David Wiese's 36-ball 55 went in vain as the UAE registered a thrilling 7-run win - their first-ever win a T20 world cup - on Thursday to end Namibia's hopes of qualifying to the next round, and making a passage for the Netherlands, who had lost earlier in the day to Sri Lanka, instead.
Wiese fifty in vain as Namibia exit T20 World Cup
In a nutshell:
Led by Muhammad Waseem's half century, and late assault by C Rizwan and Basil Hameed, UAE posted 148 for 3 after electing to bat. They soon had Namibia on the mat, reducing them to 69 for 7 before Wiese's calculated attack helped drag the contest to the last over.
How crucial was Waseem's innings?
It's difficult to gauge even in hindsight. However, when he was at the crease, run making wasn't as easy and UAE struggled through the first half of their innings, managing to score only 43 in the first nine overs. Waseem, who was batting on 19-ball 16 at that point, broke free in the next over and hammered Jan Frylinck for a boundary and a six to give UAE's innings a much needed boost.
However, that remained a standout over as Namibia continued to keep UAE's scoring on a leash as they tottered to the end of the 13th over with only 77 on the board. Just when it seemed that Waseem had settled in to accelerate, he opened the face of his bat and offered the short third fielder an easy catch.
How did UAE post 143 then?
Even by the end of the 17th over, UAE were held to 115, even losing Alishan Sharafu in the process. However, a few lusty blows in the last three overs by the new batter Hameed, and the well-set Rizwan helped UAE pick up 28 runs and take the side to a fairly strong total.
Who triggered Namibia's early batting collapse?
To an extent, the Namibian batters, and to a great deal, poor luck. Stephan Baard was undone by a delivery that held on slightly to the surface, Michael van Linge picked out the deep square leg fielder to a good shot. Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton's switch hit backfired and he was trapped legbefore. Gerhard Erasmus chopped a delivery back on to the stumps. To add to their woes, JJ Smit set off for a non existent single and was run out.
By the eighth over, they were reduced to 46 for 5.
Just when it seemed like there was a hope of revival, with Jan Frylinck and David Wiese in the middle, stitching a steady 21-run partnership, Zahoor Khan knocked over Frylinck's stumps and then cleaned up Zane Green to further reduce Namibia to 69 for 7 in the 13th over.
How did they make the chase so competitive then?
Wiese, much like the rest of his teammates, was struggling to get going, managing a run-a-ball 21. However, once the dew started settling in and the ball started skidding, he found run making easier. He smartly worked through the gaps to pick twos and even took advantage of the various open space in the field to find the boundaries. Ruben Trumplemann provided him useful support by turning the strike over at the right time as the duo combined to add 70 runs in 42 balls.
With 10 needed off the last ball, Wiese failed in his attempt to clear the boundary and ended up holing out to the fielder at long off. Trumpelmann and Bernard Scoltz couldn't aid Namibia much further as they fell 7 runs short of UAE's total. Meanwhile, Zahoor and Muhammad Waseem employed cross-seam in the last two overs to good effect and put up a gritty show with dew around.
With this defeat, Namibia were knocked out of the tournament and allowed Netherlands to go through the next round.
Brief Scores: UAE 148/3 in 20 overs (Muhammad Waseem 50, C Hameed 43*; Ben Shikongo 1-8) beat Namibia 141/8 in 20 overs (David Wiese 55, Ruben Trumpelmann 25*; Basil hameed 2-17, Zahoor Khan 2-20) by 7 runs