Ruben Trumpelmann's all-round efforts and Tangeni Lungameni's record 6-42 saw Namibia to a hard-fought win over Papua New Guinea in the fourth match of their home CWC League 2 trilateral series. They recovered from a heavy home defeat to a resurgent USA to resume their press toward a top three spot on the table.
Namibia bounce back to see off spirited PNG
In a back-and-forth affair, the Papuans had the best of both innings early, only for the hosts to fight back late with both bat and ball. Half centuries from Tony Ura, Kiplin Doriga and Assad Vala saw PNG set a solid platform, but Lungameni and Trumpelmann combined to orchestrate a rapid collapse at the death, leaving the hosts a tough but achievable target of 237.
Namibia struggled early on a somewhat two-paced surface, sliding to 70-5 before captain Gerhard Erasmus dug in with the lower order to pull his side back into contention, before Trumplemann's combined with Pikky Ya France for a match-winning unbroken half-century stand to close out the win.
Ura and Doriga put on the Barramundi's first ever century opening stand after PNG elected to bat, Ura passing the landmark in the 23rd over driving Trumpelmann through long off for four. Trumpelmann found the breakthrough with the first ball of his next over, Erasmus holding a leading edge on the circle to see Ura depart for 57, the first of Turmpelmann's four victims in the game. Doriga became Lungameni's first five overs later, trapped in front on the back foot by an inswinger two balls after bringing up his fifty.
Vala and Sese Bau looked to press the advantage with an accelerating 69-run stand for the third before Bau was caught behind for 37 looking to scoop Lungameni and the momentum began to shift. Charles Amini gifted Lungameni another wicket before Vala was caught at deep point off Trumpelmann for 59 off 53. The lower order continued making the mistake of targeting Lungameni at the death, with Norman Vanua and Riley Hekure holing out in succession as the left-armer completed his maiden five-wicket haul with his penultimate ball, and then took Ali Nao's off stump with his last to finish with 6-42 from 9. Two more balls and the innings was done, both Hiri Hiri and Kabua Morea chopping Trumpelmann on as PNG collapsed to 236 all out.
It would be a tricky chase on a pitch that was misbehaving, and the home bats struggled to get the measure of the surface. Lo-Handre Louwrens, Divan la Cock, Michael van Lingen, Jan Frylinck and JJ Smit all went cheaply as the hosts struggled to 70-5, but Erasmus dug in with Zane Green to get his side to triple figures by the half-way stage, before adding 76 with Trumpelmann for the 7th wicket to put the hosts in the driver's seat. The home skipper wouldn't see out the win however as he nicked Vanua behind for 71 with 53 still needed, but Ya France and Turmpelmann were more than equal to the task, Trumpelmann completing a brisk half-century off 60 balls before Ya France thumped Vala over midwicket for six to finish the game with a flourish, sealing a three-wicket win with two overs to spare.
Papua New Guinea return to action against the USA on Friday, while the hosts take on the Americans in the final match of the trilateral series on Saturday, with Scotland and Neapl arriving the following week as League 2 races toward a climax.