ICC Media Release
Captain Bjorn Kotze described the efforts of his fast bowlers as 'marvellous' after Namibia defeated Canada by eight wickets in its ICC Intercontinental Cup opener at Wanderers Cricket Club in Windhoek, Namibia on Sunday.
Namibia's pace bowlers picked up 18 of the 20 Canadian wickets to fall as the tourists were forced to follow-on on a wicket which, according to Kotze, lacked any lateral seam movement.
The new ball duo of Gerri Synman and Louis Klazinga did the bulk of the bowling and finished with match figures of 29.1-5-116-7 and 29-4-82-6 respectively. Ian van Zyl lent them excellent support and picked up 4-57 from 16 overs in the match. Their efforts were even more impressive considering the trio got through 63 overs between them in a three-day match the previous week.
'The fast bowlers showed tremendous commitment by bowling with the same fire and venom throughout in warm weather conditions. It was their marvellous effort that earned the team 20 invaluable points,' said Kotze who himself scored a career-best 163 not out in the match. And if you take into account their workload in the previous match, it was nothing less than a superb achievement in which they not only showed their ability but also displayed their high fitness levels.
'The result might reflect that it was a comfortable victory but the fact of the matter is that it was a tough game that tested our temperament, patience and talent in different situations,' said Kotze.
Electing to bat first, Namibia slumped to 135-5 before the lower-middle order helped Kotze to take the score to an imposing 480-9 declared. Then when Namibia fielded, twice it pulled itself back in the match after Canada appeared to be taking the match to a draw.
In the first innings after Canada reached 232-4, Namibia picked up six wickets for 54 runs to dismiss the visitors for 286 and force a follow-on. Then in the second innings, Canada was cruising nicely at 192-2 before the home team grabbed eight wickets for 103 runs to bowl out the tourists out for 295. The required 102 runs for victory proved to be a walk in the park for Namibia which achieved the target in 21 overs for the loss of two wickets.
'I think Canada played good competitive cricket but missed a couple of experienced players. I also feel the bounce of the surface was not to their liking. (Opener) Mohammad Iqbal played exceptionally well in both innings and without belittling his superb efforts, I think we didn't field as well as should have and dropped him a few times.
'We not only need to improve our fielding, the batsmen also need to learn how to converting good starts into big scores. I think it is premature to discuss our prospects in the competition at this stage as there is plenty of cricket still to be played. I mean we have played just one match and there are teams which have played three or even four matches. Obviously, we want to be right up there but it is dependent on several factors.
'Among other things, players' availability is of paramount importance and as things stand at present, I think some of the key players, including myself, might not be available for next year's away games in United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kenya because of work commitments. I am not particularly concerned with the fact that our next ICC Intercontinental Cup match is four months away as we have plenty of domestic cricket and a few one-day games as well. My only worry is that for important games, we might not be at full strength because of work commitments,' he said.
While Namibia has collected 20 points from the match, Canada's third defeat in four matches has dented its hopes of repeating its last event's performance in the previous event when it reached the final before losing to Ireland. Canada's remaining games are against Ireland, Scotland and Bermuda.