New Zealand make it three in a row and go second in Group 2 of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 with an emphatic 52-run over Namibia in Sharjah.
Namibia were very much on top for the first 16 overs of the match, but then James Neesham (35*) and Glenn Phillips (39*) ripped the Namibian bowling apart to put on an unbeaten 76-run stand for the fith wicket, which included 72 runs from the final four overs.
Martin Guptill (18) fresh off a match-winning 93 against Scotland, could not contribute much, while Daryl Mitchell (19) too did very little. However, when Gerhard Erasmus removed his counterpart Kane Williamson (28) just when he was looking to accelerate, one thought, this could turn out to be Namibia's day.
Devon Conway's (17) run-out 11 balls later, further added fuel to it. However, The Namibian bowlers were under-par at the death and their wayward bowling took New Zealand's score past 160.
Namibia never looked to be in the game with the bat. Barring the 47-run opening stand between Stephan Baard (21) and Michael van Lingen (25), no other batsmen managed to hang around long enough. David Wiese (16) and Zane Green (23) looked to smash some around, but could not match the asking rate.
After Neesham broke the opening partnership, Trent Boult (2 for 20) and Tim Southee (2 for 15) brought all their experience into play to get rid of the Namibian batsmen one after the other. Like Neesham, Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner too chipped in with a wicket apiece.
In the end, it was an easy win for New Zealand, who now have to beat Afghanistan on Sunday (November 7) in their final group match to make it to the semi-final. Namibia, on the other hand, will end their campaign against India on Monday (November 8) in Dubai.
New Zealand 163 for 4 in 20 overs (Glenn Phillips 39*, James Neesham 35*; Bernard Scholtz 1 for 15) beat Namibia 111 for 7 in 20 overs (Michael van Lingen 25 Zane Green 23; Tim Southee 2 for 15) by 52 runs
Player of the match: James Neesham