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England beat Namibia by 41 runs (DLS): T20 World Cup – as it happened
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England beat Namibia by 41 runs (DLS): T20 World Cup – as it happened

Australia’s game against Scotland follows in just over two hours. Do join Daniel Gallan for that one. Time for me to go and lie down in a darkened room. England may yet be sent home, but at least they got a game in, and a second victory. Thanks for your company, correspondence and views on holding a World Cup in the rainy season.

So England, who couldn’t win in Barbados, have now won twice in Antigua, and won well. “Everyone managed the situation well,” says Jos Buttler. “I thought 120 was a really good score. After I got out I thought 80-90 might be a good score on that wicket, but Jonny Bairstow and Harry Brook pout together a vital partnership… We’ve done all we can do and we’ll see what happens.”

So will he now, Mike Atherton wonders, be an Australia fan for one night only? “Absolutely!”

David Wiese was phenomenal too, with ball and bat. He conceded only six off the 12 balls he bowled, then hit 27 off the 12 he faced. This is his last match and he exits pursued by hugs from the England players. “He’s inspired us to greater heights,” says Gerhard Erasmus.

England played very well, again. Harry Brook was magnificent and he is the Player of the Match, for his 47 and two nerveless catches. “There was a lot of anxiety,” he says now, but he showed it only for the first four balls of his innings, when he managed three singles. After that, off 17 balls, he waltzed to 47.

England go second because their net run rate rises again, to 3.61. In fact, it’s even better than Australia’s (3.58). Scotland’s NRR is 2.16, so Scotland now need to beat Australia – or hope for a washout.

10th over: Namibia 84-3 (Erasmus 1, Smit 0) That is an outstanding last over from Archer.

Archer’s extra bounce is too much for Wiese, who does well to launch his pull as far as Brook at long-on. The sun is in Brook’s eyes, but he takes his second catch as calmly as his first. He has been superb today, and so has Wiese.

Mid-10th over: Namibia 82-2 (Wiese 26, Erasmus 1) Archer starts well – a single, a dot, another single.

9th over: Namibia 80-2 (Wiese 26) So Namibia need 46 off the last over. Jofra Archer will have to bowl a lot of no-balls.

After hitting a six, Michael van Lingen has to go for another – and he can’t quite get his on-drive over Harry Brook, who takes a cool calm catch at long-on.

Mid-9th over: Namibia 74-1 (Van Lingen 27, Wiese 26) Jordan calms things down for England by bowling yorkers and going for just three singles. Namibia need 52 off nine now, so it’s six or bust, almost every ball.

That flurry of big hits came after Wiese took a second run because of a misfield from Phil Salt, whose throw went over his own shoulder as the ball slipped in his hand.

8th over: Namibia 71-1 (Van Lingen 26, Wiese 24) Hang on – Wiese has a six in him, straight-driven off the back foot. And another! Slog-swept. Followed by a four, with a lofted cut … they can’t do this, can they? Wiese may feel they can, now that he has 24 off eight balls. That’s 20 off the over, and now they need 55 from the last two.

7th over: Namibia 51-1 (Van Lingen 25, Wiese 5) Curran continues and Wiese gets straight down to business with a square punch for four. But this England team, since Thursday, have been showing some resilience, and every big shot seems to be followed by a dot or two. Only seven off the over, which leaves Namibia needing 75 off the last three. It’s almost impossible.

6th over: Namibia 44-1 (Van Lingen 23, Wiese 0) Three off every ball? How about six! Michael van Lingen manages it for the first ball of Adil Rashid’s spell, anyway, walloping him over midwicket. Rash recovers well, conceding only four more off the rest of the over. And then Davin retires! Never had to report on that before.

5th over: Namibia 34-0 (Van Lingen 16, Davin 17) The vital fifth over is entrusted to England’s fourth seamer, Chris Jordan, who had a torrid time against Australia and was dropped for the demolition of Oman. Jordan concedes a six as Davin slaps him over wide third man, but he bounces back with two dots. Davin manages two off the last ball, but Namibia need three off every ball now – 92 from 30. They could lose the game without losing a wicket.

4th over: Namibia 24-0 (Van Lingen 15, Davin 8) Sam Curran starts well too, dot-one-dot. But then Davin slices outside off and gets four. Most of the runs are going down to third man. Curran finishes well too, with a single and a dot. Namibia need 103 from 36 balls. England are hot favourites now, and it will only take one more over for a result to be guaranteed.

3rd over: Namibia 18-0 (Van Lingen 14, Davin 3) Topley stays on for the last over of the Powerplay and does well, conceding only two singles from the first five balls. Nikolaas Davin gets in on the act by going down the track and chipping for two, just over Chris Jordan, running back from mid-on.

The Powerplay ends with England on top but Namibia hanging on to all their wickets, which will help them is DLS comes into play again. They need 108 off 42 balls. It’s do or die now.

2nd over: Namibia 14-0 (Van Lingen 13, Davin 0) From the other end it’s Jofra Archer, whose comeback has been so smooth – it’s as if he never went through two years of torment. Van Lingen fends off a lifter and gets four for it as his fly-swat of a shot pops over Topley at short fine leg. Archer tries it again … and so does Van Lingen – six! Over Buttler’s head. Van Lingen plays his first scoring shot that isn’t a false shot, a chip for two into the covers. The fielder is Ben Duckett, subbing for Livingstone who hurt himself going for that two that never was.

Namibia are up and running. They need 112 off eight overs.

1st over: Namibia 2-0 (Van Lingen 1, Davin 0) Reece Topley takes the new ball and starts with a dot a no-ball as Michael van Lingen lets that one go, perhaps hoping for a wide. Topley redeems himself by beating the bat with the second ball, so the free hit comes to nothing. Another play-and-miss, and another! It’s Topley’s bounce, more than swing, that seems to be the problem. Van Lingen finally puts bat to ball with a push into the leg side, only to find that Jos Buttler has just moved Moeen there from slip. He gets off the mark in the end with a straight push, and then Topley cramps Davin on off stump. Good over! But then Namibia’s bowlers started well too.

In the meantime, the sun has come out.

After being rudely interrupted, England scored 40 off the last two overs. That lifted their run rate for the innings from 10 to 12. Will it be enough? It will if Topley and Archer bowl as well as Wiese. He finished with 2-0-6-1, when the next most economical bowler was Scholtz with 2-0-24-1. Trumpelmann ended up going for 31 from his two overs, but he did take two wickets to finish his World Cup with six for 88 from his 11 overs. One to watch.

Duckworth-Lewis-Stern looks at England’s total of 122 and decides it’s worth … an extra three, as they were expecting 11 overs until that shower after the 8th.

10th over: England 122-5 (Brook 47) Trumpelmann’s last ball is a better one and Livingstone finally manages to get run out, trying to turn an easy single into a kamikaze two. Brook, a spectator in this last over, remains unbeaten on 47 from 20. He did so well.

9.5 overs: England 121-4 (Brook 47, Livingstone 12) Livingstone hits his second ball for six too, with a straight thump, so he has done a Phil Salt, starting with two sixes. Then he plays and misses and nearly gets run out – at both ends – but somehow scampers back for two byes.

While it was raining, Richard Slassor sent this. “Someone check behind the stands and see if there’s a man in a kilt with a fire hose. It’s blue skies for Pete’s sake!”

And Liam Livingstone starts with a six! One-handed, swished over long leg.

Trumpelmann strikes! Moeen swings his first ball for six, tries to repeat it and picks out the man at deep midwicket.

9th over: England 101-3 (Brook 47, Moeen 10) Brassell returns with his bouncy medium pace. Moeen pulls but only gets a single. Brook chips two, and two more – chips with everything. Then he plays a lovely little ramp for four, followed by a tennis shot for six over cover. And he ramps again, for four more, even though the ball pitches outside leg stump. That’s 19 from the over, 18 of them to Brook, who now has 47 off 20 balls.

England may now be on top – but the talented Trumplemann is about to return.

The players are back out there. Let’s see if Harry Brook is still in form.

One over has been trimmed off each innings, which means England have only two overs left. And if I’m not mistaken, Wiese can’t come back on, as he has already bowled two overs – just like Jofra Archer against Scotland, some months ago now.

“I am a Namibian, living in the UK,” says Patrick Hubbard, “and currently on holiday in Croatia. The local bars here are a bit empty after Croatia lost to Spain in the Euros, but even so, none are showing the cricket. Happy to tune in via the Guardian and even happier after that first over…!”

Yes, David Wiese was outstanding. And he may have won the match.

Time for a glance at the post. “Swing. Seam. Spin,” says Duncan Salmon. “Ooh la la, as we say here in France.”

“Well, it’s stopped,” says Mike Atherton, “as far as I can see.” But then he did come out with the curse of the commentator a few minutes ago, telling us how blue the sky was just before the rain returned.

And off they go, with the groundstaff racing on before anyone had noticed whether the umpires had summoned them. That could be that for England’s innings. Have they got enough?

Brook has done well, making 29 off 15 balls, and 26 of those off his last 11. And Moeen has started with his usual nonchalance, making nine off three balls.

8th over: England 82-3 (Brook 29, Moeen 9) In comes Moeen, who said after the defeat to Australia that England needed to be braver. He shows what he meant by starting with a two and a six, sweetly swung over the man at long-on. But now it’s raining …

Scholtz returns and strikes right away! Bairstow is caught off a big top edge with the keeper Green taking command. Live by the skyer, die by the skyer.

7th over: England 69-2 (Bairstow 31, Brook 25) Erasmus keeps himself on and Bairstow tucks in with a pull for six. The Namibians then miss a run-out as the surface, which has been on their side also far, gives England a hand – the throw from the deep was good but the ball skidded, making it hard for Erasmus to take. Brook picks up two for that, then another two, and then four as he plays that signature shot of his – a savage glide. The partnership is now a formidable 56 from 29 balls.

6th over: England 52-2 (Bairstow 25, Brook 15) Off goes the slow left-armer and on comes Jack Brassell, springy right-arm medium. Brook likes the sound of that – he late-drives for two, on-drives for six, then cuts for four more. He misses the last two balls, but that’s still 13 off the over, and the partnership is already 39 off 23. England coming back into it, but have they left it too late? Half their innings has gone.

5th over: England 39-2 (Bairstow 24, Brook 3) Erasmus must have been tempted to keep the wise old Wiese on, but he opts to keep him as an option for later (one bowler can have three overs, the others are all condemned to two). Erasmus brings himself on, with his off-breaks, and he nearly gets Bairstow caught off a skyer. But the ball drops between two or three fielders and Bairstow celebrates by hammering a pull for four. Brook, meanwhile, is getting ’em in singles.

4th over: England 29-2 (Bairstow 15, Brook 2) The first change of bowling as Trumpelmann’s gives way to Bernard Scholtz, also left-arm, but slow. He starts very well, one-dot-dot, as the ball continues to stick in the pitch. But then Bairstow puts out the reverse sweep and gets four …, and he follows that with the first six of the game, hit very hard over mid-on. Barstow is rising to this occasion in a way he didn’t against Australia: a tentative seven off 13 balls then, a bullish 15 off nine so far today.

3rd over: England 18-2 (Bairstow 5, Brook 1) Harry Brook comes in at No 4, blocks one, then dabs one for a quick single, well spotted by Bairstow. The leg-cutter to Salt was also a slower ball – the replay shows him going through with the shot too early. Bairstow gets a slower ball too, picks it, and chips it for four, but then he misses an outswinger.

And that’s the end of the Powerplay, with Namibia still on top. David Wiese, by the way, is 39.

And another! Wiese bowls a leg-cutter and Salt can only nick it to the keeper. Salt and sweet, once again: 11 off eight balls, to go with 12 off three.

2nd over: England 13-1 (Salt 11, Bairstow 1) Jonny Bairstow manages to push a quick single, and then Phil Salt launches the counter-attack. He flat-bats a short ball straight back past the bowler, then flashes hard and gets four more. A wide – a very wide wide, outside off – and another single make it 12 off the over.

Buttler went for his first big shot and Trumpelmann’s swing was too good for him. Or maybe seam – the ball pitched on middle and hit leg.

Well, well.

1st over: England 1-0 (Salt 1, Buttler 0) Buttler can’t get it away either – he plays a push back to Wiese, flirting with a caught-and-bowled. And then he misses an outswinger. And another! Namibia well on top so far.

1st half-over: England 1-0 (Salt 1, Buttler 0) Salt plays and misses! At a gentle bouncer from David Wiese – perhaps he was surprised by the lack of pace. And he also misses the next one, which is quicker. The third ball, fuller, is pushed for a single. Superb stuff from Wiese so far.

It’s Phil Salt and Jos Buttler to open the batting, as usual. Salt has faced three balls on this ground in this World Cup and made 12 runs.

The anthems are under way. “Yeah, just what we need,” says Richard Slassor, “some anthems to eat in to the limited playing time. Just get on with it pleeeease!”

“We’re going to lose this, aren’t we?” says Tom van der Gucht. “After potentially avoiding the ignominy of being bundled out by the weather, we’re now going to get over-excited before being bowled out for 70 whilst thrashing around wildly and Namibia will end up winning with one ball to spare.” The authentic voice of the England supporter.

While England have reinforced their bowling, Namibia have gone the other way and brought in an extra batter – JP Kotze, who replaces Ben Shikongo.

England 1 Salt, 2 Buttler (capt, wk), 3 Bairstow, 4 Brook, 5 Moeen, 6 Livingstone, 7 Curran, 8 Jordan, 9 Archer, 10 Rashid, 11 Topley.

Namibia 1 Van Lingen, 2 Davin, 3 Frylinck, 4 Kotze, 5 Erasmus (capt), 6 Wiese, 7 Smit, 8 Green (wk), 9 Trumpelmann, 10 Scholtz, 11 Brassell.

“It’s been frustrating,” says Jos Buttler. “But delighted that we’re getting a game.” He has adapted his line-up to the shortened game, bringing in Sam Curran for Will Jacks, and Chris Jordan for Mark Wood. So England will have four frontline seamers, plus Adil Rashid. And Jonny Bairstow, or maybe Moeen Ali, will move up to No 3.

“Pretty easy one in a shortened game,” says Gerhard Erasmus.

The players are out there, warming up. And the toss should be any minute.

We may yet have a game. It will be 11 overs a side and will start at 4pm in Antigua, 9pm BST… if the rain stays away.

Source: theguardian.com