Stephen Baard blasted Namibia to a 49-runs victory over Papua New Guinea at Malahide today, propelling his team to the top of the Group A table.

Baard smashed 87 from only 54 balls, striking seven fours and five sixes in a tremendous innings that provided the foundation for an imposing Namibian total of 181-5.

Saren Burger, who made 38 from just 20 deliveries, provided the strongest support for Baard as few of the Papua New Guinean bowlers escaped punishment. Willie Gavera returned the best figures, taking 2 for 33 from his four overs.

Chasing an improbable 182 for victory, only Papua New Guinea's opening batsman Tony Ura got on top of the Namibian bowling. He struck four boundaries and a six in his 21-ball innings of 34, but none of his team-mates passed 20 as Nicholas Scholtz's men strolled to an impressive victory.

The slow-left-armer Bernhard Scholtz returned the remarkable figures of 4 for 11 from his four overs and Gerrie Snyman - now bowling off-spin - claimed three victims for only 18 runs as the Namibian spinners ran through the PNG line-up.

Papua New Guinea, despite this defeat, have qualified for the play-offs, while Namibia now know that victory over Hong Kong tomorrow will see them come top of Group A.