By Ravendra Madholall
There is no better way to start off a campaign of this magnitude with a win. On Sunday, USA surged to a commanding 80-run triumph over Namibia as the 50-overs World Cup Qualifiers got cracking.
Also in Namibia, the hosts opted to bowl first. USA reached a respectable 231-9 at the expiration of the 50-overs while Namibia replied with 151 all out in the 42nd over.
Gajanand Singh led the way for the Americans with a responsible 53 laced with five fours and a towering six from 63 balls. Nosthush Kenjige blasted an entertaining 43 towards the end while Aaron Jones contributed 36.
Three wickets each for Ben Shikongo and Shaun Fouche.
When Namibia batted, Fouche proved his all-round capability by scoring a fighting 51.
Experienced pacer Ali Khan had an outstanding spell of 3-21 from seven menacing overs. Left-arm orthodox spinner Nisarg Patel also with three wickets but conceded 29 runs from nine overs.
Seamer Jasdeep Singh assisted well with 2-33 off 7.4 overs, delivering for the winning combination.
The six-team, round-robin tournament will continue on Monday with a double-header. Canada will clash with Jersey while Papua New Guinea will tackle United Arab Emirates. USA will be back in action Wednesday against neighboring Canada.
The top two teams will be heading to the final phase of the Qualifiers in July as they continue their quest for the 2023 World Cup tournament spots to be held in India, October/November.