straight and leg-side boundary on one side. Cross, in trying to follow suit, perished to Jan Frylinck after missing a straight length delivery he backed away to slap over cover.

Namibia’s superb death overs
The secret of Namibia’s success with the ball lay in being boring and robotic with their tactics: stump-to-stump, cutters into the pitch, pace off and trying to bowl away from hitting arcs. It’s a different matter that the batters weren’t able to attack enough because of the early meltdown. Namibia’s excellent death bowling courtesy Wiese and Frylinck – they didn’t concede a single boundary in the last 25 balls – meant Scotland, despite Leask’s enterprise and the odd big hits from Chris Greaves, ended with a below-par total. They managed just 13 off the last three overs.

Namibia tread caution with the bat
Namibia openers Craig Williams and Michael van Lingen started slowly, the first 27 balls producing no boundaries off the bat as Scotland kept it tight. Pace off was working well, but their first attempt at bowling seam-ups and short in the mid-120kph led to two successive fours as van Lingen followed a thumping pull shot to the long boundary with a ferocious slap down the ground. But he perished in trying to force the pace as Safyaan Sharif got him to slice a pull to extra cover. His first two overs went for just five with Namibia ending the powerplay on 29 for 1.

Scotland’s spin trio strange Namibia
In trying to milk runs instead of going for broke, Namibia allowed Scotland a shoe in, and their spinners made quite a fist of it. A fine cocktail of Mark Watt’s skiddy left-arm spin and Leask’s loopy offbreaks led to a few flutters in the Namibian camp, after Greaves removed Zane Green at the halfway mark.

Green didn’t pick the googly and sliced a straight hit to Munsey at long-off, leaving Namibia needing 54 from the last ten overs with eight wickets in hand. But Leask left his mark seven balls later when he deceived Gerhard Erasmus with dip and turn to spin past a wild swing. Williams was brilliantly stumped after running down to Watt. At 67 for 4 in the 12th over, it was game on.

Wiese, Smit allay pressure
Scotland appeared to have had control, but in tying down Namibia with spin in the middle, Berrington look to get one over of Sharif out of the way. But with dew taking effect, the ball slid on, allowing Smit and Wiese to pick off crucial runs as the pair added 35 in 31 balls to ensure the asking rate never spiralled out of hand. Eighteen runs came from overs 15th and 16th, at which point the wheels appeared to have fallen. Wiese fell in trying to finish it off quickly, but by then he had done enough to close out the game. Namibia won eventually with five balls to spare with Smith scything a full ball from Sharif to the point boundary for six to seal the deal.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo



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SJN report – Another delay as CSA ombudsman asks for week’s extension

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“We will have a board meeting soon after we receive the report and then we will release it publicly,” CSA acting CEO Pholetsi Moseki

CSA’s Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) report will be delivered to the organisation a week later than scheduled, with the ombudsman, Dumisa Ntsebeza, requesting an extension to the revised November 30 deadline. The report will now be sent to the board on December 6.

Pholetsi Moseki, the CSA acting chief executive, confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that the report would be made public after the board has spent time deliberating on its contents: “We will have a board meeting soon after we receive the report and then we will release it publicly.”

The report will contain recommendations made by Ntsebeza on issues relating to discrimination in South African cricket, and is expected to cover issues around the culture in the national teams, selection, match fees, and the grassroots.

CSA is not obligated to implement any of Ntsebeza’s suggestions, but is likely to act on at least some of them.

This is the second time the report has been delayed after it was initially expected to be completed by September 30. The deadline had to be extended after several parties that were implicated in the first phase of testimonies between July 5 and August 6 requested for time to compile their replies, which was granted.
The second phase of testimonies was held in October and included responses by current head coach Mark Boucher, director of cricket Graeme Smith, and former men’s captain AB de Villiers. All three submitted written affidavits and did not appear before the SJN to give oral evidence, and only Boucher’s statement has been made public so far.
Although Ntsebeza had previously indicated that the process could do with more time, it has already run for most of 2021 after the first call for submissions was put out at the end of April. It is believed that CSA had budgeted Rand 5 million (US$ 350,000 approx) for the project but the amount has gone up because of the extensions. The costs have come at a time when CSA is waiting to see if its coffers will be filled by an India tour, scheduled to begin in mid-December but in doubt because of the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant in southern Africa.

South Africa’s men’s team is also due to play New Zealand (away) and Bangladesh (at home) this summer, while the women’s team is scheduled to host West Indies before the Women’s World Cup.

Last week, CSA confirmed that all national teams would continue to take a knee before each match this season to show solidarity with the fight against racism.



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