Namibia broke their five-match losing streak to finish their CWC League 2 campaign on a high as Michael van Lingen’s unbeaten 71 helped them to a 7-wicket win over the UAE in Dubai in their final match of the competition. Home skipper CP Rizwan’s dogged 60* off 140 balls from number three was the only substantial contribution in the hosts’ total of 166/9, and van Lingen ensured Namibia made light work of the chase to pick up a first win to conclude their last League 2 tour.
The Namibian seamers had the ball swinging early, and Rizwan found himself in the middle just eight balls into the innings after Ben Shikongo took Muhammad Waseem’s outside edge with his second delivery. Vritiya Aravind lasted long enough to scrape 18 runs before Shaun Fouche made him his first ODI wicket, with an inswinger into the pads drawing the finger with 40 on the board in the 15th. Chirag Suri then lost his off stump to Tangeni Lungameni in the next. Rohan Mustafa’s 46-ball 25 was the next best contribution from a UAE bat, adding 48 with Rizwan for the 5th wicket, but after he nicked off charging Shikongo in the 32nd the Namibian spinners turned the screw, Bernhard Scholtz was particularly miserly with figures of 1-15 from his 10 overs. Rizwan’s painstaking innings dragged his side up past the 150-mark even as wickets continued to fall, aided by some wayward bowling from visitors, who gave up 25 extras over the course of the innings.
Rizwan had seen his post a sub-par 166, and though the home seamers had the new ball swinging Lo-handre Louwrens and Fouche weathered the early phase to add 33 for the first wicket. The introduction of spin brought the breakthrough as Rahul Bhatia snuck one through the gate to bowl Fouche for 14 in the 8th over, and might have had a second next ball as Michael van Lingen edged high through the cordon, only for Mustafa and Rizwan at first and second slip to leave it for each other.
Van Lingen did not offer another chance. He and Louwrens added another 76 for the second wicket before the latter fell three short of a well-earned half century edging a rising wide short ball from Zahoor Khan behind for 47, but the wicket did little to slow the scoring. Van Lingen brought up his half century off just his 41st delivery pushing Siddique out to mid off for a single. He lost another partner three balls later as Erasmus padded up to one that jagged back in to bring Nicol Loftie-Eaton to the middle with 19 still needed, but by then the result was hardly in doubt. Siddique’s next over went for 17 as van Lingen accelerated toward the finish line, fittingly hitting the winning runs two overs later to end on 71* off just 53 balls to seal a comfortable victory.
The win strengthens Namibia’s position in the top three, finishing on 39 points from their 36 matches. The UAE are currently on 29 points from 28 games and can still make up the gap, but will likely need to win six of their remaining eight matches to do so. They face Papua New Guinea and Nepal in the two remaining League 2 trilateral series, the first at home next week and the last in Nepal immediately after. While PNG are guaranteed the wooden spoon in the competition, Nepal also remain in the hunt for third place, three points behind the UAE needing seven wins from eight matches to claim a place on the podium and direct progression to the World Cup Qualifier.