After a draw and a win against Western Province in the opening encounter of Namibia's South African provincial competition campaign, the Namibians would have been relatively confident when they took on Eastern Province in a three-day and one-day match over the past few days. Any such confidence took a blow however as they were beaten in both matches in Windhoek.
The visitors won the toss and chose to bat first in the three-day contest, which started on Thursday at the Wanderers Cricket Ground. Kelly Smuts led the way for them, scoring 148 as they racked up 400-9 before they declared after 99 overs. Raymond van Schoor was the pick of the Namibian bowlers with 3-58.
Namiba's reply started badly when Xander Pitchers was bowled by Tladi Bokako from the second ball, and didn't get much better from there. Four further batsmen made ducks, and only three were able to reach double figures, Christi Viljoen top scoring with 48. Ngazibini Sigwili led the way for Eastern Province, taking four wickets for just nine runs in 10.2 overs.
Captain Lee Walters was in fine form behind the stumps, picking up five catches as Namibia were bowled out for just 125, which meant they had to follow on.
Namibia showed improvement in their second innings, with Xander Pitchers and Stephan Baard putting on 80 for the first wicket before the latter was out for 64. Raymond van Schoor, unbeaten on 21 at the close of the second day's play, went on to score 90 before he became one of four wickets for Kelly Smuts.
The home side did manage to make Eastern Province bat again, reaching 343 before they were bowled out, setting a target of 69. Eastern Province predictably had no trouble chasing that down, doing so in 10.5 overs to win by nine wickets.
The one-day game the following day started badly for Namibia. Batting first after losing the toss, they lost Gerrie Snyman for a duck early on, and soon found themselves on 15-3 after the first seven overs. Stephan Baard and Raymond van Schoor set about rebuilding the innings, putting on 78 for the fourth wicket before Baard was out for 54.
Van Schoor and captain Nicolaas Scholtz took the score to 131 before van Schoor was the fifth man out. The latter then shared in an unbroken partnership of 138 for the sixth wicket with Christi Viljoen to take Namibia's total to 269-5. Scholtz was unlucky not to bring up a century, only managing one from the final ball to take his score to 99.
Unfortunately for Namibia, that total wasn't to be enough as Eastern Province completed a four wicket win with 2.1 overs to spare. Lionel Vaaltyn top scored for them with 67, whilst Lee Walters hit 52 from 40 balls to help secure the win.
Namibia will next take on North West in a three-day match starting on Thursday, with a Twenty20 match to follow on Sunday.
Namibia lost to Eastern Province by 9 wickets
Wanderers Cricket Ground, Windhoek, 16-18 October
Eastern Province 400-9 (99 overs, K Smuts 148, B Dolley 60*, L Walters 36, R van Schoor 3-58)
Namibia 125 (42.2 overs, C Viljoen 48, N Sigwili 4-9, T Bokako 3-44)
Namibia 343 (109.2 overs, R van Schoor 90, S Baard 64, K Smuts 4-65)
Eastern Province 71-1 (10.5 overs, E Moore 42*)
Namibia lost to Eastern Province by 4 wickets
Wanderers Cricket Ground, Windhoek, 19 October
Namibia 269-5 (50 overs, N Scholtz 99*, C Viljoen 58*, S Baard 54)
Eastern Province 270-6 (47.5 overs, L Vaaltyn 67, L Walters 52*, A Price 40)