Namibia © Gallo Images
The Namibians claimed a memorable two-run win in the 2016 competition opener after seeming heading for defeat.Namibia seamer JJ Smit believes that simplicity was the key to their stunning win over Western Province in their Africa T20 Cup opener at the City Oval in Pietermaritzburg on Friday.
Batting first, the Africans, one of three national participants in the 16-team tournament, posted a modest 137/9, before restricting their opponents to 135/9.
“At the beginning of the game, we knew it was going to be tough,” Smit, who was the pick of the bowlers with a 3-18, said. “Western Province are always a tough side and they were unlucky today.
“But it was a good performance from our boys and I’m happy with the way we played.”
Despite his excellent four-over return, it was an excellent final over from Jan Frylinck that sealed the win.
Smit’s fellow seamer defended five in the final six deliveries. He conceded just two from the first four balls and then watched as two wickets came from the final two deliveries.
It was defeat that Province snatched from the jaws of victory after failing to get over the line when only 12 were needed from the final 15 balls, five wickets still standing and two set men – Kyle Verreynne (37) and George Linde (32) in the middle.
“They were going a bit quicker than we expected, but my bowling coach told me on the boundary that I should just keep it simple, trust the process and the outcome will take care of itself,” Smit explained.
Namibia face fellow Pool A table-toppers North West on Saturday, before playing KwaZulu-Natal Inland on Sunday.
Smit is desperate to finish top of the table so that they can maintain their hopes of winning the competition. Only group winners will progress to the knock-out stages.
“We want to win the tournament, I mean a team doesn’t come to a tournament like this not hoping to win,” the left-armer added. “So we want to win every game and we want to go back to Namibia having made or country proud.
“Most of all, we want to enjoy it. We haven’t enjoyed our cricket the last few months and pre-season was a bit tough. So the guys just want to enjoy it.”