Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus has paid tribute to former Proteas fast bowler Morne Morkel after the team’s momentous victory over Sri Lanka in the opening game of the T20 World Cup in Geelong on Sunday.
The Namibians shocked the 2014 T20 world champions by posting a competitive 163/7, with a 69-run partnership off just 33 balls between two-thirds of the “Bomb Squad”, consisting of Jan Frylinck (44 off 28 balls) and JJ Smit (31 not out off 16 balls), setting up the total.
However, it was the bowling unit, led by Morkel from the sidelines as the bowling coach, that dismantled Sri Lanka for just 108 in 19 overs. Frylinck backed up his earlier batting heroics with 2/26, while another former Proteas all-rounder David Wiese (2/16), Bernard Scholtz (2/18) and Ben Shikongo (2/22) all chipped in with a couple of wickets apiece.
“Morne is an experienced cricketer. The freshness and the experience he’s brought over the last four months or so has been brilliant. He’s such a nice guy to work with, as well,” Erasmus said.
“Being a team that’s often quite close and often there’s not many fresh faces, not many fresh players coming in because of our small player base, I guess it’s always brilliant to have someone new on the coaching staff.”