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Namibia’s U-19 cricket team completed it’s tour of Zimbabwe with a three-wicket defeat against Zimbabwe U-19 in their final warm-up match ahead of the Africa Championship in Harare on Wednesday.

The result saw Zimbabwe clinching the three-match series 2-1, which served as preparation for Namibia ahead of the African Championship which starts in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Saturday.

Batting first, Namibia made a solid start as Tiaan Steenkamp and Jurgen Linde put on 53 runs for the first wicket.

Steenkamp top-scored with 47 runs, while the rest of the top order also got amongst the runs, and with 10 overs remaining Namibia were well placed at 126 for three wickets. They however had a batting collapse, losing their last seven wickets for only 26 runs as the whole team was dismissed for 152 runs.

Namibia got off to a great start in Zimbabwe’s innings when Fritz Coetzee dismissed Taufail Zaheer for a duck, but Zimbabwe’s batsmen fought back and halfway through their innings were cruising to victory with the score at 93 for five wickets.

Namibia struck back with two quick wickets, but Zimbabwe’s lower order saw them through as they reached 153 for seven wickets with nine overs in hand.

The two sides’ first match on Sunday, 8 February, went down to the wire as Zimbabwe U-19 beat Namibia by one wicket.

Namibia got off to a solid start with Tiaan Steenkamp (23) and Zane Green (25) putting on 65 for the first wicket, but their dismissals in quick succession, started a slide as Namibia crashed to 82 for four wickets.

Nico Davin, who top-scored with 37, and Lohan Lauwrens (17) shared a partnership of 42 runs for the fifth wicket before Namibia were all out for 144 off 48 overs.

In Zimbabwe’s innings, Warren van Wyk, Francois Rautenbach and Hendrik Koekemoer captured some early wickets, but Zimbabwe seemed to be heading for victory when they reached 100 for five wickets.

Hermias Strauss however swung the match back Namibia’s way with three wickets down the order and when Ruben van den Bergh dismissed Michael Rossi for 37, Zimbabwe needed eight runs with one wicket remaining. They however kept their nerve to score the winning runs with three overs in hand to complete a thrilling one-wicket victory.

Strauss was Namibia’s best bowler with three wickets for 22 runs off 10 overs, while Rautenbach and Koekemoer took two wickets each.

The following day, on 9 February, Namibia struck back with a convincing 40-run victory.

Opening batsmen Tiaan Steenkamp and Zane Green led the way with a 159-run partnership for the first wicket. Green top-scored with 82 off 103 balls, which included eight fours and one six, while Steenkamp scored 59.

Nico Davin also shone with the bat, scoring 66 not out off 50 balls (7×4, 1×6) as Namibia reached 252 runs for four wickets off their 50 overs.

Namibia’s opening bowlers Fritz Coetzee and Hermias Strauss maintained the pressure with some accurate bowling and regular wickets and Namibia eventually dismissed Zimbabwe for 212 runs off 48 overs.

Strauss took three wickets for 39 runs off nine overs, while Coetzee took three wickets for 48 runs off ten overs.

William Mashinge was Zimbabwe’s top batsman with 70 runs, while Adam Keefe scored 59.

Source : The Namibian