A brilliant eighth wicket partnership of 83 runs from Chris Greaves and Safyaan Sharif helped Scotland’s men to complete a successful run chase and defeat Namibia in a Cricket World Cup League Two clash on Thursday.
When the sides met on Sunday in the same competition, Scotland won pretty comfortably by 77 runs.
However, after Namibia’s win over Nepal on Monday and then Scotland’s disappointing loss to the same opponents on Wednesday the home side went into this ODI meeting at Clydesdale’s Titwood ground with a bit to prove.
In the end 215-7 for Namibia played 219-7 for Scotland in a cracker, the winning runs coming with seven balls of the second half to go and the chase being completed expertly by Greaves, later named player of the match, and Sharif.
“What a game of cricket, things got a bit tighter than we would have liked at the end, but the skill and fight shown by Greavo and Saffy at the end really shows the way that they go about their cricket,” Scotland captain Richie Berrington said.
“We wanted to take the game as deep as we could to give ourselves a chance and that was just an exceptional partnership, so well done to the both of them.”
Berrington brought all-rounder Greaves into the XI for seamer Adrian Neill and the hosts won the toss and decided to have a bowl.
Lo-handre Louwrens, the wicketkeeper, and Divan la Cock put on 36 for the first wicket, but the Scottish bowlers were putting good pressure on.
And the pressure told in the 11th over seamer Gavin Main had the latter caught by Greaves for 23.
In the very next over his opening partner was following him back to the pavilion in Glasgow – caught by Main off the bowling of spinner Mark Watt – and when Craig Williams fell for 1 soon after the Namibians were 39-3.
Skipper Gerhard Erasmus and Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton put on 39 runs for the fourth wicket before spinner Hamza Tahir trapped the latter LBW at the end of the 23rd over for 16.
Erasmus was not ruffled though and he kept going. He made it up and over his half century and put together a 50 run partnership with JJ Smit to get his side up to 138.
That was when he was stumped by wicketkeeper Matthew Cross off the bowling of Tahir for 56 in the 37th over and that was a big scalp for Scotland.
Smit went on to make 26, but it was Jan Frylinck who played with real intent and took his side up and over the 200 mark, making 60 not out off just 48 balls batting at number seven.
He hit three 4s and two 6s as Namibia made 215-7 from their 50 overs.
Main and Tahir led the way with 3-38 apiece for Scotland while Watt took 1-58, a good spell apart from one over going for 20 with Frylinck hitting 19 of them.
In reply, Scotland lost Kyle Coetzer in just the second over when he was caught by Loftie-Eaton off the bowling of David Wiese for 3.
Cross and Calum MacLeod then settled things down with an entertaining partnership of 77 runs before the former was caught by Frylinck off the bowling of Ben Shikongo for 29.
Frylinck then got into the game with the ball and had Berrington caught behind for a duck to leave Scotland 81-3 after 20 overs and needing to rebuild the innings a bit again.
MacLeod reached his half century as the team got up and over the three figure mark until he was the fourth wicket to fall, la Cock catching him off the bowling of Ruben Trumpelmann.
His 59 came off 93 balls and included seven 4s and, as he departed, Shane Burger’s men were 112-4 in the 31st over with 104 runs still needed.
George Munsey was next to go for 17 with just five more runs having been added to the total, the left hander also a victim of Trumpelmann.
And when Michael Leask was bowled by the same man in a superb 33rd over for the visitors, Scotland were 117-6 and Namibia wanted to keep the pressure up and finish the game off.
Nineteen more runs came in a short partnership between Greaves and Mark Watt until the latter was run out for 11 four balls into the 37th over.
That left Scotland needing 80 runs in 13.2 overs and Greaves and Sharif knew they had to build something for the eighth wicket and take that through to the end – and boy did they do that.
They made 53 not out from 48 balls and 40 not out from 43 balls respectively in the end and the 47th over was a big one along the way.
Sharif hit a 6, a 4 and a single and Greaves a 6 and a single off Shikongo while there was also a leg bye in there as 19 runs took Scotland up to 202-7.
By the 49th over, Scotland needed eight to win from two overs, but they made sure of that in the next five Trumpelmann balls, Sharif ending things with a lovely boundary.
Their 83 run partnership was an ODI record for Scotland for the eighth wicket while both men’s individual total were their highest to date in this format.
Scotland have now won two and lost one in this tri-series and next up for them is their last game versus Nepal on Sunday at Titwood at 11am.
Before that Namibia and Nepal meet at Ayr’s New Cambusdoon ground on Saturday at the same time.