Actually, it was UAE who triumphed despite David Wiese and Ruben Trumpelmann’s 80-run partnership off 56 balls for the eighth wicket after having Namibia 69 for 7. Namibia needed 14 runs off the final over, bowled by Muhammad Waseem, but Wiese was dismissed off the fourth ball and Namibia did not have enough muscle at the end.The result matters most to Netherlands, who will advance in second place to the Super12s alongside Sri Lanka, with Namibia knocked out despite being the favourites. UAE will also depart the tournament, but with some points to show for it.
They very nearly dropped their chance of victory when Waseem, who had set up UAE’s total with a half-century and was tasked with bowling the 17th over, dropped Wiese off his own bowling on 33. Wiese slogged and the ball went straight up, giving Waseem time to get there but he could not hold on. He then bowled the final over and had Wiese well-caught by Alishan Sharafu at long-on – the ball was heading for six had Sharafu not timed his jump and held on – to end Namibia’s chances. Incidentally, Waseem had bowled only 22 balls before in 19 T20 games and one of his three victims before Thursday was Wiese.
Earlier, on a surface that seemed to get better for batting as the ball got older, UAE’s innings began with a slow burn but finished strongly. They were 58 for 1 in the first 10 overs and only reached 100 in the 16th over. But, they scored 51 runs off the last five overs to push the total close to 150 and notch up their second-highest total in T20 World Cups. Namibia’s effort in the field was mostly disciplined but the left-armers JJ Smit and Jan Frylinck conceded 69 runs in seven overs between them while opening bowler Ben Shikongo only delivered one over, the 15th.
In contrast, the UAE’s captain Chundangapoyil Rizwan made some inspired decisions in the field. Basil Hameed became the first bowler to deliver three successive overs in the powerplay in Geelong in this tournament and took two wickets to leave Namibia on 26 for 3 inside five overs. Karthik Meiyappan removed Namibia’s captain Gerhard Erasmus and ran out Smit to open up the middle-order. From 46 for 5, even with David Wiese to come, Namibia could not find a way back and that was underlined when Zahoor Khan was brought back in the 13th over. He took two wickets in his second over to leave Namibia in tatters but Wiese and Trumplemann resurrected their cause only to fall short in the end.
The UAE’s most accomplished batter anchored their innings with the right mix of energy and aggression to set them up for a competitive score. He found his first boundary when he went down on one knee to sweep Bernard Scholtz over deep backward square and then worked the ball around through a quiet period before showing off his strong footwork against Jan Frylinck.Waseem advanced down the track to push him over mid-off and then straight back over his head for one of the group’s biggest sixes. His fifty came off 40 balls, so despite the slow scoring rate, Waseem maintained a strike rate of over 100 and he did that by running well. He ran 16 singles and six twos and shared partnerships of 39 for the first wicket and 58 for the second to give UAE a base to build on.
United Arab Emirates 148 for 3 (Muhammad Waseem 50, Chuudangapoyil Rizwan 43, Bernard Scholtz 1-22) beat Namibia 141 for 8 (David Wiese 55, Basil Hameed 2-17, Zahoor Khan 2-20) by seven runs.
Hathurusingha named Bangladesh head coach
Bangladesh Cricket Board, on Tuesday (31), said that Chandika Hathurusingha has been named as the new head coach for a two-year period. He is expected to join the set-up in February.
“We have appointed Hathurusingha for two years as across the format head coach,” BCB chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury was quoted by Cricbuzz as having said.
The former Sri Lanka all-rounder had earlier served as the head coach of Bangladesh from 2014 to 2017. He has also served in various coaching positions with Sri Lanka, Canada, NSW and Sydney Thunder.
In his previous coaching tenure, Bangladesh had won ODI series against India, Pakistan and South Africa, alongside achieving Test victories versus Sri Lanka, England and Australia. During his stint, Bangladesh also reached the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy in 2017.
“It’s an honour to have been given this opportunity to coach the Bangladesh national team once again. I really loved the warmth of the people and the culture of Bangladesh whenever I have been there. I’m looking forward to working with the players once again and enjoy their successes,” he said in a press release.
Cricbuzz had earlier reported that BCB is unlikely to continue with split coaching and Hathurusingha is the front-runner to replace Russell Domingo, who resigned before completing his stint that ran until the end of the 50-over ICC World Cup.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s Test and T20I skipper Shakib Al Hasan remained tightlipped on the return of Hathurusingha as the head coach. No comments,” it’s all right,” he said, without elaborating further.
Methwan wins marathon encounter
ITF Junior Circuit Tennis
Methwan Wijemanne overcame Josh Hinton of Great Britain in a marathon three and half hour battle to win the first-round encounter of the ITF Junior Circuit Week 1 Tennis Event at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Tuesday.
Wijemanne scored 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 against Hinton.
ITF Junior Circuit Tennis Tournament which is currently underway in Colombo will conclude on February 5.
Meanwhile, in another first-round encounter, Nithila Goonathilake beat Aryan Mehata of India 6-3, 6-0.
England Lions strongly placed
Top-order batsmen Alex Lees, Haseeb Hameed and Tom Haines scored half-centuries for visiting England Lions to reach 249 for three wickets at stumps after they dismissed the hosts for 136 on day one of the unofficial Test at Galle on Tuesday.
Sadeera Samarawickrama with 43 runs was the top scorer for Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka ‘A’
136 all out in 35.4 overs (Oshada Fernando 21, Sadeera Samarawickrama 43, Lakshaitha Manasinghe 26; Matthew Fisher 5/34, Liam Patterson-White 3/51)
249 for 3 in 48 overs (Alex Lees 56, Haseeb Hameed 81, Tom Haines 62, Josh Bohannon 26n.o.; Lasith Embuldeniya 2/89)
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