T20 World Cup: New Zealand in driving seat for semifinals spot

T20 World Cup, New Zealand vs Namibia: Kane Williamson and Gerhard Erasmus

T20 World Cup 2021, New Zealand vs Namibia: As it pan out and as expected New Zealand dominated Namibia with a 52 run win strengthening their second spot. Pakistan already qualifying for the semifinals, The black caps are determined to secure the remaining spot.

Namibian bowling lineup was on target inside the powerplay and very efficient in the middle overs as well. They tied the New Zealand batters and didn’t give easy boundaries. The top four batters had a strike rate of around 100 to 120 which shows the discipline Namibia had.

Every batter for the Men in Black was in double-digit. They got the start however failed to convert into big scores. The recent World Test Championship winners lost their first wicket in the form of Guptill and just after the powerplay, the other opener departed too.

T20 World Cup 2021, New Zealand vs Namibia: New Zealand celebrating.
New Zealand celebrating.

New Zealand skipper initiated to steady the innings with Devon Conway, although in the 13th over Namibian skipper, Gerhard Erasmus, got rid of Kane. Not having too good of a run rate but 7 wickets in hand made life a bit easy for the upcoming batters.

The pitch seemed to settle a bit down when Glenn Phillips and James Neesham stormed down on Namibia. Their partnership of 76 runs got New Zealand to 163 runs which was a good first innings score at Sharjah.

The inexperience of the Namibian batting unit was exploited from some strategical bowling. What happened to Scotland when they had a similar target to chase against New Zealand? It was the same situation for Namibia. They batted well but failed to keep the Run Rate in check.

T20 World Cup 2021, New Zealand vs Namibia: Tim Southee.
Tim Southee.

The pace duo of Tim Southee and Trent Boult was as usual superb. Picking up four wickets in between them. While the spin duo of Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner was quite accurate and effective as well. They got one wicket each.

If the award comes for the best captain of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, Kane Williamson will the winner by a long margin. After MS Dhoni, he is the one to look out for. From field placement to bowling change to changing strategy everything was near to perfect. It is very hard to overlook his contribution to leading the team.

The opening partnership although was a bit slow as compared to the target, provided Namibia with a good base. However, the lack of expertise to handle this type of situation proved costly.

Literally, only two batters’ strike rate was 100 or above for Namibia. What does that say? It says Namibia has a lot of work to do and they will definitely do that work, no doubt. But until then it is difficult to chase these big targets.

Watch New Zealand vs Namibia in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021.

Watch New Zealand vs Namibia, T20 World Cup 2021: post match.

James Neesham: (Player of the Match)

“We did what we had to do with the bat and we were eager to win this match. It was a tough surface to bat on so were looking to run hard in the middle and look for boundaries less often. I am working on my bowling and I am ready whenever I am asked to bowl.”

Gerhard Erasmus:

“We bowled well till the 16th over, but the death overs did not go our way yet again. We will try to nail it against a good Indian side. It was quite a tough pitch and 160 runs were quite too much today. I need to do back home and nurse my finger.”

Kane Williamson:

“We knew what to expect when we came to Sharjah. The surface was a challenging one so we were looking to get to a par score and tried to exploit the shorter boundary. We were looking to get a couple of big overs in with the bat in the end and we managed to do so. Afghanistan is a fantastic team and they are playing really good cricket in this tournament, we will have to play well against them in the next game.”