Namibia has made history by advancing to the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. The Namibians defeated Ireland by eight wickets in their last clash in the group stage. Set a target of 126 for victory, Namibia hit the winning runs with nine balls remaining.
Ireland won the toss and elected to bat first. They enjoyed a solid start with openers Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien putting on 62 runs for the first wicket. But with his score on 38, Stirling was caught off the bowling of Bernard Scholtz. And was the first to return to the pavilion.
In the following over, it was the turn of O’Brien. He made 25 before Jan Frylinck took the first of his three wickets. And Ireland suddenly found themselves on 67 for two in the 9th over.
Irish wickets then tumbled at regular intervals. Captain Andy Bilbirnie contributed 21 runs before he was trapped leg before wicket by Frylink.
Former Proteas all-rounder, David Wiese was also a thorn in the Irish side. Wiese finished with two wickets for 22 runs from his four overs. Ireland eventually managed 125 for eight in their allotted 20 overs.
In reply, Namibia lost their first wicket in the 6th over and with the score on 25.
Opener, Craig Williams was dismissed for 15.
In the 14th over, Zane Green returned to the pavilion, out for 24. But then big-hitting Wiese joined his captain, Gerhard Erasmus in the middle. Together, they shared an unbeaten third-wicket partnership of 53 runs, and steered Namibia to a comfortable 8-wicket victory.
Erasmus was not out on 53 while man of the match, Wiese added 28 runs.
“It was a decent day out there, one or two mishaps in the middle. I’ve played in Sharjah a few times. I know the wicket deteriorates and that it suits my bowling a bit more. Thankfully, I could execute my skills today and it worked out well for us,” says David Wiese.
“I said in the previous press conference we run a tight ship. We’re a small cricketing nation but a small and proud one at that. It means a lot. Although we aren’t many people, our achievement is one heck of a one, and we should be proud of ourselves tonight,” says Gerhard Erasmus
Namibia has now joined Sri Lanka as the two teams from Group A, who qualified for the Super 12 stage. The Super 12 starts on Saturday when South Africa takes on Australia in Abu Dhabi.