Namibia’s Desert Vipers got off to a great start in the Zimbabwean Stanbic Bank 20 Series when they beat the Southern Rocks by 46 runs in Harare on Saturday.
It was a remarkable victory by a young Namibian team, of which 10 players were making their debut in the 20/20 format of the game. The Southern Rocks were far more experienced, and included numerous Zimbabwean national players like Sean and Craig Irvine, Chamu Chibhabha, Alester Maregwede, Blessing Mahwire and Tafadzwa Kamungozi.
The Rocks also included experienced Australian all rounder Ian Harvey, who played 73 One Day Internationals for Australia and was named one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year in 2004.
Sent in to bat, Namibia lost Raymond van Schoor for one and Gerhard Rudolph for 19, before Craig Williams and new cap Dwaine Pretorius put Namibia in charge.
The two shared a third wicket partnership of 66 runs before Williams as run out for 50 off 46 balls, which included five fours and one six.
Pretorius was out two balls later for 34 off 26 balls (1x6, 3x4) and with four overs remaining Namibia’s score stood at 111/4.
Norbert Manyande was run out for 9, but Tobie Verwey added a quickfire 22 not out, including two sixes as Namibia reached a competitive total of 152/5 off their 20 overs.
The Rocks were immediately under pressure when Louis Klazinga dismissed Harvey for a duck, while Christi Viljoen dismissed Razza Butt for one to leave them struggling at 2/4.
Sean Ervine and Chamu Chibhabha did not last long as Tony Palladino removed Ervine for 10, while Dwayne Pretorius dismissed Chibhabha for 10.
Craig Williams struck to dismiss Craig Ervine for 5 as the Rocks crashed to 5/36.
Alester Maregwede and Ryan Ervine tried to rebuild the innings and shared a 41-run partnership before Bernard Scholtz bowled Maregwede for 23.
Irvine soon followed, LBW to Palladino for 21, before Palladino rapped up the tail with two more wickets as the Rocks crashed to 106 all out.
Palladino was the Vipers’ best bowler, taking 4/21 off 3,3 overs, while Bernard Scholtz took 2/15 off 3 overs.