With some luck, Eagles could knock England out

Gerhard Erasmus says his team is fully aware that they have a lot to play for.
Tielman Van Lill
Despite being eliminated from advancing in the T20 World Cup, the eyes of the cricket world will be on the Eagles’ final Group B match on Saturday which could potentially knock out the defending champions as well.

For T20 World Cup holders, England, the results of their last two matches in Antigua against Oman (last night) and Namibia (Saturday from 19:00, Namibian time) are of crucial importance to stay alive in the tournament.

Although the Eagles are out of contention for the Super 8, the pressure on their opponents could potentially work to their advantage.

England's predicament results from a defeat against Australia and a rained-out match against Scotland where they got one point.

The defending champions will need to win both their clashes against Oman and Namibia to project themselves up to third position, while Scotland with a healthier nett run-rate (2.164) has already expressed their complete confidence in facing Australia in their last match on Sunday.

England's biggest obstacle is their current net run rate of -1,800. England will be praying for clear weather and the opportunity for a big victory margin, because another rain washout will knock them out.

At a press conference this week following the Eagles defeat against the Aussies, captain Gerhard Erasmus spoke of the rare opportunity for a Namibian team to face top-level opposition such as England.

“With opportunities quite limited for nations such as us to play against the best in the world, and with not many of us exposed to the top T20 professional leagues worldwide, we have a chance to test ourselves against different ball speeds, played with quality and consistency.

“We will definitely battle to our best ability for a win. For us it is not a dead-rubber match, but rather gold dust in terms of exposure and opportunity.

“As a captain, despite winning our opening match (in a Super Over, after a tie against Oman), I feel that we have not played to our full potential yet in this tournament. We could not play with the freedom and the stamp of authority we wanted to against Oman, while the losses to Scotland and Australia were disappointing in their own way.

“So we are fully aware that we have a lot to play for.”