Dubai: The USA bowled Namibia out for 121 before sealing a five-wicket win in their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League Two match. Steven Taylor took four wickets and followed it up with 43 runs for a match-winning all-round performance.
Namibia struggled with bat and ball in their first match of the competition on September 17, in Lauderhill. The USA, who had won their first game of the tri-series after posting the highest total in CWC League Two, chased down the lowest score so far, to win their second match.
Batting first, Namibia began slowly. Saurabh Netravalkar, the USA captain, bowled a wicket-maiden first over, sending back Stephen Baard. Namibia scored their first run only after 23 balls.
Opener Karl Birkenstock (32) helped put some runs on the board, ensuring no wickets fell for the next 10 overs and adding a patient 33 for the second wicket. But once Taylor broke that partnership, striking twice in the 11th over, Namibia found it hard to come back.
Birkenstock was dismissed off Karima Gore, and while 22-year-old Zane Green (36) tried to stay as long as he could on the crease, Nisarg Patel bowled him to end Namibia’s innings. Taylor’s off-spin gave him 4/23.
The USA took a comfortable approach to chase a low target. After they slipped to 33/2, Taylor and Monank Patel built a partnership, taking them past the 100-run mark.
Birkenstock ended their stand at 68, but by then only 21 runs were needed, with seven wickets and 24.3 overs remaining. Namibia’s attacking fielding troubled the new batsmen, but it was too late. Monank Patel (30*) finished the job in 31.2 overs.
Steven Taylor, Player of the Match: “Today was a good day for me with bowling and batting. For the bowling, I will say I just kept it simple and tried to keep it as straight as possible and tried to vary my pace, because the Namibia guys are used to true wickets.”
“I tried to take off the pace as much as possible and keep it as tight as I can. I got four wickets and I was happy with that. With the batting, it’s a really flat wicket, and I am used to it as well. It would spin a little, but it doesn’t spin enough so I kept it straight and simple,” he added.
Gerhard Erasmus, Namibia captain: “Obviously disappointing day today on the field. We got outplayed bat and ball. It is a very disappointing start. We have a two-day turnaround now until the next game against the USA. We have some time to recuperate.”
“I think we need to get accustomed to the conditions here very quickly because this is very different compared to back home. We need to keep backing up our guys to put up a match-winning performance,” he added.
The USA will target their third win in the competition against PNG on Thursday. PNG have lost five matches in a row while Namibia will play their next match against the USA on Friday.