x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Namibia's Williams is still confident of Shield victory

Craig Williams, the Namibia captain, has continually talked up his side's chances in the Intercontinental Shield, having from the start promised a victory for the visitors.

DUBAI // Craig Williams, the Namibia captain, has continually talked up his side's chances in the Intercontinental Shield, having from the start promised a victory for the visitors.

But yesterday, at the end of Day 3, he gave his clearest indication that he does not expect Namibia to return to southern Africa without a trophy. "The game's still in our favour and the pitch is still flat," he said at stumps. "To lose 10 wickets in a day is going to be difficult. We know we can block the game out and win the trophy; we're ahead on points."

Namibia won the group stage of the tournament with big wins over Bermuda and Uganda compared to lesser victories by the UAE. Because they top the points table, they will win the shield.

Williams said of the hosts' fightback yesterday: "I'm surprised they have been batting so slowly. I thought they might have pushed on a bit to put us under some sort of pressure."

Khurram Khan, the UAE captain, cited negative bowling by Namibia as a means to stifle his side's run rate yesterday.

"The way they are bowling at the moment, they block one side and they are bowling to five, six stumps' width," he said. "It is not even approachable by the batsmen. It is a kind of negative approach. But that is up to them. It is hard to score runs."

Khurram is also critical of Williams's plan to play for the draw. "It is their call but I would definitely try for a result," he said.