Namibian captain Bjorn Kotze battled his way to a career-best 87 not out on the opening day of Canada's Intercontinental Cup match on Thursday (October 25). He came in to bat with Namibia on 81 runs for 3 wickets and progressively steered his side to a solid first innings score of 314 runs for 6 wickets.
Opening batsman Raymond van Schoor scored 46 of a total of 76 runs before second man out to the bowling of Durand Soraine. Snyman helped Kotze carry the score to 134 runs before the 4th wicket fell, just after the pair had added 50 runs. Canada struck quickly to make it 135 runs for 5 wickets as Sunil Dhaniram removed Deon Kotze, but the rest of the day went mostly the home team's way.
Kotze added 94 runs with Nicolaas Scholtz for the 6th wicket, before the 20-year-old Scholtz (right) fell to off-spinner Jason Patraj for 64 runs, also a career best. Wicketkeeper Tobias Verwey added some spark to the innings, scoring at a run a ball. He and Kotze partnered for an unbroken 7th wicket stand of 85 runs by close of play. Verwey was 49 runs not out and Berger 87 runs not out.
The 25-year old Verwey has a previous best of 114 runs scored in December 2006 against the United Arab Emirates. So far, he has faced 48 deliveries, hitting 6 boundaries and one six. Skipper Berger rests overnight with thoughts of a first century in first-class cricket. His 215-ball stay includes 8 boundaries.
Durand Soraine, a 24-year old, who took 3 of the first 4 wickets to fall, was Canada's most successful bowler. His wickets came at a cost of 54 runs from 15.4 overs. A day of learning what first-class cricket can be about, but progress. Henry Osinde struck early to remove opening bat AJ Burger for 9 runs.
The Canadian bowlers stuck to the task against a young Namibian side that participates in the South African Airways Provincial Championship. Canada had not conceded a wide or a no-ball in the closing score of 314 runs.
The game plan for day two will be straightforward for both sides. Canada's will hope for an early breakthrough, then swift removal of the next three batsmen. Namibia will be hoping to keep the runs flowing and put pressure on the visitors.