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Jonny Bairstow and Harry Brook helped England keep their Super Eight hopes alive as they played impactful knocks to help their side trounce Namibia by 41 runs (DLS method) at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua.

Namibia chose to field first after a persistent drizzle reduced the game down to 10 overs per side. They got off to a dream start as David Wiese and Ruben Trumplemann got rid of Phil Salt and Jos Buttler to reduce England to 13/2 in 2.1 overs.

But just when Namibia thought that they had their noses ahead, Bairstow and Brook came into the middle and scripted a praiseworthy rescue act.

The pair stitched a 56-run stand off just 30 balls to pull England out of trouble. Bairstow (31 off 18 balls) smashed three fours and two sixes during his stay in the middle and batted at a strike rate of 172.22.

Namibia thought that Bairstow’s dismissal would bring England’s run rate down but that never happened as Brook kept smashing the ball and got ample support from Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone.

Ali (16 off 6 balls) and Livingstone (13 off 4 balls) pounded two maximums each during their stay at the crease and left Namibia’s bowling attack dazed.

Brook remained unbeaten right till the end and struck four fours and two sixes while striking at 235.00.

Namibia’s chase never really got the momentum it required and the English bowlers were able to tie them down. David Wiese was the only player who looked threatening with the willow in hand as he struck 27 off 12 balls in his last international appearance at a strike rate of 225.00.

In the end, Namibia could only manage 84 in their 10 overs for the loss of three wickets and were comprehensively beaten by the defending champions. The win has helped England take the second position in Group B behind Australia.

The Jos Buttler-led side has equalled Scotland in terms of points (five each) but are ahead by virtue of a better net run rate. England’s net run rate is 3.611 while Scotland’s NRR is 2.164. A win for Australia will help England qualify for the Super Eight stage whereas Scotalnd’s victory over Australia will end England’s title defence.

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