New Zealand is now just one step away from becoming the second semifinalist from Group B of the Super 12 stage in the T20 World Cup 2021. After losing its first match against Pakistan, New Zealand registered three back-to-back victories in the tournament. The latest one came tonight against Namibia, which lost to the Kiwis by a huge margin of 52 runs. With this victory, the Net Run Rate of New Zealand was also improved.
After losing the toss, New Zealand was asked to bat first. The Namibian bowlers fought hard and never allowed the opponents in scoring big. As a result, New Zealand lost wickets in regular intervals. After 16 overs, the score was 96-4. Everyone thought that Namibia will restrict Kiwis to less than 130 or 140. That is when Glenn Phillips (39* off 21 balls) and James Neesham (35* off 23 balls) unleashed their batting firepower and scored 67 runs in the last four overs. All of a sudden, the match took a u-turn and New Zealand got a commendable score of 163-4 on board. Bernard Scholtz (1/15), David Wiese (1/40) and Gerhard Erasmus (1/22) claimed a wicket each for Namibia.
The Namibians started off well while chasing a target of 164. Their openers made a cautious partnership of 47 runs for the first wicket. But soon, the Kiwi bowlers took control in their hands and started scalping wickets regularly. All of a sudden, the Namibian batters succumbed to pressure and started going back to the pavilion one by one. As a result, they have managed to score only 111/7 in 20 overs. Michael van Lingen (25) and Zane Green (23) remained top-scorers for Namibia. Tim Southee (2/15) and Trent Boult (2/20) scalped two wickets each for New Zealand.
New Zealand will play its last league game on November 7th, against Afghanistan. On the other hand, Namibia will play its last match of the tournament against India on November 8.