T20 World Cup, SCO vs NAM preview: Scotland and Namibia face off in underdog battle | Cricket News

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Namibian captain Gerhard Erasmus said on Tuesday he hopes his team can improve their level of performance to compete with the cricket elite after reaching the second round of the Twenty20 World Cup for the first time. Ranked 19 modest, Namibia qualified for the Super 12 stage with an eight-wicket victory over Ireland, and will now face former winners India and Pakistan as well as New Zealand, Afghanistan and Scotland. They start on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi against a Scottish side who suffered a crushing 130-point loss to Afghanistan in their opener.

“As a player too, I’m very happy to be around the best in the world,” said Erasmus, whose unbeaten 53 helped Namibia beat Ireland last week.

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“Associate cricket is sometimes air combat, and if you go through stages like this and reap these rewards, you will certainly enjoy all of the rewards.”

After Scotland come Afghanistan and their talented spin-off duo, Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, ahead of Pakistan, New Zealand and India, three main contenders for the title.

“Over the next week we are going to have to raise our level and take up this challenge with all our energy, but we are ready to do it,” Erasmus said.

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“I think if we can start well tomorrow against the Scottish side it will give us more and more momentum to get out of it and hopefully have a good one throughout the tournament.”

Scotland, who like Namibia also made the first round, received a dose of reality from Afghanistan after being knocked out for 60 – their lowest score in the T20 internationals.

Wicket keeper Matthew Cross was one of five Scottish hitters fired for a duck, as the rotation represented nine of their 10 wickets in Sharjah.

“It was disappointing, but it’s the kind of thing that can happen to any team, as we’ve seen in the tournament before,” said Cross.

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“We quickly put him behind us and learned what we needed and are heading to Namibia tomorrow.”

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Scotland upset Bangladesh in the first round finishing at the top of the group, and Cross said they couldn’t afford to let the defeat in Afghanistan affect them too much.

“We have to support each other and believe in what we have done so far. We face a team tomorrow in Namibia that we know a little better, and we hope to perform better tomorrow.”

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