Premier league ends without a final – Wanderers champions

With eight wickets for 15 runs, Karl Birkenstock destroyed Trustco United on Saturday.
Andrew Poolman
The unbeaten first team of Imperial Wanderers has won Cricket Namibia’s 50-over premier league final, but without playing a final the victory comes as somewhat of an anti-climax.

Due to a lack of available fields, last Saturday’s fixture between second-placed CCD Tigers and WHS Old Boys (third) did not take place.

In theory, victory by a big margin for WHS Old Boys could possibly have lifted them to equal log points as the Tigers, while they also needed to overturn the deficit in nett run rate (-0.57 versus 1.10).

However, upon enquiry on when the final is scheduled and how Wanderers’ opponent would be determined with the one unplayed league fixture, Cricket Namibia’s operations manager Harald Fülle replied: “There is no final in the premier league 1 and 2.”

Fülle did not respond when asked to clarify whether the decision is that Wanderers wins the league without playing a final, since that would be a change from the normal status quo, where previous seasons’ winners have almost always been determined in a final.

However, speaking to senior club representatives, it appears that Cricket Namibia has made it known that they have no other choice than to end their premier league on this note, due to the fact that the season has already gone on too long and available fields now becomes a scarcity as club rugby and schools sports are fully in motion.

Log points for the unplayed CCD versus Old Boys have apparently been shared, while Wanderers wins the league thanks to their first position on the log.

Even without the departure of the national Richelieu Eagles players to the T20 World Cup in the West Indies this week, a final match would certainly have ended off the season on a much more satisfying note.

Birkenstock on fire with 8/15

On Saturday, Trustco United suffered a heavy defeat by eight wickets against Wanderers, when they were bowled out for a total of only 54 runs.

Wanderers all-rounder Karl Birkenstock, who was not named in the Namibian squad to the upcoming T20 World Cup the previous day, was in devastating form as opening bowler, taking eight wickets for just 15 runs in eight overs.

Following this demolition job, Birkenstock was the obvious choice as player of the match. Jan-Izak de Villiers took the other two United wickets, with 2/10 in 2.5 overs, which included the precious scalp of national team opener Michael van Lingen (caught by PD Blignaut).

Besides the opening pair of Dewald Le Grange, with 13 off 15 balls, and Michael van Lingen, with 15 off 28, no United batsman reached double figures.

When Wanderers went in to bat, JC Balt (2 off 12) and Niko Davin (5 off 3), were dismissed cheaply by Handre Klazinga and Jack Brassell, respectively.

However, Wanderers captain Michau du Preez (19 not out off 14, 3x4 1x6) and JJ Smit (24 not out off 18 balls, 1x4 2x6) knocked off the remaining runs from the small target chase.


On Sunday morning at Wanderers, the home team remained in bullish form with a win against CCD Tigers.

Batting first, CCD set up a total of 123 all out in 33.3 overs. The potentially decisive partnership between captain Nicol Loftie-Eaton (10) and Pikky ya France (50 off 50 balls, 4x4 2x6) was broken early when the former was caught by Niko Davin off the bowling of Nyasha Nyashadzaishe.

Nyasha (3/18 in 8 overs) and Birkenstock (3/29 in 7) as the opening bowlers for Wanderers picked up the lion’s share of the wickets. Bernard Scholtz (1/5 in 8) was again exceptionally economical.

In Wanderers’ reply, Niko Davin (6) and JC Balt (14) did not produce much, but Michau du Preez (42 not out off 43, 5x5 2x6) and JJ Smit (40 not out off 21 balls, 2x2 4x6) secured the win by eight wickets after just 13.4 overs.