Australia managed to reduce Namibia for just 91 runs. (Image: ICC Media Zone)
Australia managed to find the win against a resilient Namibia by four wickets in bowling friendly conditions at Kimberley to begin their campaign with a winning start.
Australia managed to start their ICC Under-19 World Cup 2024 campaign with a winning start after their victory over Namibia by four wickets in what was extremely friendly conditions for the bowlers at the Diamond Oval at Kimberley.
Hugh Weibgen won the toss and elected to field against Namibia. The African side found the going tough against the pace and accuracy of Charlie Anderson and Callum Vidler. The latter was the first to strike, cleaning up opener Hansie de Villiers before trapping JW Visagie leg before. The pinpoint precision of Australia ensured that Namibia went at less than run an over in their first seven overs.
It was Zacheo van Vuuren who opened arms towards the end of first Powerplay, hitting a brace of boundaries against Anderson. Tom Straker continued the good work for Australia beyond the first Powerplay, getting opener Gerhard Janse van Rensberg (2) and then the big wicket of van Vuuren (29). Janse van Rensberg fell while trying to cut a good length delivery, while van Vuuren nicked one to the slip while driving a fuller length ball.
Straker followed up with the wicket of Ryan Moffett (3) to put Australia right on top. With Mahli Beardman’s dismissal of Jack Brassell, Namibia had lost six, and were staring down the barrel. Despite a spirited knock from captain Alexander Volschenk, who took on the spinner, Raf MacMillan, with a four and a six off consecutive balls, Namibia’s effort crumbled by the 34th over.
Despite losing Sam Konstas to an ill-advised leave against Brassell early in their chase, Australia kept going for their shorts in pursuit of a modest target. Harry Dixon batted with intent and hit the early boundaries to get the innings going. However, the southpaw played one shot too many and ended up pulling one straight to mid-on off Hanro Badenhorst in the sixth over.
Australia lost two more within the first Powerplay as Namibia fought back. Harjas Singh nicked one behind off Brassell in the seventh over, while Badenhorst had a second when Ryan Hicks played on at eight. Australia seemed to be in trouble when Corey Wasley too fell cheaply. However, skipper Hugh Weibgen and MacMillan stitched a secure 30-run stand that put Australia on course for their first win in the tournament.
Brief Scores: NAMU19 91/10 in 33.1 Overs (Z van Vuuren 29(47); C Vidler 4/17(8.1), AUS19 95/6 in 19.1 Overs (H Weibgen 39(43); J Brassell 3/28(8))