DUBAI: Qualifier Namibia upset defending champion South Africa by two wickets in a thrilling chase to join hosts Bangladesh in the quarter-finals of the U19 Cricket World Cup.
Bangladesh beat Scotland by 114 runs in Cox’s Bazar for its second win, England brushed aside Zimbabwe by 129 runs in Chittagong to top Group C with a third successive win, while the West Indies romped to a 262-run win over Fiji in another Group C match in Chittagong.
Namibia’s unheralded cricketers, who had beaten Scotland in their first match, kept their cool amid mounting tension to knock South Africa out.
The defending champions, batting first, were reduced to 60-8 by the half-way stage following a four-wicket haul by Michael van Lingen. But Willem Ludick hit 42 in a ninth-wicket stand of 55 runs with Lutho Sipamla as the Proteas added a further 76 runs.
Defending a modest 136-9, South Africa started the defence well by dismissing Namibian batsmen regularly, but Lohan Louwrens stood in the way as he steered Namibia home with an unbeaten 58.
The memorable win meant that Namibia, who finished 14th in the last edition of the tournament two years ago, will improve upon their best finish of 11th in Malaysia in 2008.
Namibia’s captain Zane Green said he was delighted with the win and said he was not surprised that his team had made the knockout rounds.
“We were positive from the start of the tournament because we knew we had the team to go far,” said Green. “Our aim was to take it one game at a time and that is what we will continue to do.”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 1st, 2016.