Photo credit: Peter Della Penna
DreamCricket announces its top 11 performers, led by Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus (pictured), from the recently concluded Cricket World Cup League Two tri-series contested between USA, Namibia and Papua New Guinea.
By Peter Della Penna (Twitter @PeterDellaPenna
1 Stephen Baard (Namibia)
– Scored 113 runs in the four matches but the powerful opener saved his best for last with 73 on the final day against PNG. He was particularly fluent through the off side with exquisite driving and took a fantastic diving catch at mid-off as well.
2 JP Kotze (Namibia)
– The burly left-hander played the innings of the tour against USA, smoking 136 off 109 balls with 11 fours and eight sixes. He looked set for big scores on two other occasions before faltering but finished second overall with 221 runs in four innings
3 Assad Vala (PNG)
– The standout batsman throughout the tri-series, Vala was the only thing standing in the way of USA and Namibia marching to victory. He started with 48 off 50 balls against USA on day one and in both matches against the hosts his wicket sparked a slide that put USA in control. He made the most of a pair of lives on the final day to make 104 before being runout trying to farm the strike from the tailenders against Namibia. His more than handy offspin also claimed three wickets and his safe hands made him the leading outfielder with five catches.
4 Gerhard Erasmus (Namibia, captain)
– Nobody was as creative and thought-provoking with his field settings and bowling changes throughout the tour as the Namibia captain and that went a long way to his side finishing with three wins out of four matches on tour. But he also contributed at bat and in the field too. He 110 runs, including a very classy 88 in his side’s third match against PNG, and was exceptional saving runs along the ground or in taking a team high four catches in the field.
5 Aaron Jones (USA)
– USA’s standout rock in the middle-order, Jones was USA’s joint-leading scorer in the series with 131 runs. His best came on the opening day with 77 against PNG but he also fought a lone battle with 44 in USA’s final match against Namibia when the rest of the order collapsed around him.
6 Charles Amini (PNG)
– The Papua New Guinea vice-captain scored the quickest fifty of the series off 32 balls in the first-day chase against USA, nearly lifting PNG to an unlikely win before his wicket off the first ball of the final over effectively sealed a five-run loss for PNG. The allrounder ended with 104 runs and was economical but not incisive with the ball taking just one wicket on tour, though his fielding was consistently electric.
7 Zane Green (Namibia, wk)
– Green battled hard to extend a lost-cause innings in Namibia’s opening match, top-scoring with 36 in a five-wicket loss to USA. After struggling early on the final day v PNG, he found his rhythm to stroke a trio of sixes for valuable late runs in his 41 off 49 balls before clinching victory with a sensational direct hit runout of Vala. He claimed two catches behind the stumps as well on tour.
8 Jan Frylinck (Namibia)
– Frylinck was efficient without being flashy taking the new ball and more importantly at the death for Namibia, producing five wickets at an average of 20.60 and an economy of 4.20 on tour. He also produced a fiery cameo against USA in the rematch on day four of the tri-series, belting 60 off 43 balls to put the target well out of reach.
9 Karima Gore (USA)
– USA’s standout bowler of the tri-series, Gore was pivotal in the opening day defense of a DLS target against PNG, taking 3 for 25 in an eventual five-run win. Even more dramatic were his heroics in the rematch between the two sides with a triple-wicket maiden to turn the tide in helping to defend a modest total of 177. He ended with the most wickets for the hosts, taking nine at 13.66 and an economy of 3.61. With the bat, he helped bridge together several key partnerships in the middle order as well, ending with 72 runs to make him USA’s fourth highest scorer on tour.
10 Zhivago Groenewald (Namibia)
– Namibia’s leading wicket-taker and the joint-leader in the tri-series, Groenewald was relentless in attacking the stumps for wickets for 11 at 11.81 and an economy of 3.93. His maiden ODI five-for was lost in the shuffle of Kotze’s blistering knock but he arguably bowled better in his pair of three-fors against USA and PNG either side of it.
11 Nosaina Pokana (PNG)
– The leading wicket-taker among pace bowlers on tour tying Groenewald with 11 wickets, the left-armer Pokana was exceptional at mixing up his pace with cutters and yorkers especially at the death. He took his wickets at an average of 13.27 and an economy of 4.17. He was also a very handy catching fielder on the boundary, claiming four catches.