Sharjah, Nov 5: New Zealand produced a clinical all-performance to thrash Namibia by 52 runs in a Super 12 match and consolidated their spot in the semi-final race of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, here on Friday.
With this win, New Zealand climbed to the second spot in the Group 2 points table of the mega-event.
Chasing a challenging target, Namibia were unable to take advantage of the fielding restrictions as the New Zealand bowlers gave away just two boundaries in the first five overs and kept a leash on the scoring.
Michael van Lingen struck a six and a four in the sixth over to make a better reading of the scoreboard at the end of the Power-play.
However, with the asking rate rising quickly, the pressure got to Namibia as they lost their top 3, including their captain, inside the first 10 overs.
With wickets falling, New Zealand continued to turn the screws, making run-scoring even more difficult for Namibia, who, at the halfway stage, needed 108 runs in the last 10 overs.
There was some joy for Namibia as David Wiese and Zane Green smashed Ish Sodhi for a six each, but it was short-lived. Southee, brought back into the attack, trapped Wiese in front of the stumps for 16 to further dent Namibia's chances.
Thereafter, there was no coming back for Namibia after that. Though Green and Smit found a boundary each, it was never going to be enough, with the asking rate already over 15.
Southee returned for his final over and scalped the wicket of Green after being hit for a four. In the penultimate over, Boult picked up the wickets of Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton and Craig Williams for a duck.
In the end, Namibia could only score 111/7 in 20 overs and lost the match by a huge margin.
Earlier, batting 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 Power-play. 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.
New Zealand 163-4 in 20 overs (Glenn Phillips 39, James Neesham 35; Bernard Scholtz 3/15) beat Namibia 111/7 in 20 overs ( Michael 25, Zane Green 23; Tim Southee 2/15)