Namibia chased down a 165-run target against the Netherlands to win the T20 World Cup 2021 for the first time. Namibia was 3 down for 52 runs at one point, but David Wiese smashed 4 fours and 5 sixes in 40 balls for 66 runs, leading his team to victory with an over to spare.
After being chosen to bat first, the Netherlands openers responded strongly, partnering for 42 runs in only 5.3 overs before Stephan Myburgh (17) was bowled by Jan Frylinck. Before starter Max ODowd (70) was joined by Colin Ackermann, Roelof van der Merwe (6) was also dismissed cheaply (35). At the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the partnership stood tall for 82 runs as Netherlands scored a respectable 164-run total for the loss of four wickets.
Namibia faltered early in the chase, losing their top three batsmen — Stephan Baard (19), Zane Green (15), and Craig Williams (11) — before the conclusion of the ninth over. David Wiese, a former South African international, came in at No. 5 and hammered 66 unbroken runs off only 40 balls to help his team knock down the goal with an over to spare. In the end, he had the backing of his skipper Gerhard Erasmus (32) and Jj Smit (14*).
Wiese, who was named Man of the Match for his outstanding performance, remarked after the six-wicket victory, “I’m weary, and it’s rather hot outside. It was just a matter of selecting the appropriate sides, as one of them was shorter. We were fortunate to hit that huge over before the drinks break because it gave us a boost of confidence. Playing such a knock in a World Cup match is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’d want to express my gratitude to Namibia for allowing me to represent them.”
The victory was dubbed “exceptional” by Captain Gerhard Erasmus.
“For us, it was a special victory. It was challenging at the midway point of the chase. Wiese deserves credit for his outstanding performance in that particular inning. With the small boundary on one side, bowling was a little difficult. Both teams struggled to execute their bowling and fielding strategies. It’s a very memorable day for everyone involved, from the coaches to the administration to the players.”
Namibia is in third position in the four-team Group A Round 1 standings, having won one of their two matches. With two defeats in a row, the Netherlands sit at the bottom of the table. In Wednesday’s evening game, the other two teams in the group, Sri Lanka and Ireland, met at the same site.