Namibia’s U17 high performance cricket squad reigned supreme over Botswana’s U19 national team during the Momentum Oupanga Cup (Friendship Cup) in Windhoek last week.
The hosts, playing with a select and an invitational team, won all their games during the week-long tournament.
Kicking things off with a 50-over match on Monday, the invitational team guided by coach Rangarirai “Norbert” Manyande was pushed all the way by their opponents, managing to just edge out Botswana by 2 runs eventually.
Erich von Mollendorf was instrumental for Namibia’s win with 32 runs off 55 balls, while Dewald Nell took 4 wickets from 32 runs. Things went drastically different the next day when the select team put up a dominant display of cricket to win the second 50-over match with a resounding 302-run victory.
Lohan Louwrens (164 runs off 95 balls) and Nicol Loftie-Eaton (121 runs 96 balls) were seemingly unstoppable as the pair scored almost at will.
Their impressive batting was crowned by Steven Delport, Ben Shikongo and Mauritius Ngupita all taking 2 wickets respectively to celebrate an empathic win.
On Wednesday, both the select and the invitational team took on Botswana in T20 matches. The select squad got things underway with a comfortable 8-wicket win, whereby Steven Delport stood out with 3 wickets. Petrus Burger’s 30 runs off 14 balls put the result beyond doubt.
The invitational team was again pushed to the limit, but ultimately had the upper hand with 6 runs. Nicol Loftie-Eaton once again came to the rescue, scoring a quick-fire 22 off just 9 deliveries.
Game 5 and the invitational team produced their best result as they swept Botswana aside with 59 runs. Von Mollendorf managed a patient 50 off 94 balls while Floris Steenkamp added another 60 runs off 42 balls.
Steenkamp was having a day to remember, as he then took 3 for 37 in his 10 overs, as his leg spin proved too much to handle.
In the last game the in-form Lohan Louwrens underlined again why he is considered to be one of Namibia’s greatest prospects as he scored 164 runs off 82 balls to help the select team to an outstanding 232-run win. Albert van der Merwe almost got his century as well, but was eventually cut short at 99.
Estiaan Jacobs returned home with figures of 3/21 in 8 overs, but the day belonged to the skipper, Louwrens, as he could do no wrong. Deciding to bring himself on to bowl for a few overs, Louwrens finished with figures of 3/8 in 3.4 overs.
Following the week’s action, the organizers crowned the most outstanding players at an official closing. Unsurprisingly, Lohan Louwrens was awarded the player of the
tournament award. Best batsman went to Namibia’s U15 captain Nicol Loftie-Eaton, while Druv Maisuria of Botswana was selected as best bowler.