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Scotland spinners extend Namibia’s League 2 losing streak

Trumpelmann’s five-wicket haul went in vain.

Namibia slumped to their fourth consecutive CWC League 2 loss in their final game of the trilateral series at Kathmandu today, collapsing to a 43-run defeat despite restricting Champions Scotland to just 221. Ruben Trumpelmann’s second ODI five-wicket haul had ensured Namibia were set the lowest target of the tour so far, but despite Lo-handre Louwrens and Gerhard Erasmus setting a solid platform, the middle order would wilt in the face of Scotland’s slow bowlers to collapse from 124-3 to 178 all out.

Erasmus had invited the Scots to bat first after winning the toss for the first time on this tour, and that looked a sound decision as Namibia made early inroads into a new-look Scottish line-up. Kyle Coetzer was adjudged LBW to Tangeni Lungameni on the third ball of the innings, and debutant Liam Naylor also fell inside the powerplay chopping Trumpelmann onto his stumps for 20. Berhard Scholtz’s miserly left arm spin kept the pressure on throughout with wickets continuing to fall as Scotland looked to hit their way out of trouble. Christopher McBride top-scored with 47 off 75 before failing to clear mid on off Pikky YaFrance, while Scholtz, Lungameni and Ben Shikongo would each find reward through the middle overs. Trumpelmann then returned to run through the tail, finishing with career-best figures of 5-30 as Scotland were skittled for 221 with eight balls unused.

Namibia looked well in control of the chase for much of the second innings, but the introduction of Scotland spinners Mark Watt and Michael Leask would turn the momentum. Both made good use of a pitch that was starting to offer appreciable turn, though the pick of the wickets was arguably the first as Karl Birkestock was pinned in front by a change-up inswinging armball from Watt. Debutant Fouche went next caught off Leask, Cross rushing forward to claim the catch in front of the stumps, and a nascent recovery came to an end as Louwrens shovelled a gift of a return catch back to Leask against the run of play to fall for 52. He was soon followed to the pavilion by his captain as Erasmus, likewise looking well set, cut Watt to backward point to depart for 43, leaving his side in trouble at 124-4. Despite the rearguard efforts of Zane Green, there would be no recovery. Green cobbled together 25 off 40 as the middle order and tail collapsed around him, five more wickets falling for 48 runs before Green was last man out sweeping Watt to backward square with 11 overs remaining in the chase.

The defeat concludes a winless Nepali leg of Namibia’s final League 2 tour, leaving them in danger of being pushed off the podium by the United Arab Emirates, who they face in their final two matches in Dubai next week, and possibly even by a resurgent Nepal. Currently in third place on 37 points, Namibia have only their two matches against the UAE remaining. The Emiratis currently sit on 27 points from 26 matches, with two series against Nepal and Papua New Guinea in hand. Nepal are three points behind the Emiratis in sixth place, with nine more matches to play in total including the final match of this series tomorrow against the Scots. For Scotland that will be their final match of the competition, and Berrington’s side will be collecting the trophy tomorrow regardless of the outcome having secured an unassailable lead at the top of the table.

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