Half-centuries from Shaiman Anwar and Muhammad Usman laid the platform for UAE to beat Namibia by 19 runs and qualify for the World Cup Qualifier by the narrowest of margins. UAE ended their WCL Division Two campaign with six points, the same as Canada – who narrowly lost their last match to Nepal – and Namibia, but with a better net run rate than either.
Sent in to bat, UAE struggled to force the pace initially, and were 97 for 4 in the 31st over when Usman joined Shaiman. They proceeded to transform the mood of the innings, putting on 120 in 103 balls before being dismissed in the slog overs. Usman made 59 off 57 balls, with three fours and two sixes, while Shaiman struck five fours and three sixes in his 77 off 59. JJ Smit was Namibia’s most successful bowler with figures of 3 for 57.
Set 248 to win, Namibia slipped to 48 for 3 before Lohan Louwrens (43) and Craig Williams steadied them with a 50-run stand for the fourth wicket. Williams then put on 47 for the sixth wicket with Gerhard Erasmus before falling for 54 off 79 balls. It left Namibia six down and quite a way off the pace, with 94 still to get in 73 balls. They lost Smit soon after, too, but the in-form Erasmus and captain Sarel Burger (21) kept them in the hunt. When the offspinner Rohan Mustafa dismissed Erasmus for a 63-ball 58, Namibia needed 28 from 14.
They had only two wickets left, however, and Amir Hayat and Mustafa – who finished with three wickets apiece – ended their innings in a hurry, Namibia eventually bowled out for 228.
More to follow…