Zimbabwe 114 for 3 (Madhevere 47) beat Namibia 113 (Madhevere 2-11) by seven wickets.
Christchurch: Two years ago, Namibia made for one of the stories of the 2016 ICC U19 CWC when they beat South Africa and qualified for the Super League.
They qualified for this year’s tournament automatically, having finished as the highest-ranked Associate side in 2016. This team, however, will not be able to match their predecessor’s heights.
That much was evident after their seven-wicket loss to Zimbabwe in the Plate quarter-final at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval on Monday (22 January).
Namibia were bundled out for 113 in 40.1 overs by a spirited Zimbabwe attack, for whom almost all of their seven bowlers contributed to the wickets column
The pick of the lot was Wesley Madhevere, his 2/11 comprising the wickets of Petrus Burger and Gerhard Lottering who formed the only positive for Namibia with their 28-run stand for the seventh wicket.
It was their biggest partnership. Madhevere then contributed with the bat as well, scoring a 38-ball 47 to propel the innings after Namibia managed a couple of early wickets. Alistair Frost and Tinashe Nenhunzi put on an unbroken 36-run stand to see the chase through.
The pitch was tricky – the ball wasn’t coming on to the bat, prompting the batsmen to prod at things – but despite that, Namibia disappointed with the bat. They needed partnership, but they never came. They were 1/2 after Jurgen Linde and Henry Brink were dismissed cheaply within the first two overs.
Lohan Louwrens, their captain, looked to revive the innings, waiting for the poor deliveries and putting them away, but fell to spin when Liam Roche, the Zimbabwe captain, brought himself on, chipping one back to the bowler for 16.
At 27/3, Namibia needed a strong partnership, a pair of batsmen who would grind the opposition down.
Instead, the likes of Eben van Wyk (24) and Erich van Mollendorf (17) got starts but couldn’t capitalise – the former was clean bowled by Dion Myers and the latter was run-out after he hesitated with a single.
It was a procession thereafter, with all but one batsman falling for a single-digit score, Zimbabwe didn’t take long to wrap up the innings.
Lottering stuck around for a 36-ball 19, including a fine sweep for six. It helped take Namibia past the 100-mark. But that was never going to be enough against a Zimbabwe side that had the misfortune of being in the same group as heavyweights India and Australia.
Despite that, Frost (30 off 57) and Nenhunzi (23 off 14) rotated strike and kept the scoreboard moving. A the target neared, they stepped on the pedal, and the winnings runs were brought up in 19.3 overs. Zimbabwe barely broke sweat all day.