David Wiese
Namibia's David Wiese celebrates after winning the Round One match against Ireland during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on October 22, 2021. Image Credit: ANI

A clash of the Associates, that’s when Scotland and Nambia meet in Abu Dhabi on Monday. Associates, they may be, but both countries became giant-killers by lancing down Test-playing nations in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Namibia downed Ireland, while Scotland thrust a defeat on Bangladesh in the qualification to the Super 12s.

Namibia come into the Group 2 fixture with two wins from the three Round One games. They have had a good year in T20 Internationals and hope to ride on the strength of that form.

The team, led by Gerhard Erasmus, may not travel far in the tournament but fancy their chances against Scotland — a team they defeated in one of the warm-up games. That result alone should make them favourites on Monday.

Mark Watt
Scotland's Mark Watt is bowled by Afghanistan's Mujeeb Ur Rahman as wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad watches during the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup cricket match at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah on October 25, 2021. Image Credit: AFP

Namibia’s strongest suit is their batting, which revolves around Erasmus, David Wiese and the 37-year-old Craig Williams. JJ Smit and Stephan Baard are capable of raising the tempo. Left-arm seamers Ruben Trumpelmann, Jan Frylinck and Smit are effective, and left-arm spinner Bernard Scholtz can turn in a tidy spell.

Scotland, flying high after winning three Round One wins, had a rude introduction to the Super 12s, where Afghanistan inflicted a 130-run defeat. They would be hoping that a win against Namibia could be the salve to their wounds.

If the Scots don’t pick themselves against Namibia, they may in for some more routs. For that, George Munsey, Kyle Coetzer, Matthew Cross, Calum MacLeod and Richie Berrington have to put runs on the board. It shouldn’t be a problem since they won’t encounter top-class spinners.

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Not just that, the bowlers too should show more intent. The spirits of spinners Mark Watt, Chris Greaves and Michael Leask flagged in the face of Afghanistan’s strokeplay, while seamers Brad Wheal and Josh Davey were largely ineffective. If the spinners get their act together, Scotland can pose problems on a slow Abu Dhabi pitch.

Who will win? It’s a tough call. Namibia have beaten Scots the last time around, and Scotland must be deflated after Monday’s loss. So, advantage Namibia.