England's Harry Brook bats against Namibia during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match on June 15, 2024.
England's Harry Brook bats against Namibia during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match on June 15, 2024.(Photo | AP)

England triumphs over Namibia in rain-affected match, eyes Scotland-Australia result

England had already suffered one washout — its opener against Scotland — and a second washout in four group games would have sent it home.

ANTIGUA: England's defense of the Twenty20 World Cup title lived on for a few more hours after a must-win over Namibia in a rain-affected match on Saturday.

To reach the Super Eight, England first had to beat Namibia in their maiden T20 matchup. Persistent showers almost ruined the chance, but the match started three hours late and was reduced to 11 overs, then 10 overs after another heavy shower.

England was made to bat first and rallied to 122-5.

Namibia, given a rain-adjusted target of 126, managed only 84-3 and lost by 41 runs.

England did what it had to, then had to wait a few more hours and hope Scotland lost to Australia in Saint Lucia to be sure of advancing from Group B.

England was anxious for most of the day, thanks to the weather. It had already suffered one washout — its opener against Scotland — and a second washout in four group games would have sent it home.

Because of what was at stake, the umpires waited as long as possible at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium to get play underway.

England lost the plot early. Only one run was taken from the opening over bowled by 39-year-old David Wiese; captain Jos Buttler was bowled for a duck by fast bowler Ruben Trumpelmann; and Wiese returned to nick out the other opener, Phil Salt.

England was 13-2 after 13 balls.

Jonny Bairstow and Harry Brook counterattacked. Bairstow made 31 off 18 balls just before the last rain delay. Brook finished with an unbeaten 47 off 20, and had late support from Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone, who both contributed to taking 21 runs off the last over.

Namibia's chase was relatively fast but not fast enough. Opener Michael van Lingen, after 33 off 29, was pulled out under the pretense of retiring hurt, and Wiese inserted to up the run rate. He duly delivered 27 off 12 but it was too late.

It was the last international for allrounder Wiese, captain Gerhard Erasmus said. Wiese started with South Africa in 2013 but after five years off he debuted for Namibia in the 2021 T20 World Cup and was invaluable. “Inspired us to new heights,” Erasmus said.

England's Harry Brook bats against Namibia during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match on June 15, 2024.
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Australia wins toss and bowls

At Gros Islet, St Lucia, Group B leaders Australia won the coin toss and chose to bowl against Scotland in a match which will determine whether Scotland or defending champions England bow out of the tournament.

After England's 41-run victory over Namibia in a rain-affected match earlier Saturday saw it jump into second place in the group standings, Scotland will need to beat Australia to advance to the Super Eight stage.

Australia have already qualified for the Super Eights after dominant victories against Oman, England and Namibia in its first three matches.

Scotland beat Namibia and Oman after its first match against England was not completed due to rain.

Australia have rested pace bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, with Mitchell Starc and Ashton Agar coming into the side.

Scotland named an unchanged team from its seven-wicket defeat of Oman.

The weather forecast at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium is for warm, dry conditions.

England's Harry Brook bats against Namibia during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match on June 15, 2024.
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