Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus led from the front with a 100-ball 88 as they beat Papua New Guinea by four wickets in the 11th match of Cricket World Cup League 2.
Having elected to bat, Papua New Guinea started off well, but things turned around in the seventh over, when 29-year-old Helao Ya France bowled Gaudi Toka (9). However, PNG's captain, the 32 year-old Assadolah Vala (38), made it easier for the incoming batsmen to contribute and post a competitive total. Papua New Guinea reached the 100-run mark with two wickets down by the 26th over. But Namibia continued to bowl well. Zhivago Groenewald picked up three wickets, continuing his form from the previous game against USA, in which he had take a five-wicket haul. In the end, Papua New Guinea managed to reach 219 for 8 in their 50 overs.
Namibia's opening pair also started off well and batted until the 10th over, but Nosaina Pokana, the current leader of the wicket charts, dismissed Stephen Baard for 22. Karl Birkenstock, the second opener, couldn't carry on either and was bowled a few balls later for 10, raising Papua New Guinea's hopes. Unfortunately for their bowlers, Jean Kotze (43) and captain Merwe Gerhard Erasmus (88) put on a stunning 124-run stand for the third wicket.
Erasmus' 100-ball knock comprised ten fours and three sixes. It eased the pressure on the other batsmen. Craig Williams (36*), the No.6, came in the 36th over and helped finish the match with Johannes Smit (7*). On the second ball of the 49th over, Smit hit a four to lead his team to victory.
This was Namibia's second win in the tournament, while PNG are still winless from their seven matches.
Player of the Match Merwe Gerhard Erasmus said: "JP Kotze was in form, so I knew he could form a good partnership. I thought it was more of my day than his, and he realised that, so he took the backseat for a while. We got it going and got the scoring rate up. It was a very important partnership, since I do not think we bowled or fielded particularly well. There is lots of room for improvement, since we do not think 220 was too difficult to chase, but it does make it difficult if you do not field well. We gave them about 20 runs in the field. Having back to back games coming up, it is important for us to reset tonight and regather our thoughts. Staying mentally fresh rather than physically fit would be important. We are hoping to get a third win."