Netherlands in pole position to enter Super 12 after narrow win over Namibia

Netherlands are in prime position to clinch a Super 12 berth from Group A in the ICC T20 World Cup after they defeated Namibia by five wickets with their top order playing a crucial role in the chase of a modest 121/6 here on Tuesday.

Following their second successive victory — the Dutch had beaten UAE by three wickets in their opening Group encounter — Netherlands have leapt to the top of the group.

It came down to the final over with the Netherlands needing six runs to win, and veteran all-rounder Bas de Leede held his nerve to ensure he did enough to clinch the Player-of-the-Match award by guiding his side home with three balls remaining.

It was an excellent team performance from the Dutch, with skipper Scott Edwards rotating his bowlers well to ensure Namibia could manage just 121/6 in good batting conditions at Kardinia Park.

Netherlands used seven different bowlers to put the brakes on their opponents, with de Leede (2/18) the chief wrecker and the only bowler to pick up multiple wickets for the winners.

The opening duo Vikramjit Singh (39) and Max O’Dowd (35) got the Netherlands off to a good start and the winning target was always within reach, with de Leede’s unbeaten 30 enough to overcome a late wobble.

Jan Frylinck (43) may have top-scored for Namibia, but the left-hander consumed plenty of deliveries during the middle overs as the Netherlands’ bowlers set the rules.

David Wiese (11 not out) and JJ Smit (5 not out), two of Namibia’s most aggressive batters, could enjoy just a brief time in the middle right at the death of the innings. The duo took 12 from Timm van der Gugten’s final over to put a bit of decency in their score, but it proved too little too late as the Netherlands proved too strong.

Despite the loss, Gerhard Erasmus’ Namibia are still in the mix to make it to Super 12 if they can win their final match on Thursday against the UAE.

Brief scores: Namibia 121/6 (Jan Frylinck 43; Bas de Leede 2/18) lost to Netherlands 122/5 (Max O’Dowd 35, Vikramjit Singh 39, Bas de Leede 30 not out) by five wickets.

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