Namibia coach Pierre de Bruyn was highly impressed with his team’s overall performance against the T20 World Cup 2021 heavyweights Pakistan in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. De Bruyn believed that the team gained immense experience and lessons from the 45-run defeat, which will help them going forward.
A 45-run margin suggests a fairly comprehensive defeat, but there were certain stages of the game when Namibia ‘tested’ Pakistan in the Super 12s encounter on Tuesday, felt coach Pierre de Bruyn.
After Pakistan opted to bat, Namibia bowlers were able to restrict the dynamic duo of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan in the first 10 overs, as the score read 59/0. As Pakistan finished 189/2, thanks to some late flourish, Namibia showed intent during their chase, with Craig Williams (40 off 37) and David Wiese (43* off 31) leading the way.
De Bruyn lauded his team’s “excellent performance”, and believed that the experience and learnings acquired while competing against a top team would benefit them in the long run.
"We are focusing on ourselves. We're learning so much with this experience,” he said. “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.
"The lessons we've learned we'll take with us. 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.
"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."
Namibia, who defeated Ireland and Netherlands in the Qualifiers round, started off the Super 12s with a four-wicket win over Scotland, before going down to Afghanistan by 62 runs. They will take on New Zealand and India in their remaining two fixtures, and De Bruyn hopes for his men to put up a challenge against two teams who are eyeing a semi-final berth.
"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,” De Bruyn said.
"We know what's coming. India and New Zealand, and they need to win properly to make their final stages."
Namibia will play New Zealand in Sharjah on Friday, November 5.