After four wins from four we headed south of the equator for the next stop on our global ODI adventure.
Hosts Namibia won the toss, chose to bowl and reduced us to 121-4 and 219-6 only to see Sam Curran (150) and Liam Dawson (125 not out) compile a record-breaking seventh wicket partnership of 284 (The previous record was 177!). The duo’s combo propelled us to a world record ODI score of 510-7!
The competition’s leading run-scorer Dawid Malan (54), Ben Stokes (54), Jonny Bairstow (53) and Moeen Ali (43) all scored quickly but blew golden opportunities to make a big score. Liam Livingstone (3) and skipper Jos Buttler (7) completely missed out whilst Test captain Joe Root was rested from the long voyage to Southern Africa.
Corben Cassim (1-119) set an undesirable new record for worst ODI bowling figures though Jayden-Lee Fitzpatrick (0-116) pushed him hard. Spinner Zaki George finished 0-99 from his ten overs (Would you like a flake on that?) but Magnus Mahomed (3-86) claimed 3 wickets. Rarely, all his dismissals were caught & bowled.
Namibia began their improbable run chase with all eyes on Lennox Larson. Larson had made two tons in the competition before this match and briefly displayed his ability before being clean bowled by Chris Woakes (2-22) for 13. Woakes then accounted for Mario Dollie for a duck. An example of the flow of runs well and truly running dry in the Namib Desert for the man they call Kart Sheep! (Kart Sheep, because of Mario Kart and Dolly the Sheep. Get it? Aargh forget it!)
Philip Yvonne (57) and Jayden-Lee Fitzpatrick (29) lifted the home side from 21-2 to 100-2 with a strong batting display. Stokes (2-26) accounted for Fitzpatrick however and Moeen (2-45) terminated Yvonne’s career best knock.
Stokes added another victim before it became the Tom Curran show for the second match running. The Surrey star ripped through the middle lower order to finish with figures of 4-17. Moeen then claimed the final wicket courtesy of supreme stumper Jonny Bairstow’s fifth catch of the innings. Though the match was played in Cheetah country, all wickets were taken legitimately!
154 all out was the sum total of Namibia’s batting efforts meaning an earth-shattering 356-run margin of victory. Their top order batsmen have talent but with such a weak bowling attack it makes it difficult for the likes of the imaginatively monikered Henrik Larson to prosper. For the record, all our players returned to England safely. We left no skeletons on the coast!
There were some competitive matches elsewhere in the competition with much improved run getting from the emerging nations. With five wins from five, we sit joint top alongside European rivals the Netherlands. They travel to Canada next whilst we host Nepal at Headingley. Will we both still be unbeaten when we meet in round seven, the final ODI before returning to the Test format?