Wednesday, May 22, 2024

ICC: Namibia were excellent despite defeat to Pakistan, says coach Pierre de Bruyn

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Photo Credit: Cricket Namibia

Namibia coach Pierre de Bruyn insisted his side put in an excellent performance against Pakistan despite slipping to a 45-run defeat in their Super 12s Group 2 encounter in Abu Dhabi.

The Eagles mustered 144 for five in reply to Pakistan’s 189 for two as despite an unbeaten 43 off 31 balls from David Wiese and 40 from No.3 Craig Williams, Namibia fell to a second consecutive defeat after losing to Afghanistan last time out.

The African minnows had restricted Pakistan to 59 from the first ten overs but Babar Azam, 70, and Mohammad Rizwan, 79 not out off 50, shared a second century stand of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup which, along with some late hitting from Mohammad Hafeez (32 off 16 balls), helped the Men in Green to a fourth straight win to almost certainly seal their place in the semi-finals.

De Bruyn said: “I read in the news that Pakistan has almost 3,000 [cricket] clubs, Namibia has five. For us it’s just such a nice story, I felt that the guys and every Namibian supporter can be proud of how they performed tonight against an absolutely world class team. 

“The lessons we’ve learned we will take with us; we’ve played 40 overs of cricket and there were stages where we tested them. After ten overs they had 59 runs on the board. 

“We will take everything with us, it’s gold dust experience and information that we need to grow us a team, so we are very pleased with that performance.

“I think it has been an amazing performance [at the World Cup], that’s just my opinion. We want to win cricket games and sometimes you’ve got to be realistic; I thought against Afghanistan we were a little bit soft in certain areas, the way in which we lost our wickets. 

“But we beat Scotland and we had to beat Ireland and Netherlands to get to this stage, so this tour has been excellent for us.”

Namibia are fourth in Group 2 and go into two huge challenges against New Zealand and India needing wins if they are to make history and progress, with De Bruyn insisting his side will not be there for the taking against the cricketing giants who may need to improve their net run rate to qualify.

He added: “We are going in to win cricket games first of all, but we also know that it’s two great cricket teams that we are facing. 

“They’ve got their own agenda in how they need to win cricket games and not lose cricket games, especially not against Namibia.

“We are focusing on ourselves; we are learning so much with this experience – we’ve learnt so much tonight. I thought it was an excellent performance by the Namibian team with bat and ball.

“We know what’s coming with India and New Zealand and they need to win properly to make the final stages.”

Pakistan captain Babar Azam admitted he was not completely satisfied with his side’s performance despite recording yet another win in the UAE to pretty much guarantee they will compete in the last four.

He said: “It was a different plan today; we wanted that opening partnership to go deep and it worked for us. 

“Two good players in [Mohammad] Hafeez and Hasan Ali, they’ll be important in the next stage, and it was important we ticked those boxes. 

“There was some dew that didn’t help with the fielding, but that’s not an excuse, we need to be better. Everything has gone according to plan; we’re looking forward to the semi-finals and playing our cricket with the same intensity.”


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