3 wickets in 2 overs in the last half hour of the day put the gloss on a fine performance in the field by Ireland as Namibia reached 241-9 at stumps on the first day of the ICC Intercontinental Cup Final. Peter Connell was the pick of the bowlers with a return of 4-51 while the main Namibian resistance came in a stand of 91 for the 6th wicket between Louis Burger and Bjorn Kotze.Namibia made a solid start after winning the toss and electing to bat. They had reached 36 by the 14th over without serious alarm before Boyd Rankin and Trent Johnston removed the openers. Andre Botha and Johnston then turned the screw before lunch bowling tight line and length and restricting Namibia to 65-2 at the break. Soon after lunch a Connell inspired middle order collapse reduced Namibia from 81-2 to 119-6 and left the innings teetering before Burger and Kotze steadied the ship. The pair batted doggedly through the rest of the afternoon session and then after tea to get to within 6 overs of the close when Rankin trapped Kotze leg before. Connell got rid of 9 & 10 in quick succession in the following over and it appeared that the Irish openers would have an awkward couple of overs to face at the end of the day before some old fashioned number 11 batting from Kola Burger (including 16 off the penultimate over by Connell) ensured Namibia would bat into day 2.
Honours definitely to Ireland today after losing the toss. We’ll only know how good the Namibian total is after Ireland have had a bat on this track and the African’s strength lies in their bowling but I have a feeling if Simmons and Porterfield had been offered this match situation after the toss, they’d have taken it.