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By Peter Della Penna in Dubai (on Twitter)
Scorecard powered by the New Inning Foundation I Match Commentary
Namibia opener Raymond van Schoor carried his bat to finish 79 not
out off 55 balls with 11 boundaries to be named Man of the Match as USA
lost to Namibia by 17 runs on Thursday at the 2012 ICC World Twenty20
Qualifier in Dubai. Van Schoor, in tandem with Namibia captain Sarel
Burger, crucially boosted the Namibians from 135 for 4 in 17 overs to
177 for 4 by the end of the innings, which was too much for USA to chase
in the end. Namibia stays undefeated and at the top of Group B at 3-0
while USA remains winless at 0-3.
“We had the game under control until the 17th over. Namibia played
really well in the last three. That probably had a big impact on the
overall game situation,” said USA captain Sushil Nadkarni after the
loss. “I feel like we need to develop bowling at the death and that will
come with experience. Right now a lot of the bowlers, this format is a
little new to them but they’re bowling extremely well. So we’re
competing against some of the better teams and playing really well in
the field. When you get to the death, teams are going after you and a
lot of times you need experience to know what to do and not react to the
USA made two changes from the XI against Italy, bringing Nauman
Mustafa back into the lineup for the injured Gowkaran Roopnarine, who
has been ruled out of the tournament along with Ryan Corns with each
player suffering leg injuries. Curiously, Mustafa played in the field
and Steven Taylor kept wicket for USA, even though Mustafa was selected
to be on tour as the first choice gloveman. Andy Mohammed was also
brought in to replace Elmore Hutchinson as USA looked to strengthen
their batting against a Namibia team that had posted 192 on Wednesday
won the toss and elected to bat first on the smallest ground in the
tournament, the ICC Global Cricket Academy Oval number two. Considering
the score Namibia made against Scotland on a larger outfield in Abu
Dhabi, USA’s effort in the field was commendable.
Gerrie Snyman opened the batting with van Schoor and the two put on
49 for the first wicket in just 5.1 overs. The biggest damage was doled
in out in the fifth over bowled by Asif Khan who repeatedly strayed on
the legs of the Namibia batsman to be swept through the on side for four
Snyman was bowled for 29 by Abhimanyu Rajp to start the sixth when an
attempted slog through midwicket failed to connect. USA got a big boost
when Orlando Baker had Louis van der Westhuizen mistime a drive to Adil
Bhatti at mid off and the tournament’s only centurion and overall
scoring leader was gone for 4 to make it 70 for 2 in the ninth.
Craig Williams joined van Schoor and should have been out for 12 and
the score 83 for 2 in the 11th when he lofted a full delivery from Baker
toward Bhatti on the boundary again. Bhatti covered 25 yards running to
his right and made a great effort to get two hands to it but couldn’t
hang on. Williams spanked the next ball for six to rub it in and
eventually made 41 in a 56-run partnership with van Schoor. He fell in
the 16th over trying to cross bat a short ball from Rajp and top edged
it to Khan at short third man who took a splendid one-handed catch.
USA struck again eight balls later to make it 133 for 4 with one ball
to go in the 17th when Nicholaas Scholtz was bowled by Baker for 2. It
looked like USA could contain Namibia for under 160, but van Schoor
turned it on after reaching 50 on the first ball of the 17th. In his
final 11 balls, van Schoor scored 29 runs including five boundaries.
Sarel Burger scored off every ball he faced at the other end and 15
minutes later USA was staring at a daunting target of 178.
It didn’t get much better for USA when Nadkarni was out second ball
hooking Snyman to deep square leg. Mustafa lasted just four balls coming
in at number three before driving loosely to Burger at cover, giving
Hendrick Geldenhuys his first wicket as USA stumbled out of the gate
with the score 3 for 2 nine balls into the chase.
Aditya Mishra came in and along with Steven Taylor constructed USA’s
best partnership of the tournament, 64 runs for the third wicket. Taylor
mostly stayed in his shell though, hitting one four in his 21 of 24
balls before he was caught on the cover boundary by van der Westhuizen
off the bowling of Louis Klazinga.
Baker came in and after initially struggling to time the ball started
to catch up to the pace established by Mishra. The vice-captain was
feasting on anything short in his innings, hooking three sixes – one
each in the third, fourth and fifth overs – and finished with two fours
and five sixes total. Mishra was dropped in the sixth over on 21 at mid
on and proceeded to cash in for another 32 runs, finishing with his
highest score in a USA uniform and USA’s highest score of the
tournament, 53 in 34 balls.
USA entered the 15th over needing 61 in six overs with Baker on 29
and Mishra on 53. Christi Viljoen came on for the first time in the
match and immediately struck, getting Mishra with a yorker to make it
117 for 4 and from there USA’s chase tapered off.
After scoring 35 not out off 29 balls coming in at number six against
Italy on Wednesday, Khan never came in to bat for USA on Thursday.
Instead, Mohammed entered in a pressure situation that required
boundaries, but the young batsman struggled to time the ball and only
managed one four. Baker sensed he needed to be the one to clear the
ropes but couldn’t time a lofted cover drive well enough off Viljoen in
the 17th and Burger backpedaled to take a tumbling catch to remove Baker
for 38 as USA slipped to 132 for 5. With the equation now 46 required
off 21 balls and two fresh batsmen at the crease, Namibia stayed on top
and never let up.
Bhatti came in and scored 4 off 7 before he was stumped two balls
into the final over. Two balls later, Rajp was run out by the
wicketkeeper Steenkamp trying to scamper a run and USA finished 160 for 7
in 20. Namibia’s performance in the field was sloppy with 24 extras
conceded, but it didn’t matter in the end.
USA will play Ireland on Friday at the ICC GCA #2 ground in Dubai.
Ireland is 2-1 after a two-wicket win over Italy on Thursday in Abu
Dhabi. The match will be webcast live on www.quipu.tv. DreamCricket will
continue to provide live ball-by-ball updates during the match as well
with live coverage beginning at 5:45 a.m. EST. DreamCricket.com’s
tournament coverage is made possible in part by the New Inning
Scorecard powered by the New Inning Foundation I Match Commentary