Australia’s Vidler and Straker Lead Dominant Victory Over Namibia in Under-19 World Cup Opener

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Australia’s fast bowlers, led by Callum Vidler, bundled Namibia out for less than 100, before their captain Hugh Weibgen steered them through a tricky chase in their first game of the Men’s Under-19 World Cup. Weibgen came out to bat in the third over after opener Sam Konstas was cleaned up by Jack Brassell and saw Australia lose half their side with 35 runs still needed. But he and No. 7 batter Raf MacMillan all but sealed victory for Australia, knocking off 30 of those runs in a 40-ball partnership. With plenty of swing on offer, Charlie Anderson and Vidler put the pressure on early, not allowing the Namibia openers to get away. Vidler then drew first blood in his second over with a yorker that swung away late to make a mess of Johannes de Villiers’ stumps. He then struck again in his next over, trapping No. 3 Johannes Visage lbw. There was a period of resistance when opener Gerhard Janse van Rensburg dug in while No. 4 Zacheo van Vuuren picked up some boundaries. Van Vuuren struck a gorgeous cover drive before trying again only to get a thick edge and see the ball fly through the vacant third slip region. But Tom Straker came into the attack and got both batters to nick behind – Rensburg to the keeper for a 32-ball 2 and van Vuuren to first slip for 29 off 47. Straker then drew another outside edge as Ryan Moffett was caught at slip before Mahli Beardman cleaned up Brassell. Vidler returned to the attack to have Henry van Wyk caught behind before Beardman picked up a second wicket. Namibia captain Alexander Busing-Volschenk consumed 45 balls, even hitting offspinner MacMillan for four and six, but MacMillan eventually got the better of him. Vidler wrapped the innings up by bowling No. 11 Junior Kariata. In the chase, Australia didn’t have it easy. Brassell bowled Konstas in the third over and Hanro Badenhorst had his opening partner Harry Dixon miscuing a pull to mid-on in the sixth. Dixon was the first of four wickets to fall for 27 runs as Brassell and Badenhorst let Namibia dream of an upset, albeit momentarily. By the time van Wyk had MacMillan caught down the ground, Australia had all but won the game.

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