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T20 WC: Netherlands beat Namibia, eye Super12 berth

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Geelong: The Netherlands have leapt to the top of Group A and are well placed to qualify for the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup following their nail-biting five-wicket triumph over Namibia here at Simonds Stadium on Tuesday.

It came down to the final over with the Netherlands needing six to win and experienced all-rounder Bas de Leede held his nerve and made sure he did enough to clinch the Player of the Match award by guiding his side home with three balls remaining.

It was an excellent team performance from the Netherlands, with skipper Scott Edwards rotating his bowlers well to ensure Namibia could muster just 121/6 at Kardinia Park.

The European side used seven different bowlers to put the clamps on their opponents, with de Leede (2/18) the main beneficiary and the only bowler to pick up multiple wickets for the winners.

Opening duo Vikramjit Singh (39) and Max O’Dowd (35) got the Netherlands off to a bright start and the victory target was always within reach, with de Leede’s steady knock of 30* enough to overcome a late wobble.

The victory sees the Netherlands move to the top of Group A and they can clinch a berth at the Super 12 stage by defeating Sri Lanka in their final group match on Thursday.

Jan Frylinck (43) may have top-scored for Namibia, but the left-hander chewed up plenty of valuable deliveries during the middle overs as the Netherlands’ bowlers were on top.

David Wiese (11 not out) and JJ Smit (5 not out) are two of Namibia’s most aggressive batters and the pair enjoyed just a brief time in the middle right at the death of the innings.

The duo actually took 12 from Timm van der Gugten’s final over of to put a bit of decency in their score, but it proved too little too late as the Netherlands proved too strong.

While the narrow loss was not ideal for Gerhard Erasmus’ talented side, they are still in the mix to make it through to the Super 12 stage if they can win their final match on Thursday against the UAE.

Namibia will enter that contest knowing what they need to do to qualify, given Sri Lanka take on the Netherlands in the other group match at the same venue here earlier in the day.

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