Namibia's final first-class match before the Intercontinental Cup final against Ireland, starting on Thursday, has not got the way they would have liked, but they will be pleased with their fightback after conceding a heavy first innings deficit.
Home side North West won the toss and put Namibia in to bat. They took wickets regularly throughout the Namibian innings, with only a few Namibian batsmen getting any sort of a start. Craig Williams top scored with 48, whilst Hillroy Paulse was the pick of the bowlers with 4/62 as Namibia were bowled out for 230.
North West seemingly scored runs for fun in their first innings, scoring at just over six an over to start with as they reached 85/1 from 13 overs at close of play on day one. The not out batsman overnight, Werner Coetsee and Mohammad Akoojee, eventually put on 130 for the second wicket before Coetsee was out for 34.
Akoojee followed in the next over having scored 96 from just 85 balls, at which point Christiaan Jonker took over the scoring. He went on to score 122 before he was the sixth wicket to fall with the score on 364. Namibia struggled to remove the tail, as wicket-keeper Thando Bula provided an anchor role, scoring 62.
North West eventually reached 450/8 before they were required to declare after 90 overs. Teams are usually required to declare after 85 overs in this competition, but North West were given five extra overs as they bowled Namibia out in 80 overs.
With four sessions still to play in the match, and faced with a 220 run deficit, Namibia set out stall to try and bat the match out and salvage a draw. Stephanus Ackermann ground out 57 from 167 balls before he fell with the score on 132/5, with Namibia looking like they were about to crash to a heavy defeat.
But Craig Williams had other ideas and led a Namibian fightback by scoring 134 before he was stumped off the bowling of Coetsee with the score 320/8. The tail added a further 24 runs before Namibia were bowled out, Etienne Gruber being the pick of the bowlers with 5/60.
This set North West a target of 125 to be scored in around 30 overs. They eased to that total in just 21.5 overs, Coetsee (53) and Johan Mostert (60) remaining unbeaten as they led North West to a 10 wicket win. The winning margin may be a wide one, but it could have been a lot higher had it not been for the Williams led fightback in the second innings.
Namibia will now play the same opponents in a one-day game tomorrow, but thoughts will already be turning to the Intercontinental Cup final that starts on Thursday in Port Elizabeth. Ireland and Namibia are arguably the top associate sides at the longer form of the game, and the match is set to be a cracker.
North West beat Namibia by 10 wickets
Senwes Park, Potchefstroom, 23-25 October
Namibia 230 (80 overs, C Williams 48, L Vorster 41, S Ackermann 39, H Paulse 4/62, E Gerber 3/53) & 344 (112.2 overs, C Williams 134, S Ackermann 57, E Gerber 5/60, W Coetsee 3/78)
North West 450/8 dec. (90 overs, C Jonker 122, M Akoojee 96, T Bula 62, L Klazinga 3/106) & 125/0 (J Mostert 60*, W Coetsee 53*)