Twitter Reactions: New Zealand keep qualification fate in own hands with comprehensive win

They face Afghanistan on November 7 in a virtual knockout.

James Neesham and Glenn Phillips
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James Neesham and Glenn Phillips. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)
Pratyay Tiwari
PRATYAY TIWARI

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New Zealand registered a comprehensive 52-run win against Namibia in Sharjah to go past Afghanistan in the points tally, with their qualification fate still being in their own hands. New Zealand will go through if they manage to beat Afghanistan on November 7, but will be knocked out if they can’t.

Against Namibia, they had a comfortable outing, and even though Gerhard Erasmus and Co. managed to throw them under the pump for a brief while, the inexperience, inability to handle pressure and a no-show from batters meant Namibia went down convincingly.

New Zealand tied after decent start

After being put in to bat, Martin Guptill and Daryl Mitchell provided their team a lukewarm start, adding 30 amongst them.

Guptill, coming after a staggering 93 off 56 against Scotland, made a good start, smacking Bernard Scholtz for a six down the ground before driving Ruben Trumpelmann through mid-off for four, but found the fielder at the same position off David Wiese for a run-a-ball 18 inside the powerplay as Namibia pacers continued to take pace off the ball and made New Zealand struggle on a sluggish track.

Mitchell was undone immediately after the powerplay by Scholtz before Namibia tightened the noose around them. New Zealand could score only a single boundary between overs 6-10, scoring runs even less than a ball, with Devon Conway and Kane Williamson unable to find momentum.

The duo added 38 amongst them but ate up 35 deliveries, and when Erasmus made Williamson (28 off 25) play him on to his stumps, New Zealand were in danger of setting Namibia an undercooked total.

Neesham, Phillips fillip 

Immediately after Williamson’s fall, Devon Conway was run out for 17, increasing the troubles for his team. All New Zealand scored in the 10-over period after powerplay was 53 runs before a 76-run Neesham-Phillips stand off merely 36 balls took them to a competitive 163/5.

Namibia were guilty of missing their lengths and succumbing under pressure after being taken on, as both Neesham and Phillips flourishingly compensated for the middle-over lethargy. The duo cracked five sixes and two fours amongst each other in the last four overs, which produced 67. The duo walked back undefeated – Neesham 35 off 23, while Phillips 39 off 21.

The nervousness was clear to be seen when JJ Smit ended up delivering four wides in the last over, while David Wiese (1/40) had conceded 21 runs in the 18th over. Scholtz was impressive, returning with figures of 1/15 in three overs, while skipper Erasmus bowled his quota for 1/22.

Bowlers stifle Namibia

All Namibia could manage in their entire innings were eight fours and three sixes. On a track where run-scoring was not easy, the late counterattack from New Zealand meant their opposition was still chasing above eight-an-over.

But the start was not bad. Namibia made their best start of the tournament so far, 36/0 in the powerplay. After he was hit for five consecutive fours by Matthew Cross against Scotland, Adam Milne was taken on by Michael van Lingen, who smashed him for a four and six in the final over of the powerplay.

However, New Zealand ensured that Namibia were never able to fly off in the chase. If Namibia thought keeping wickets in hand would give them the license to break free, it did not happen, with them losing a wicket in every over from 8-10.

The first success for New Zealand came when Neesham knocked over van Lingen for a run-a-ball 25. In the next over, Mitchell Santner cleaned up his partner Stephen Baard, while Ish Sodhi had Erasmus caught behind cheaply to dent them heavily.

David Wiese and Zane Green stopped the rut with a 31-run stand, but that it took as many deliveries to arrive meant Namibia fell too far behind in the chase. Wiese, who scored a 17-ball 16, was rapped on the pads by Tim Southee, who also got Green (23 off 27) caught at long-on, returning with exceptional figures of 2/15. Trent Boult joined the party too, getting two quick wickets in Loftie-Eaton and Craig Williams as Namibia finished 111/7.

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