T20 World Cup: Phillips, Neesham propel New Zealand to 163-4 against Namibia


Riding on late fireworks from Glenn Phillips (39 off 21) and James Neesham (35 off 23), New Zealand posted 163-4 against Namibia in a Super 12 match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, here on Friday.

Apart from Phillips and Neesham, skipper Kane Williamson also played a vital knock (28 off 25) and provided stability to the New Zealand innings.

Asked to bat first, New Zealand openers Martin Guptill and Daryl Mitchell got the team off to a great start. However, Namibia fought back well by sending the openers back inside the first seven overs.

Guptill picked up from where he left off in the game against Scotland, making his intentions clear with a six off Bernard Scholtz in the first over. He then targeted Ruben Trumpelmann and smashed him straight back.

It was Namibia’s go-to man, David Wiese, who dealt the Black Caps the first blow. Guptill, trying to go for another big one, was done-in by the lack of pace, skying the ball into the waiting hands of Trumpelmann at mid-off.

Kane Williamson then joined Mitchell in the middle and both struck a boundary each in the last two overs of the Powerplay. But, Mitchell got out as soon as the fielding restrictions were lifted. Williamson and Devon Conway then ensured that Namibia don’t inflict any further damage, as New Zealand were 62/2 at the halfway mark.

Just when it looked like Kiwis were making control back with a solid 38-run partnership between Williamson and Devon Conway, Gerhard Erasmus dismissed Kiwi skipper. Williamson, in the bid to up the ante, dragged on to his stumps.

Devon Conway was the next to make the long walk back. Trying to steal a two after dabbing it to the mid-wicket region, he was caught short at the non-striker’s end. The two wickets in two overs pegged New Zealand back further, with Glenn Phillips and Jimmy Neesham tasked with the job of steadying the ship.

Namibia bowlers kept the lid on the scoring in the middle overs but were punished in the death for staying in this line and length. In the last four overs, New Zealand kept finding the boundaries as the duo of Neesham and Phillips finished with an unbeaten partnership of 76 from just 41 balls, taking New Zealand to 163-4 in 20 overs.

Brief scores:

New Zealand 163-4 in 20 overs (Glenn Phillips 39, James Neesham 35; Bernard Scholtz 3/15) against Namibia