ICC Media Release
A fighting rearguard action by Kola Burger, Bjorn Kotze and Tobias Verwey put Namibia in sight of an unexpected victory over the United Arab Emirates on the penultimate day of the ICC Intercontinental Cup match at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah on Friday.
After half of the side was back in the hut at the score of 207, the last five wickets put on 189 runs to lift the tourists to 396 in its second innings that set a victory target of 337 for the home team.
When stumps were drawn for the day, the UAE had its back against the wall when it was reeling at 44-2 and requiring another 293 for victory.
Namibia started the third day's play at 164-3, 104 runs ahead, and soon lost Dawid Botha who became one of the six Khurram Khan's victims. Botha had resumed his innings on 96 and departed after scoring 104, his second first-class century in 11 matches, that came off 223 delivered and included fours and a six.
Soon after Botha's demise, captain Louis Burger returned to the dressing room to leave Namibia at 207-5, 147 runs ahead. He also fell to left-arm spinner Khurram Khan who finished with career-best figures of 6-98.
At that stage, Kotze and wicketkeeper Verwey got together and repaired the damage by putting on 62 runs for the sixth wicket. The partnership ended when Verwey fell Khan after contributing 43 off 85 balls with six boundaries.
Wilbur Slabber survived just three balls to leave Namibia at 270-7 before Kotze found another reliable partner in Kola Burger. The two batsmen brought stability to the innings by adding 107 runs for the eighth wickets.
The two batsmen played delightful shots to all parts of the park. Burger was more aggressive of the two when he slapped 10 fours and two sixes in his 102-ball 76 before falling to Arshad Ali who finished with 2-54.
Kotze managed to add another19 runs with the last two wickets before becoming the last batsman to be dismissed after a watchful and sedate 66 that came off 224 balls and included just four fours.
The UAE, chasing 337 for victory, made a disasterous start when it lost the experienced opening pair of Arshad Ali and Mohammad Iqbal to fast bowler Louis Klazinga to slump to 16-2.
However, Gayan Silva (20) and Owais Hameed (4) saw off the day without further damage. However, the UAE will have to put up an exceptional performance on the last day to thwart Namibia's push for second successive victory in the tournament.