Harry Brook, Jonny Bairstow rescue act keeps England alive


Namibia chose to bowl vs England

Namibia won a delayed toss and opted to bowl first against England in their final, rain-hit T20 World Cup Group B fixture in Antigua, cut to 11 overs per side.

England were sweating on persistent rain that delayed the toss by three hours and ultimately resulted in an overs reduction but, crucially for the defending champions, there will be a match if the weather obliges from now on. The powerplay will last three overs and one bowler can bowl an maximum of three overs.

They started the day needing to avoid a second washout in four games and to beat Namibia, and then await the outcome of Australia vs Scotland to know for sure whether they will progress to the Super Eight phase.

A thumping win against Oman helped England’s cause immensely after a lacklustre start in which their opening match – against Scotland – was rained off and they lost to Australia by 36 runs.

A start on Saturday, albeit delayed, meant England could wrest control of their fate from the elements. Namibia, meanwhile, cannot progress to the next stage after one win and two defeats so far.

England made two changes to the side which hammered Oman, bringing in Sam Curran for Will Jacks and Chris Jordan for Mark Wood. Namibia bolstered their batting line-up with JP Kotze replacing Ben Shikongo.

This is the first meeting between England and Namibia in T20 internationals – only their second in official international history – and will be played on the same pitch that was used for England’s record eight-wicket victory with 101 balls to spare over Oman. There’s a short boundary of 59 metres to the right-hander’s off side and 69 metres to the leg side at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

Jos Buttler, England’s captain, said he would have opted to bowl also but was relieved to be playing after a nervous wait. “It’s been frustrating but delighted we’re getting a game on,” he said at the toss.

Namibia: Nikolaas Davin, 2 Michael van Lingen, 3 Jan Frylinck, 4 JP Kotze, 5 Gehrard Erasmus (capt), 6 JJ Smit, 7 David Wiese, 8 Zane Green, 9 Ruben Trumpelmann, 10 Bernard Scholtz, 11 Jack Brassell

England: Phil Salt, 2 Jos Buttler (capt & wk), 3 Jonny Bairstow, 4 Harry Brook, 5 Moeen Ali, 6 Liam Livingstone, 7 Sam Curran, 8 Chris Jordan, 9 Jofra Archer, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Reece Topley

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor, women’s cricket, at ESPNcricinfo

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