Scotland duo shine at World Cup as victory over Namibia puts pressure on England

Berrington and Leask set Scots on their way in Barbados

Richie Berrington and Michael Leask shared a match-winning partnership for Scotland as they defeated Namibia in Barbados to bolster their hopes of progressing at the T20 World Cup.

After impressing with the bat in their washed out opener against England, the Scots were victorious against the southern Africans in Barbados, chasing down their target of 156 with five wickets and nine balls to spare. Things were looking dicey when Matthew Cross fell lbw at 73 for four, but captain Berrington and Leask took the bull by horns as they put on 74 from the next 42 balls. Leask blasted four sixes in his knock of 35 and Berrington was unbeaten on 47, ending with a flourish as he clubbed David Wiese all the way over long-on before punching the air with glee.

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The result puts Scotland on three points, meaning England could find themselves feeling the heat if they fail to beat Australia on Saturday. Brad Currie had earlier excelled with the ball, with two for 16 from four exacting overs.

Scotland's captain Richie Berrington bats against Namibia.Scotland's captain Richie Berrington bats against Namibia.
Scotland's captain Richie Berrington bats against Namibia.

Brad Wheal got Scotland off to a perfect start, swinging the new ball dangerously and having JP Kotze caught at mid-wicket with his third delivery. Currie also landed an early blow and Chris Sole recovered after seeing three of his first four balls disappear to the ropes to open his account as Namibia reached 48 for three in a lively powerplay.

Chris Greaves dismissed Malan Kruger in the eighth over as Scotland continued chipping away but Gerhard Erasmus was proving a tough nut to crack. He held the innings together, stitching together a regular supply of boundaries off the spinners to even up the scales. He reached his half-century with a flourish off just 30 balls, slog-sweeping Leask for six over wide long-on. The Aberdonian exacted instant revenge moments later, Cross completing the stumping. There were 42 runs and four more wickets from the last five overs, with Currie and Wheal tidy at the death.

Scotland’s reply enjoyed an early boost with eight runs in wides from Ruben Trumpelmann, a shift in fortunes for the left-armer who took wickets with his first two balls against Oman. But runs off the bat were harder to come by, with the total slowly ticking to 25 for one after five overs. Michael Jones, so impressive in the washout against England, finally came alive in the sixth as he unloaded two fours and a six, but the introduction of Erasmus changed the game for the second time. Jones (26) was caught behind and Brandon McMullen (19) allowed himself to be stumped courtesy of some sloppy footwork.

The required rate had climbed to nearly 10 an over when Berrington and Leask made their move. Two big overs effectively settled things, 13 off Tangeni Lungameni and 19 off the veteran Wiese in the 17th, including a pair of big blows by Leask. Leask launched Trumpelmann over 100 metres over the big screen before holing out but Berrington ensured victory as he powered Wiese back down the ground for the decisive six.

Scotland are next in action on Sunday at 6pm BST when they face Oman in Antigua and Barbuda.

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