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Namibia, Holland looking for elusive win
Brian Murgatroyd |
March 01, 2003 16:18 IST
Namibia and the Netherlands, the World Cup's smallest cricketing nations, meet in their final match on Monday determined to avoid the ignominy of six defeats out of six.
The Group A game at Bloemfontein's Goodyear Park is a re-match of their 2001 ICC Trophy final, won by the Dutch by two wickets and which led to both sides qualifying for South Africa.
"Every game is a huge game for us but it's our last match and against probably the weakest team in the group," said the Netherlands captain Roland Lefebvre.
"It's the two smaller nations in the World Cup playing each other, and we're longing for a big game and a good result. But then, they probably have the same perspective too.
"We've played each other twice and it's 1-1. We have to come up with a win, and hopefully we will if we can bat like we did against Zimbabwe."
Despite their run of defeats, both the Netherlands and Namibia have had their good moments.
The Dutch bowled out India for 204 in their cup opener at Paarl, before losing the match by 68 runs, and impressed with the bat against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo on Friday, finishing the 50 overs on a respectable 202 for nine.
Namibia, making their cup debut, played their best game of the tournament against England in Port Elizabeth.
Jan-Berry Burger produced an inspired innings of 85 to give his side hope of an extraordinary upset Cup before England overpowered them to win by 55 runs. Medium pacer Rudi van Vuuren also took five for 43.
"We have been very competitive and quite good all the way through the tournament with our fielding and bowling and we have got to apply those same disciplines against the Netherlands," said Namibia captain Deon Kotze.
"It is a huge game for us as they are the closest to our own level. The biggest mistake we can make is to think we have done the hard work and then relax against them.
"It will also require a hell of a lot of mental strength and a big effort from our batsmen who, with one or two exceptions, are not all that confident at the moment."
Namibia's morale was dented when they were routed for 45 by Australia in just 14 overs, Glenn McGrath taking seven for 15, the best figures in World Cup history.
Namibia coach Dougie Brown said: "Mentally it is the biggest job, to lift the guys up from a demoralising day batting-wise.
"The Dutch bowlers are quite disciplined but we have got to convince ourselves that we are as good as the Dutch, if not better."
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