Namibia celebrate their victory over Kenya

An outstanding innings from Gerrie Snyman batted his side to a 101-run victory in the ICC Intercontinental Cup against Kenya at Sharjah Stadium today. Whenever someone makes 230 runs it turns heads but when that contribution makes up 81.56 per cent of your team's innings total, it is truly remarkable.

With the rest of the Namibia batsmen making just 52 runs between them in their second innings, Snyman stood firm at the other end, making his maiden double-hundred and ensuring that his team goes top of the ICC Intercontinental Cup table with its third outright win out of three.

Photo at right: The Namibians celebrate their victory over Kenya. (Photo courtesy of ICC/Unique Pro)

So the question is: when was the last time a single batsman scored 81.56 per cent of his team's innings total?

It is thought that Snyman's effort is the highest percentage in a first-class match since 1977 when New Zealander Glenn Turner scored an unbeaten 141 out of Worcestershire's 169 all out against Glamorgan at Swansea. Turner's total was 83.43 per cent of the total so it appears that Snyman has just fallen short of that record.

What is for sure is that it saved Namibia's skin and gave its bowlers a total of 246 runs to defend but with plenty of time for Kenya to make them. That is when Kola Burger took over.

Having taken five wickets in the first innings, Burger added four more in the second, including opener Maurice Ouma, Alex Obanda, Thomas Odoyo, who scored 76 not out in the first innings, and Jimmy Kamande. Burger finished with match figures of 9-105, which on any other day might well have won him the match-of-the-match award.

But not on this occasion. Snyman faced 207 deliveries for his 230 in a knock that included 22 fours and 11 sixes. The next highest score was a crucial 13 (off 140 balls) from Michael du Randt, who kept up an end on Wednesday when Snyman was inflicting serious damage at the other.

Afterwards, one can only imagine the mood of the Kenya batsmen as they went out to chase 247 for victory knowing it should really have been significantly less. And it didn't take long before the buoyant Namibians made the breakthrough.

Apart from Burger, Bjorn Kotze also hit his straps well, ending up with 3-22, devastating Kenya's middle order, while Louis Burger (2-37) also played his part. In the end, Kenya was dismissed before the close on the third day for just 135, some 101 runs short.

This result cracks the title race wide open with Namibia now two points clear of Kenya at the top and the Netherlands 12 points further back on 34 points. Ireland is five points adrift of the Dutch on 29 points but it has a game in hand over the top three.

The next game in the competition will begin on Monday with Kenya looking to go back on top as it takes on Saqib Ali's United Arab Emirates team at Sharjah Stadium.