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Namibia opt to bowl, New Zealand post 163/4 after 20 overs:
New Zealand can go past Afghanistan’s NRR if they restrict Namibia to 94.
Over to Dubai now. Will it be a birthday to remember for Kohli?
Namibia 111/7 after 20 overs: And New Zealand go 2nd in Group 2. Doesn’t change their equation still... but they are on course for semifinals with some nice momentum. India fans keep hoping they’d show signs of slipping up but it hasn’t happened. Over to the massive Afghanistan vs New Zealand match on Sunday now.
Last over coming up. Namibia 106/7.
WICKET! Namibia 105/7 (18.5 overs): Williams, demoted significantly down the order today, doesn’t last long. Boult with another wicket, one ball after a wide was given for an outside edge that no one spotted.
India will look to put in a strong performance when they resume their battle for survival in the T20 World Cup in another must-win contest, against Scotland in Dubai.
WICKET! Namibia 103/6 (18.2 overs): Loftie-Eaton out for a duck, caught at mid off. Southee and Boult are helping NZ finish strongly. The NRR doesn’t matter for NZ, their only path to semifinals to win tonight and beat Afghanistan.
WICKET! Namibia 102/5 (17.5 overs): Four and out! Green is out caught at long on. Another wicket for Southee, he eventually finishes with 2/15 in his four overs.
Officially, NZ can’t overhaul AFG’s NRR tonight and that makes the AFG match a must-win for NZ (it already was perhaps). Can’t lose and progress.
Namibia 96/4 after 17 overs (target: 164) Terrific from Boult, it’s not been easy to bowl full and get away here but he nails a couple of yorkers.
Namibia 92/4 after 16 overs (target: 164) NZ made 67 in the last four. Namibia 72 to win.
Namibia 86/4 after 15 overs (target: 164) That Wiese wicket should see NZ close this out. The score is not very different from what NZ’s was at this stage but if NAM had any chance, it was Namibia to go big in the final five. Replays show that the decision to not take DRS was the right one from Wiese.
WICKET! Namibia 86/4 (14.3 overs) That’s the big one for New Zealand. Wiese is given out LBW off Southee’s bowling and the batter doesn’t even review it. More celebration than appeal from the NZ pacer.
Namibia 85/3 after 14 overs (target: 164) HUGE OVER! Namibia keep fighting. Wiese and Green help themselves to a six each in the Sodhi over. Santner had bowled a 2-run over previously. The RR is now 13+, so this helps.
Namibia 68/3 after 12 overs (target: 164) One of the things that this camera angle shows is the sightscreen for a bowler. (Murali Kartik speaks about it) While batters take their time to get it right, bowlers have no option but to bowl with an advertisement in the background. Can’t imagine it helps sighting. NZ spinners running through the overs meanwhile.
Namibia 56/3 after 10 overs (target: 164) The middle overs squeeze is well and truly on.
WICKET! Namibia 55/3 after 9.2 overs: And as you’d have thought, the NZ spinners are starting to make their mark on this Sharjah pitch. Sodhi strikes in his first over, a sharp catch from Conway dismisses NAM captain Erasmus. It might not feature in the best catch highlight reel at the end of the tournament, but that was one heck of a catch by Conway with the outside edge and the ball seemingly keeping a little low. Terrific. (And to think he already has a nailed on entry in the best catch list in the outfield).
WICKET! Namibia 51/2 (8.1 overs) Well, that first over from Santner did feel like an aberration. He gets one to grip and straighten from around the wicket and Baard is bowled.
Namibia 51/1 after 8 overs (target: 164) Neesham will be handy on this pitch too as evidenced by the first over. Erasmus is the new batter in.
WICKET! Namibia 47/1 (7.2 overs) End of a good stand for the Namibian openers (their best opening stand of the tournament) Neesham strikes to remove Van Lingen. The Sharjah length, as the commentator says. Keeps a tad bit low, clean bowled.
Namibia 45/0 after 7 overs (target: 164) A streaky inside edge for four for Van Lingen and 9 runs in a Santner over is more than handy.
Santner comes on. Sodhi and he can be the game-changers for NZ on this pitch.
Namibia 36/0 after 6 overs (target: 164) Namibia needed that, a big over to finish the powerplay. Van Lingen with two lovely shots down the ground off Milne. One for four and one for six.
Namibia 24/0 after 5 overs (target: 164) Lovely shot over midwicket for four by Baard, taking on Boult by walking down the pitch. Watson very impressed with the opener.
Namibia 17/0 after 4 overs (target: 164) Just two runs from the Southee over.
Nice insight there from Shane Watson. Says if a bowler is coming on to bowl a 2nd over in a spell, then his strategy as an opener is to go hard first ball and put the pressure back on. Which is why captains look to change bowlers every over in the first six.
Namibia 15/0 after 3 overs (target: 164) Van Lingen got hit on the back hip in the Boult over and is clearly still feeling the effects. Meanwhile Baard, who plays a lot like Guptill, plays a superb straight drive for a couple.
Namibia 11/0 after 2 overs (target: 164) Not losing wickets against Southee and Boult in the first couple of overs should count as solid start for Namibia.
Namibia 6/0 after 1 over: A really good Southee over, with some swing, spoiled by an outside edge for four.
Southee to start off against Baard and van Lingen.
Overs 16-20: 72/0 for New Zealand
New Zealand 163/4 after 20 overs: AND IT IS OVER. Namibia were not particularly pleased with a couple of wides that were called against Smit, but they were on the guidelines. Can’t blame the umpire for it. A chaotic last over, with wides, overthrows, fumbles... huge final four overs for Black Caps.
Clarification: We are not slow to update this over, it is just taking really long to complete. FOUR wides so far.
Smit to bowl the last over.
New Zealand 145/4 after 19 overs: What a finish this is for NZ. Hussain recalls how SL spoiled things for themselves by going full against England and we are seeing some of that here.
ON THE CHARGE: A 27-ball 54 run partnership now! Phillips gets 4 & 6 off the first two balls of the Trumpelmann over.
New Zealand 131/4 after 18 overs: HUGE OVER! Phillips with a six over cover, and then Neesham finishes a six over long on and a squeeze past short third for four. 35 runs in the last two overs.
Wiese to finish his spell.
New Zealand 110/4 after 17 overs: Big over for NZ. Erasmus has a bit of Kedar Jadhav about him. Not his best over, as he makes one mistake with a full ball and Phillips sends it into the stands. Neesham too starting his flex his arm, but good fielding stops another boundary. Erasmus finishes with 1/22.
New Zealand 96/4 after 16 overs: Clearly not an easy surface to score, as Wiese keeps NZ batters to rotating the strike. More good ground fielding in that over.
In the Overs 7-15 phase: New Zealand 48/3
New Zealand 91/4 after 15 overs: Another top over from Erasmus. Has figures of 3-0-8-1.
WICKET! New Zealand 87/4 after 14 overs: Another New Zealand wicket. Devon Conway is run out. Watson is waxing lyrical about the fielding effort. Superb pick up and release from Erasmus, on the full to Birkenstock and he whips the bails off in a microsecond and Conway is millimeters short.
New Zealand 82/3 after 13 overs: What an over from Erasmus. Just one run and Williamson’s wicket.
WICKET! New Zealand 81/3 after 12.1 overs: WELL WELL! Williamson is gone and the Namibia skipper removes the NZ skipper at a crucial point in the game. NZ were starting to accelerate and the arm ball from Erasmus results in KW dragging a sweep on to the stumps.
New Zealand 81/2 after 11 overs: Birkenstock is the 7th bowler to be used. Watson on commentary is impressed with how it went because NZ could have gone after him, but he keeps it steady with hard lengths and change of pace.
New Zealand 77/2 after 11 overs: NZ restricted to 1s and 2s at the moment for a while but Kane goes big in that over. Over midwicket. Sperb sweep. Into the stands. A return catch chance at the end of that over but Loftie-Eaton can do much about it. Goes for four. Pedal has been pushed.
Loftie-Eaton continues after drinks. Will NZ push on the pedal now?
New Zealand 62/2 after 10 overs: Erasmus races through the over to concede just three singles. Time for a drinks break... wonder what the mood in the NZ camp would be at the moment? They don’t have to go too hard on this pitch, but could really use a couple of big overs now.
New Zealand 59/2 after 9 overs: Nice and tidy from Scholtz. Erasmus comes on now to bowl his spin, because that’s what seems to be working here. Namibia have a pace battery.
New Zealand 55/2 after 8 overs: Conway goes after Loftie-Eaton, eyeing the boundary down the ground. Great fielding prevents a boundary, but he gets one to go straighter next ball and gets four.
Time for the Rashid-esque Loftie-Eaton.
WICKET! NZ 43/2 after 6.2 overs: Namibia are keeping NZ in check in Sharjah. Mitchell tries going after Scoltz just after the powerplay is done, finds the fielder in the deep on the offside.
New Zealand 43/1 after 6 overs: Powerplays are crucial in Sharjah and New Zealand wouldn’t really mind this start. They have lost just one wicket. Namibia too have things under control.
New Zealand 36/1 after 5 overs: A really good over from Wiese, including a Test match-type peach to Williamson, but the NZ skipper makes it par with a push past point for four off the last ball.
WICKET! New Zealand 30/1 after 4.1 overs: Guptill was once again looking in good touch (a sensational no look six in the first over) but Wiese gets the big wicket for Namibia. Guptill gave himself room to loft over the infield, caught at mid off.
New Zealand 30/0 after 4 overs: Smit comes on. Oh Craig Williams with almost another addition to the list of stunning catches this tournament. Guptill smashes the leather out of one through cover and Williams dives to his right to get a hand, but it pings past him. Sensational effort. Mitchell hits a four down the ground.
New Zealand 21/0 after 3 overs: A rare three in Sharjah for Mitchell, though we are sure Guptill doesn’t particularly want to do too much running today! Wiese starts off with a tidy one.
New Zealand 13/0 after 2 overs: Five dot balls in the Trumpelmann over but Guptill finds the boundary once too with a slap down the ground. More early evidence of the pitch doing Sharjah things, ball staying low.
New Zealand 9/0 after 1 over: Tired? Not going by that HUGGEEEE six from Guptill in the first over. Another no-look big hit. Lofted effortlessly down the ground.
Guptill made a sensational 93 in Dubai, but this will be a hugely different challenge on a slow low Sharjah pitch. NZ need him again to go big. Mitchell has been impressive in this new role. Namibia start with the left arm spin of Scholtz.
Time for National Anthems... Namibia followed by New Zealand.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson(c), Devon Conway(wk), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult
Namibia: Stephan Baard, Michael van Lingen, Craig Williams, Zane Green(w), Gerhard Erasmus(c), David Wiese, JJ Smit, Karl Birkenstock, Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Ruben Trumpelmann, Bernard Scholtz
Hypothetical scenarios for NZ:
- If New Zealand score 180, they can go past Afghanistan’s NRR by restricting Namibia to 112
- If New Zealand score 150, they can go past Afghanistan’s NRR by restricting Namibia to 81
- If New Zealand score 120, they can go past Afghanistan’s NRR by restricting Namibia to 49
TOSS: Gerhard Erasmus wins the toss in Sharjah and Namibia opt to field first.
New Zealand are firmly in control of their own fate... they just need to win the two matches left to sail into the semis. But a potential banana skin, with matches coming thick and fast for them, is that Afghanistan will be raring to go in that decider. In case they lose that, Kiwis will want the security of NRR and today against Namibia, they need to be wary of that. Will they be content going for a win or will they go big?
Hello and welcome to the Live coverage of the Super 12 match between New Zealand and Namibia at the T20 World Cup from Sharjah. It’s a big one for New Zealand who will look to take a big step towards the semi-finals with a victory that takes them past Afghanistan on Net Run Rate. For Namibia it’s another crack at one of the big boys at the T20 World Cup. They’ll look to spoil the Kiwis’ chances and hand an unlikely lifeline to India. Stick around for all the updates.