While Namibia made things tough for Pakistan early on in their previous match, the vast difference in experience showed at the end of the day, as they lost the encounter. Meanwhile, New Zealand were also on the right side of experience in their clash against Scotland, which makes Friday’s clash against the T20 World Cup debutants exciting.
Namibia have shown that they have the tools to trouble sides but the question always circulates around whether they could continue the sustained pressure over longer period of time, something they haven’t done in the tournament. With the contest in Sharjah, it will be interesting to see how the two sides react.
Form Guide in World T20
New Zealand - LWW | Namibia – WWWLL
The two teams will clash in Sharjah, a venue that has in the past shown that batting isn’t the easiest task despite the boundaries being short. One particular innings that the two sides would watch closely before the match would be Jos Buttler’s century against Sri Lanka. The knock was a good example of how to construct a big innings in Sharjah.
What to expect from Sharjah? After England’s clash against Sri Lanka, the average first innings score at the venue has increased from 135 to 139. However, the average winning score batting first at the venue has been 165 but England showed the other day, that even 163 should be enough.
At the venue, the pacers have had a slight upper-hand over the spinners, with 53.3% of the total wickets at the venue taken by pacers. The spinners have picked up 42 wickets, at 46.7%, making it one of the most bowler-friendly venues in the competition.
Just like other venues in the Middle East, chasing has been the word on the mouth of winning skippers. Five of the eight games at the venue has been won by sides chasing, which shows how big an impact toss would play in this encounter.
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Trent Boult has delivered time and again for New Zealand across all formats no matter how big the stage is. The left-armer has been reliable as ever in the World T20 with six wickets from three matches at a superb economy of 6.68. He is lethal in the Powerplay and has enough experience with pace variations which is a necessary skill at Sharjah.
Criclytics predicts Boult could pick 2-3 wickets in this match.
While Namibia might have lost the contest against Pakistan by 45 runs, David Wiese showed that his experience certainly was the difference towards the end of the innings. The all-rounder picked up the key wicket of Babar Azam and later with the bat, scored a 31-ball 43, with three boundaries and two sixes.
Criclytics predicts David Wiese will score 9-13 runs and pick 0-1 wickets in this match.
You bet against Ish Sodhi, he will walk all over your side with crucial picks in the middle-overs. Such has been his value in the Black Caps' setup, alongside Mitchell Santner. Against India, it was yet another exquisite performance from Sodhi, which propelled them to a massive win.
Criclytics predicts Ish Sodhi will pick 1-2 wickets in this match.
Gerhard Erasmus has been excellent in the middle and death overs for Namibia which has been key for their qualification to the Super 12s which also includes an unbeaten 53 against Ireland which confirmed their entry into the second round.
Criclytics predicts Erasmus to score 15-23 runs in this match
Match-up that will make the contest
It is one such encounter where these two sides have not played each other but their players have definitely faced each other in global tournaments. New Zealand’s Glenn Phillips has faced David Wiese, with the Namibian all-rounder having picked up his wicket once. With Phillips set to bat in the middle and end overs, his contest against Wiese would be enticing.
Namibia XI: Stephan Baard, Michael van Lingen, Craig Williams, Gerhard Erasmus (c), David Wiese, JJ Smit, Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Ruben Trumpelmann, Zane Green (wk), Jan Frylinck, Ben Shikongo
New Zealand XI: Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson (c), Devon Conway (wk), James Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult