Namibia’s Golden Streak Against Golden Eagles

Clean Sweep For Namibia Over Golden Eagles

A three-nil result for Namibia over Germany’s Golden Eagles looked likely from the very first match the two teams played. It was indeed a historic occasion as neither team had previously me in T20 internationals.

The Namibian team could have been forgiven had they shown signs of weariness, for they finished a tough five match series against the Netherlands only day before commencing this series. The lessons they learned against the Dutch in losing 3-2 were applied in Germany, with interest.

The first match was won by 10 wickets, the second by 150 runs and the third by 82 runs. It was as comprehensive a series win as you would see.

The home team for their part would have been enthused to be playing in local conditions after what was a tough tour to Africa, but many of the issues haunting the team during the Kwibuka tournament, came home on the plane with them.

Namibia

One area of concern on the Netherlands tour – which probably should have seen a 4-1 result to Namibia – namely the lack of variety in the bowling strategies – all gone. Where the team had relied on right-arm medium pace for the first 10 overs in the Netherlands, here at Krefeld the team introduced spin early.

It had an immediate impact. It’s not like they had no spin options in the Netherlands, but simply left them too late into the innings for them to have an impact. Both Kayleen Green and Victoria Hamunyela are solid performers and showed it here. They were however gazumped in terms of leading wicket takers: wicket keeper Yasmeen Khan took 5 wickets, including 4-20 in the final match.

The batters enjoyed the synthetic wicket – well, those who got a hit because the top three of Sune Wittman (188 at 94.00), Yasmeen Khan (97 at 97.00) and Adri van der Merwe (62 at 32.00) did the bulk of the batting. So dominant were they that Wittman produced a strike rate of 216.09 and Yasmeen 190.19. It was indeed a struggle for the opposition bowlers faced with that aggression.

High scores – it was all Wittman: 41*, 80, 67 and Yasmeen 59*, 38.

It was a good end to the tour after the disappointing result in the Netherlands. A successful tour nonetheless and it showed the talent on offer from just one African team.

Germany

The ghosts of Africa returned home and visited the Golden Eagles once again. They’ll be keen to sharpen their swords on some easier European teams after having come up against seven of Africa’s best.

Two key areas were a concern at the Kwibuka tournament: extras delivered by the bowlers and a decided lack of depth in the batting. The latter could be a direct result of the very fine top order Germany has in Tina Gough and Janet Ronalds who’ve formed a good partnership and laid the platform for the team in the past. That didn’t happen in Africa (indeed Gough’s 174 runs at 24.86 was far and away the best) and the middle and lower order batters were left exposed.

Naturally these issues were compounded by the absence of injured skipper Anu Doddaballapur in Africa but even with her return here against Namibia, the problems were still in evidence.

Compounding the bowling problem was the  absence of the off-break bowler Asmita Kohli. It left an attack that was almost entirely composed of right-arm medium pace. On these wickets that’s a recipe for disaster. The only serious alternative, the left-arm pace of Gough, was used sparingly, indeed just 4.4 overs across the three games.

High watermark for the home team with the ball was Milena Beresford‘s 4-22 in the third game. Only five other wickets were taken by bowlers for a total of nine across the three matches. With the bat, Gough’s 57 at 19.00 and Ronalds’ 55 at 18.33.

Photo: Cricket Namibia

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