ABU DHABI: Namibia coach Pierre de Bruyn was effusive in praise for his inexperienced team despite a defeat against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, saying they “tested” their opponents.
Pakistan won by 45 runs — their fourth win in as many games to become the first team to reach the semi-finals in the Twenty20 World Cup from Group 2.
Pakistan rode on another brilliant 50-ball 79 not out from Mohammad Rizwan and 49-ball 70 from skipper Babar Azam as the pair helped post 189-2 in 20 overs.
Namibia managed 144-5 in their 20 overs with David Wiese scoring 43 not out and Craig Williams 40.
De Bruyn said his team has learnt a lot from playing in the Super 12 stage.
“The lessons we’ve learned we’ll take with us,” said de Bruyn. “We played 40 overs of cricket. And there were stages where we tested them. They were, after 10 overs, they had 59 runs on the board.”
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Namibian bowlers were excellent upfront as left-armer Ruben Trumpelmann bowled a maiden first over but Pakistan piled up 130 in the last ten overs.
De Bruyn said his team has gained experience.
“And we will take everything with us. It’s got us experience and information that we need to grow as a team. So we are very pleased with that performance.”
Facing two tough opponents in their next games — India and New Zealand – de Bruyn hoped his team will front up.
“Yes, we are going in to win cricket games, first of all. But we also know that it’s two great cricket teams that we’re facing, and they’ve got their own agenda in how they need to win cricket games and not lose a cricket game, especially not against Namibia.
“We are focusing on ourselves. We’re learning so much with this experience. We’ve learned so much tonight. I thought it was a very good — well, it was an excellent performance by the Namibian team with bat and ball.
“We know what’s coming. India and New Zealand, and they’ve got — they need to win properly to make their final stages.”
Namibia have one win from three matches. They beat Scotland by four wickets but lost to Afghanistan.