T20 World Cup: New Zealand on the brink of semi-finals after 52 run win over Namibia

(Cricket news) The Black Caps are on the verge of qualifying for the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup after comfortably defeating Namibia by 52 runs. A victory against Afghanistan on Sunday would assure them of a confirmed spot in the final four alongside the already qualified Pakistan but a defeat would knock them out of the tournament as Afghanistan’s run rate is superior and will also leave India with a chance of qualifying, depending on their wins over Scotland and Namibia.

Few would have expected Namibia to display such an excellent performance with the ball for most of the 16 overs, reducing the Black Caps to a meagre score of 96-4 by taking wickets of Martin Guptill (18), Daryl Mitchell (19), Kane Williamson (28 off 25) and Devon Conway (17). However, just when it looked like an upset might be on the cards, Glenn Phillips (39* runs off 21 balls) and Jimmy Neesham (35* runs off 23) scored a mammoth 67 runs in the final four overs to post a respectable total of 63-4. 21 runs were scored off David Wiese’s 18th over while JJ Smit’s 20th included four wide balls and yielded 18 runs.

Namibia got off to a decent start, scoring 47-0 after eight overs through Michael van Lingen (25) and Stephan Baard (21) but James Neesham took his 150th T20 wicket off van Lingen while Baard was dismissed by Mitchell Santner and skipper Gerhard Erasmus (3 runs off 4 balls) was sent back after being caught by Devon Conway from an Ish Sodhi delivery. David Wiese (16 runs off 17) and Zane Green (23 runs off 27) appeared to have regained momentum for Namibia only to be dismissed by Tim Southee. Trent Boult took wickets of Nicol Loftie-Eaton and Craig Williams who failed to add to the scoreline as Namibia were reduced to 111 runs in 20 overs.

Group 1 is set to conclude today with two of England, Australia or South Africa securing their place in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup. With four wins out of four, England are almost guaranteed qualification as their net run-rate is so strong and if Australia lose to West Indies, the Three Lions will secure automatic qualification. South Africa would have to defeat England and ensure they have a superior run-rate to Australia to go through while if both teams lose, it is Australia that looks likely to progress alongside England as they have a superior run-rate at the moment.

Also read: T20 World Cup: India keep semi-finals hope alive with a dominant victory over Scotland


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